Monday, January 28, 2013


London thought this was just the cute name of the cute cat on Curious George until I told her it was actually a little pasta dumpling that we were going to make for dinner.  She found that even cuter.  I agree that the word Gnocchi is adorable, especially when pronounced in an Italian accent.  We have been making a lot of bread lately so the kids, especially Lucca, love getting on the counter with me as soon as they see the mixer come out of the pantry.  This was no exception.  I got this recipe from a cookbook that I bought for someone as a wedding gift.  It was a cookbook about cooking with and for your family.  It was a good idea for them and I hope they get use out of it.  I wrote down a few of the recipes from the book and have been making them and most have turned out really yummy.  This gnocchi was no exception.  I did have to add way more flour than the recipe called for but I think it is because my squash was bigger and I had more puree.  And I added one clove of minced garlic to the brown butter sage sauce.  I might add before you decide last minute to make this for dinner, it takes planning.  You need to refrigerate the dough for a couple hours before making the gnocchi.  I didn't do this so we ended up with Pizza for dinner and had the gnocchi the next night.  It turned out good and I froze half the uncooked gnocchi for later.  Both kids liked it, especially Lucca who ate a lot of it.  Here is the recipe:

From The Family Kitchen

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

1 butternut squash , about 2 pounds
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
3/4 cup ricotta
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 1/3 - 1 2/3 cups flour (I used closer to 3 cups!)


1 stick or 1/2 cup butter, unsalted is always preferable
1 small bunch of sage leaves chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
(I added 1 clove garlic minced)

Basically, roast the squash any way you want in the oven at 350 degrees.  (You can slice in half and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper or cube it and drizzle and add salt and pepper.  Either way will get the job done.)  When done roasting puree the squash in your food processor and then let cool for a bit.

In your mixer mix the ricotta, egg and parmesan.  Add the squash and then slowly add the flour and 2 teaspoons of salt.  Once the dough has been formed into a soft ball take it out and place in a bowl to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Take the dough and start pulling off bits and forming the dough into 1/2 inch logs, think play doh and invite the kids to help.   Flour your surface area so the dough doesn't stick.  Cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces.  (Kids have fun doing this with a butter knife.)  Place the gnocchi onto a plate, not touching for they tend to stick to one another and then you have to start over again, as I learned the first time.

Have a pot of boiling water ready to go.  In batches add the gnocchi into the pot.  They will sink, once they all are floating let cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Scoop out with a slotted spoon and place on a plate.

Once all the gnocchi have finished cooking make the sauce.  Melt the stick of butter in a heavy saucer.  Let it sit until the edges are browned.  Add the sage and stir it up a bit while the butter browns.  (It looks as though tiny pieces are burning and there is all of sudden grit in your pan.  This is normal.  These pieces of 'grit' are the milk fat solids browning and creating a really yummy nutty tasting sauce.)  At the last minute add the garlic and sautee a few more minutes.  Add the gnocchi and gently stir the sauce around the gnocchi.  Add the parmesan cheese and stir again.  Serve with some more parmesan cheese if desired.  Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this.  I did.  They are dumpling like in consistency so a nice salad goes well.  This was on our menu of vegetarian fare, which we have been sticking with and enjoying!


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