Butternut Squash Gnocchi

I know, I know. I’m a little late to the Fall recipe party. And it’s almost Christmas, but bear with me – this recipe is worth reverting back for ūüôā

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Recent outside temps (it was nearly 60 degrees this week) tell me it’s still fall. Well, at least in my mind and in my kitchen, that is. ūüôā Hence, the sugar pumpkin and butternut squash you see above waiting to be roasted and pureed into something tasty.

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Like butternut squash gnocchi. Mmmm… so good! It’s a very fall-inspired dish (that can be eaten in winter, too) and is pretty simple to make. I love gnocchi and homemade is really the only way to go. It’s light & fluffy and you can pretty much flavor it how you want. ¬†The squash makes it less heavy than traditional potato gnocchi and gives it a nice flavor. And as with most of my recipes, you can freeze them, too.

Sauteed Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Broccoli Rabe

Inspired by this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups butternut squash or pumpkin puree (I made my own using the method in the inspiration recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2-1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe (or green of choice), cleaned, chopped and blanched
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

Method:

In a bowl, mix together squash, egg and salt. ¬†Gradually add in flour to make a loose dough. (Don’t overmix). Flour your clean work surface and gently knead until dough comes together. Be mindful of how much flour you add; it will dictate how dense or heavy your gnocchi will be.

Break off a palm-sized portion of dough, working only one section at a time (keep the rest of the dough covered with a damp dish cloth/paper towel). Roll dough into a thin rope, about 1/2 inch in diameter, depending on how large you want your pieces to be. Cut 1″ pieces from the rope and if you want to be fancy, use the tines of a fork to make the traditional gnocchi “marks” like so. (Unless you’re lucky enough to own one of these. Now that’s fancy.) To keep gnocchi from sticking together, lightly coat each piece with flour and lay out on a lined baking sheet. Continue the process until all of the dough is used —¬†this is the part where it helps to have a partner or sous chef help you out!

To cook now: Bring a pot of water to boil and salt well. ¬†When boiling, slowly drop in gnocchi, making sure to keep each piece separated (otherwise you’ll have one lump of gnocchi). You’ll know it’s finished when they float to the top – they cook rather quickly. Drain carefully, or use a slotted spoon to gently fish them out. Set aside.

Make your broccoli rabe by¬†saut√©ing¬†in a shallow saucepan with a bit of olive/coconut oil and chopped garlic. ¬†Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from pan. Add gnocchi and lightly season to taste. Cook for 5 minutes or to desired “done-ness” and enjoy with cooked broccoli rabe.

To freeze for later: Lay each piece of gnocchi individually on a lined baking sheet/tray (separated & lightly coated with flour as needed).  Freeze for 2-4 hours. Remove from the freezer and store frozen gnocchi in a zip lock bag or air-tight container.*

* Doing the double freeze method ¬†is key so you don’t get a large frozen lump of gnocchi. (I’m not sure how long they would keep, but my guess is up to 6 months or so. It never lasts that long in my freezer!)

Delicious. Fall-icious. Winter recipes to come soon, I promise… I think ūüėČ

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Zucchini Tian

Ah, the zucchini. Mild, slightly sweet, and so versatile – it’s one of my favorite vegetables, ever. I usually¬†saut√©¬†it, throw it in a stir-fry or cut them raw into thin ribbons for a salad (my favorite way to eat it). But when I came across¬†this recipe¬†in honor of Julia Child’s 100th birthday, I knew I had to make it.

It tastes rich but is actually really light and brings out the sweetness of the zucchini. The grated cheese adds a nice flavor but doesn’t overwhelm. It’s definitely something I’d make again. And you probably have all the ingredients in your refrigerator.

How delicious does that look?! (I say that in the humblest way possible :))

Zucchini Tian (Tian de Courgettes au Riz)

From “Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume Two” (Julia Child), via Food52

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds¬†zucchini – roughly 2-3 zucchini depending on the size
  • 1/2 cup¬†uncooked white rice
  • 1 cup¬†minced onions or shallots
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons¬†olive oil
  • 2¬†large cloves garlic, mashed or finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons¬†flour (I used whole-wheat)
  • About 2 1/2 cups warm liquid: zucchini juices plus milk, heated in a pan (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • About 2/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese (save 2 tablespoons for later)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons¬†olive oil

Method:

Cut off the ends of the zucchini and scrub clean under running water. (If vegetables are large, halve or quarter them. If seeds are large and at all tough, and surrounding flesh is coarse rather than moist and crisp, cut out and discard the cores.)

Grate the zucchini using a food processor or box grater, and place in a colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and let the squash drain for 3 or 4 minutes, or until you are ready to proceed.

Just before cooking, squeeze a handful dry and taste. If the squash is too salty, rinse in a large bowl of cold water, taste again; rinse and drain again if necessary. Then squeeze gently by handfuls, letting juices run back into bowl. Dry on paper towels. Zucchini will not be fluffy; it is still dampish, but the excess liquid is out. (The pale-green, slightly saline juice drained and squeezed out of the zucchini has a certain faint flavor that can find its uses in vegetable soups, canned soups, or vegetable sauces.)

While the shredded zucchini is draining (reserve the juices,) drop the rice into boiling salted water, bring rapidly back to the boil, and boil exactly 5 minutes; drain and set aside.

In a large (11-inch) frying pan, cook the onions slowly in the oil for 8 to 10 minutes until tender and translucent. Raise heat slightly and stir several minutes until very lightly browned.

Stir in the grated and dried zucchini and garlic. Toss and turn for 5 to 6 minutes until the zucchini is almost tender. Sprinkle in the flour, stir over moderate heat for 2 minutes, and remove from heat.

Gradually stir in the 2 1/2 cups warm liquid (zucchini juices plus milk, heated gently in a pan — don’t let it get so hot that the milk curdles!). Make sure the flour is well blended and smooth.

Return over moderately high heat and bring to the simmer, stirring. Remove from the heat again, stir in the blanched rice and all but 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Taste very carefully for seasoning. Transfer into buttered baking dish, strew remaining cheese on top, and dribble the olive oil over the cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tian starts to bubble. If you like, broil slightly to brown the top.

Serve it with grilled shrimp or chicken and a salad. Perfect.

Mmm…