Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sweet Potato and Squash Gnocchi

Little potato fluffs of love with a light blanket of sage, thyme, pecans, and browned butter.  That's what these little deliciousnesses are.  We made these last fall--when it was seasonally appropriate and not in the 70s with 18 hours of sun--and they were perfect.  All of the flavors combine to be both light and nutty, rustic and elegant.  Unfortunately, since I made these in the fall and am just now getting around to blogging them, I don't remember any of the subtle nuances, but I do remember how delicious they were.  We topped them with a fresh and nutty parmesan to really complement the flavors.

It is raining and chilly this morning.  Makes me want to build a fire, have some tea, and make some rustic gnocchi.  But then I remember that we only have three short months of warmth and there will be nine long ones to get cozy.

Until fall, then....








Sweet Potato & Squash Gnocchi:
I know that I referenced this recipe, but I also know that I heavily adapted it...however, since I made this in the fall and it is now June, I can't remember what I did.

Here's a rough guess...

  • 1 good sized butternut squash (or better yet, the peeled and cut package from Costco)
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into inch-sized cubes
  • olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup-ish of freshly grated parmesan (plus plenty more to sprinkle on top at the end)
  • 3ish cups (or more) of all-purpose flour (full disclosure: I have no idea how much flour I actually used)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of sage (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, chopped into smithereens 
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2ish cup of chopped pecans
  1. If using a whole butternut squash:  Preheat oven to 400°F.  Cut squash lengthwise in half, scoop out seeds, and discard.  Place squash halves, cut side down, on a baking sheet lined with non-stick tinfoil.  Roast until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes.  Let cool.  On another prepared baking sheet, cook the sweet potato at the same time (be careful, it may cook quicker.)
  2. If using pre-peeled and cut butternut squash:  Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line a baking sheet with nonstick tinfoil.  Mix the squash and sweet potato in a large mixing bowl.  Lightly coat with olive oil.  Spread the veggies on the prepared baking sheet (you may need two).  Roast until tender, about 30-40 minutes.  When tender, remove from the oven and cool slightly.
  3. When cooled some, add the squash and potatoes to a high-quality blender or food processor and puree until smooth.  
  4. Mix the puree, 1/2 cup parmesan, eggs, and salt in large bowl. 
  5. Gradually add flour, one cup at a time.  Knead gently into mixture in bowl until dough holds together and is almost smooth.  If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls. 
  6. Turn dough out onto a floured surface.  Knead gently but briefly just until smooth. 
  7. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.
  8. Line two large baking sheets with parchment.  Sprinkle parchment lightly with flour. 
  9. Working with one dough piece at a time, roll the dough out on a floured surface to about a half-inch-thick rope. 
  10. Cut rope crosswise into inch-long pieces.  
  11. Transfer gnocchi to baking sheets.  Once there, roll the back of a fork around each of the pieces to make ridges.  
  12. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill at least one hour. 
  13. While chilling, make your sauce.  Cook the butter in a large skillet on medium (watching closely and stirring regularly) until just golden.  Add the pecans and consistently stir.  Cook until you can smell the nuts--about 3 minutes.  (Again, be careful not to burn.)  Add the sage and thyme.  Keep on very, very low heat while finishing gnocchi.  
  14. Once the gnocchi is cool, work in batches to cook.  Brink a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  15. Cook gnocchi in water until tender, about 10 minutes.  Gnocchi will float when done.  The only way I know it is done is to do a taste test. 
  16. When finished, carefully drain with a colander.  
  17. Add all of the cooked gnocchi to the brown butter pecan sauce.  Turn up heat to ensure everything is hot and coated.  
  18. Serve in large pasta bowls.  Sprinkle with fresh parmesan.  
  19. Devour.

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