If you looking for something different to do with all that squash you’ve been buying at the farmer’s market….and you like to play with your food, definitely give this recipe a try. It’s very comforting and yummy on a gloomy, chilly fall day. We enjoyed this as a side dish for a dinner party, but it could easily be served as a main dish with a salad for a ‘meatless’ meal. It does take a bit of time, but it makes quite a bit of gnocchi – enough to freeze. I would say this recipe makes enough gnocchi to serve as a side dish for 2 meals for 4 people. I made this recipe with butter/onion/sage leaves which goes really well with the squash. All those fall flavours and a little fresh nutmeg mixed into the dough…mmmm. I was lucky enough to be able to pilfer some fresh sage from Cathy’s (of Dragonfly Herbs) garden – and at this time of year, fresh sage is available in the grocery stores. *Also, the reason I chose buttercup squash over butternut is due to water content. I found butternut squash too moist – you want the potato and squash as dry as possible so you aren’t adding tons of flour.*
Buttercup Squash Gnocchi
makes about 140 gnochhi, maybe more
1 2lb buttercup squash (not butternut)
1 medium potato
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (approx)
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup of butter
1 small onion or shallot, finely diced
5-6 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup grated asiago or parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425F. Split squash in half and place cut side down on baking sheet. Wash and place potato on baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes until squash is aromatic and tender (fork will easily pierce). If the potato isn’t cooked through, continue cooking in oven, or finish cooking in microwave for a few minutes.
Turn squash right side up and let cool until you can handle it with your hands. Scrape out flesh into bowl, and mash. Peel potato and grate into squash, combine. Add salt and mix.
Combine flour, nutmeg and pepper. Place flour on clean countertop and form a well. Place squash/potato mixture in well and place egg yolk on top. Mix egg yolk into squash with clean hands, and then slowly start incorporating flour into squash….gradually mixing it in with your hands until you have a soft dough that is not too wet. Do this gently — all the flour doesn’t need to be incorporated. You want a dough that can be easily rolled into ‘ropes’ without falling apart, but also you want it to be tender, not tough and hard.
Cut dough into 6-8 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and cut into bite-size pieces. Use your own judgement. (see picture) Keep pieces separated on a lightly floured pan and cover with a clean tea towel.
*At this point you can freeze them, then once they are frozen solid, put them in portions in ziploc bags.
Bring large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Place gnocchi into pot. Stir gently. When gnocchi rises to the top, continue to cook for about 30 seconds or so more. Meanwhile, heat large non-stick pan to medium. Melt butter, add onion or shallot and saute, about 5 minutes. Add sage leaves and saute briefly. Using slotted spoon, drain gnocchi and add to butter/onion mixture. Toss to coat. Put into serving dish and top with cheese.
*you can also put some ridges on your gnocchi with a fork and boil, then serve with tomato sauce and cheese. Go crazy, the world is your oyster.