SQUASH GNOCCHI

You also can use this technique to make potato gnocchi.

For years, I tried to find a good dish of gnocchi in the US. Never happened. In Italy, yes, but not here.

I’ve sorted and tried many gnocchi recipes over the years, including many I found online. They all horrified me. Here is mine.

Use a large winter squash. Kabocha and Hubbard are drier squashes. Butternut will work, but you likely will need more flour to absorb the moisture. Peel, remove the seeds and steam the squash until soft. Place squash in a bowl and mash with a potato masher until smooth. If it’s soft enough, you can use a whisk.

Add a good dollop of butter, about ½ to ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. I do not measure, so use your discretion as to the amounts. I usually cook the squash for dinner, making extra to refrigerate until I’m ready to make the gnocchi.  

Take the squash out of the refrigerator. Put a small mound of all-purpose flour on your counter or a cutting board and put the squash in center of flour. Incorporate the flour into the squash mixture with your hands, kneading lightly, keeping the texture soft and smooth. (I do not use the egg that most recipes call for.) Use only enough flour to bring the squash together.

Shape the dough into sausage-like rolls about 3/4-inch thick and about 10 inches long. Cut each roll into 1/2-inch pieces. Indent each piece by putting it on the inside curve of a fork and pressing it against the prongs with a fingertip; then let drop to counter.

To cook, drop the gnocchi, a dozen at a time, into 4 quarts or more of boiling salted water. When they float to the surface, let them cook 8 to 10 seconds more, then lift out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a heated casserole dish and add a little red sauce that you’ve kept hot. Keep repeating the process until all the gnocchi are cooked. Pour the remaining sauce over the top; mix in the grated cheese. Serve immediately.

Note: Instead of serving the gnocchi with a red sauce, you can try a brown butter sauce with fresh sage.

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