Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Super Simple Butternut Squash Gnocchi
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and it's time to come up with the menu! My brother is coming out to celebrate with us NorCal style and Nic and I are once again in charge cooking up a feast for Turkey day. We plan to go with a variation of the same menu we made last year and I'm ready to start testing new recipes to make sure they are perfect for the big day. First up is this year's pasta side dish. Neither Nic nor I are huge potato people and I'm not much for butter or cream so last year I made a butternut squash lasagna instead of mashed potatoes and this year I wanted to do something similar. The lasagna was delish but I want to try something new so this week I tried my hand at making homemade pasta for the first time, a butternut squash gnocchi. I didn't dare try to free-style homemade pasta so I went to google and looked up a couple recipes online to get ideas- and basically decided to go super simple and make a dough of mashed squash and white flour. I wanted to keep it simple by using just a small amount of fresh bottled marinara and parmesan as a sauce. For my first ever time making pasta I was pretty pleased with myself--- the gnocchi were tasty! They were comforting and yummy and went well with the marinara and parmesan. The one thing I'll admit was that they were way too big and a little bit clunky--- next time I make these I'm going to work harder to cut them smaller and keep them uniform in size.
As for serving them at Thanksgiving -- undecided! The gnocchi were really good and I could definitely get them to a better size and consistancy next time but I realized that on Thanksgiving it would be nice to have a pasta that I could make ahead of time and just throw in the oven on the day rather than make a dough and everything. SOoooo we'll see. But in the mean time, try out these gnocchi they don't require any special tools and they are yummy!
Simple Butternut Squash Gnocchi - Makes 2 big servings
2 cups chopped butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1 1/4 cup white flour
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Spread squash pieces (bite sized) on a baking sheet and drizzle and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
-Sprinkle with salt, pepper and italian seasoning and bake for about 40 minutes until they are really soft.
-Put squash in a cuisinart or use masher to mash it up well. You should have about a cup of mashed squash.
-Put the squash in a big bowl and slowly add in the flour, little by little, mixing it in until you get a dough that's not too sticky. Use some flour on your hands so they don't stick.
-Roll the dough into a ball and cover it with a towel or napkin. Let it sit for at least a few minutes.
-Put a big pot of water on to boil and sprinkle salt into it.
-Break the dough into two balls and roll out into snake shapes about an inch or less wide.
-Use a sharp knife to cut up the "snake" into small bite size even pieces. Press down each piece gently with a fork.
-When water is boiling drop in the little pieces of dough and cook for about 3-4 minutes until they are floating toward the top.
-Scoop them out with a slotted spoon or gently drain them in a collander.
-Toss with warmed marinara sauce and add some parmesan and a sprinkle of salt to taste.