Being able to use in season vegetables and fruit has become important in my household. This week Spencer and I were able to get our hands on some local Butternut Squash and I just could not resist. It’s easy to just roast Butternut squash and extract so many delicious flavours from it, but why not incorporate it into other things as well. I decided to make Gnocchi. Which happens to be one of my favourite pastas to make, as it’s so easy and brainless and doesn’t require any rolling pin at all!
Butternut Squash Gnocchi is very delicious as the squash provides such earthy rich flavours that I don’t consume often. It’s a nice surprise to add to gnocchi as it doesn’t change the texture at all. It’s a great way to hide vegetables for some of those in the family who don’t like them and it gives the dish so much more nutritious benefits like Vitamin E and all the Vitamin B’s you could need including my favourite B Vitamin, Pantothenic Acid. Pantothenic Acid helps your adrenal glands, which coexist with sex and stress related hormones to keep them working properly, all you heavy dosed caffeine addicts like myself could use this in high doses to keep your adrenal glands from over producing hormones.
If you haven’t tried gnocchi – they are small dumplings made from potatoes. They are usually consumed like pasta but can also be put into soups and stews. Homemade gnocchi is best made fresh and consumed the day of as it makes the pasta much lighter and fluffy. There are many ways to make gnocchi, for some it may be to use leftover mashed potatoes, others may use sweet potatoes, or squash. My rule is that whatever vegetables I use, I roast them until cooked thoroughly and while they are hot I will grate them on my finest grater this is what will make your Gnocchi as light as possible.
You can also scratch the potatoes, and sub them out for ricotta. This way is not only efficient in it saves you so much time but it tastes so darn good. Ricotta Gnocchi is best with lots of seasoning so don’t be shy on some fresh basil and a thick tomato sauce.
Making Gnocchi is a fun process, it requires very little expertise. It’s one of the simplest pastas to make, and it’s taste is just out of this world!
Butternut Squash Gnocchi
1/2 of a Butternut Squash
1 Cup of Flour plus more for dusting
Preheat your oven to 375F. Cut your squash in half, taking out the seeds. Peel your squash and your potato and wrap them in tinfoil to roast for 45 mins.
Once they are out of the oven, grate on the finest side of a grater. (while they are hot is the best for the texture of your gnocchi, but if you can’t stand the heat on your fingers wait ten minutes)
Add your flour, egg and salt. Mix until you form a ball.
Dust your table with flour and separate the dough into two equal parts. Slowly start to roll the dough out like a cigar. Keep it relatively the same size throughout. Making sure not get it stuck on the table as you roll, you may have to dust several times during this process.
Cut your dough with a knife into evenly sized dumplings. You may at this point choose to fork them to add the beautiful marks, I simply don’t care too.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and place your gnocchi in, once it floats it is ready to served. About 4-7 minutes in boiling water.
Serve with Basil Pesto or choose to eat it in a lovely white sauce with fresh herbs.