Nothing quite captures the flavors of butternut squash like these pillowy dumplings. Dressed in a poppy seed and butter sauce, this dish is bound to be a fall-time favorite. Enjoy it with good friends and a nicely chilled bottle of Chardonnay.
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup of flour, more as needed
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1. Remove the end of the squash with the stem and then divide the whole thing in two by cutting it near the bulbous base. Then halve both of those sections lengthwise.
2. Scoop out the seeds from the base and cut the squash into equal parts.
3. Place the pieces in a baking dish with a bit of water, about 1/8 inch. Cover the dish with tinfoil and roast at 425 degrees for about an hour, or until the flesh is tender.
4. Remove the baking dish from the stove and let the squash cool. Once cooled, scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl and mash well.
5. Add 1/2 cup of the flour, nutmeg, cheese, salt and the egg. If your squash has not cooled properly, the egg will begin to cook. You don't want that to happen.
6. Work the mixture with your hands, adding a bit more flour if needed. The dough will be sticky and a royal pain to work with. But the end result is worth it!
7. Let's test the mixture. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and drop in a bite-sized piece of the dough. The idea here is to proof your gnocchi, to make sure it holds instead of dissolving in the water. If it dissolves, work more flour into the mixture until that balance is achieved.
8. Lightly coat your work surface with flour and roll out a tube of the mixture. This part can be a bit frustrating as the dough sticks to everything. But after you do it a few times, you will have the hang of it or you will hate me for attempting this recipe in the first place.
9. Using a knife, cut the tubes of dough into bite-sized pieces.
10. Roll the pieces into balls and place them on floured parchment paper.
11. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, reduce it to a low simmer and carefully add the gnocchi. They are delicate, so do not treat them like store bought pasta.
12. When they are completely cooked, the gnocchi will begin to float to the top of the water. Carefully transfer them to a colander using a slotted spoon. Lightly rinse them with warm water.
Gnocchi is best served with a lightweight sauce. I simply warmed a stick of butter with some poppy seeds and a bit of salt. Sage is another good addition for your butter sauce.
Visit the Green Wine Guide for more vegetarian recipes and wine pairings.