Squash Gnocchi

If you’re lucky enough to have come into a lot of squash, and you’re trying to make it disappear, try making gnocchi. Gnocchi is an easier and more flexible dish than you might think. You can hold it in the refrigerator or freeze it for later, which makes it a good candidate for holiday entertaining.

Serves 4

Gnocchi:
3 cups prepared fresh pumpkin
1 1/2 cups AP flour (plus more for kneading)
1 cup Parmesan
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
  2. Sprinkle about 1/4 c. more flour on your board or counter. Knead the dough, pressing and folding over just a few times.
  3. Cut the dough into four pieces. Roll each into a thick rope. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
  4.  Lay the gnocchi out on a floured baking sheet. If you’re not going to cook them immediately, cover and refrigerate.
  5. To cook, drop them into a pot of gently boiling water. Watch for the gnocchi to float. When this happens, cook for two more minutes. Use your skimmer or slotted spoon to remove from water and into pan with sauce.

Sauce:
6 tbls. butter
4 garlic cloves, sliced thickly
3 tbls. chopped fresh sage
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Parmesan to sprinkle on top

  1. Melt butter over low heat.
  2. Add garlic, sage, and spices. Cook for about one minute until fragrant.
  3. Toss gnocchi in pan with sauce.

Notes:

  • To freeze, pop your full baking sheet into the freezer for about an hour, then remove the gnocchi to a freezer container.
  • In need of serious comfort food? I might try this, substituting sage for the thyme or a simple cream sauce with hazelnuts.

Slapdash Squash Tortellini

I had a squash sitting on the counter looking at me and wanted to turn it in to something wonderful, but I wasn’t in the mood to fuss with scraps of dough. This is the short-cut tortellini that I came up with. It may not have been perfectly pretty, but it tasted great.

1 butternut squash (or other winter squash)
olive oil, salt, and white pepper

Parmesan cheese
2 tbls. butter
white pepper, salt

fresh sage leaves
more butter

  1. Split squash, remove seeds,  and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 350F for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Remove skin. Mash with a potato masher or run through the large disc of a food mill. Mix in butter while the squash is still warm (or melt your butter separately and add later).
  2. Make pasta dough. Err on the side of a drier dough. Roll the dough out in big sheets. Flour lightly.
  3. Add your desired amount of Parmesan to the mashed squash. (I used about 1/2 c.) Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cut your pasta sheets into rough squares. (Herein lies the shortcut! To make beautifully shaped tortellini, use a cookie cutter to create large rounds. The procedure for shaping is the same, though fussier.)
  5. To form the tortellini, place a small amount of filling (about 1 tsp.) in the center of the square. Fold over and seal the seam with a wet finger. Bend the tortellini with the folded side in the center and press ends together. (Place your thumbs on the fold and bend towards you.)
  6. Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil.
  7. Over medium low, melt about 4 tbls. of butter.  Add sage leaves and cook until crispy.
  8. Add tortellini and cook for three minutes each.
  9. Drain tortellini gently and toss with the sage butter sauce. Salt and pepper to taste and add more Paremesan if desired.

Baked Risotto with Winter Squash

This is an easy risotto to make on a busy evening – you bake it in the oven! Serve with a salad for instant comfort food.

1 lb. winter squash, peeled and cut into about 3/4 inch dice
2 cups Arborio rice
4 tbls. butter
3 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
about 6 leaves fresh sage, chopped finely
white pepper
1/2 c. Parmesan
1/4 c. almonds or hazelnuts squash risotto

  1. In a medium skillet, melt butter. Add rice and saute until it begins to turn a little brown.
  2. In another pan, heat stock with bay leaf.
  3. Add rice to a 2 quart casserole. Stir in squash, salt, pepper, and sage.
  4. Stir in warmed broth.
  5. Cover dish with lid or tightly fitting foil. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove lid. Sprinkle with Parmesan and nuts. Bake for 10 more minutes until nuts are toasted.