Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash Gnocchi (with coconut + sage sauce)Posted: October 25, 2011
I’ve never made gnocchi before. When my friend Amanda sent me this recipe, I was eager to try it out.
And of course, I had to take my own spin on it (and make a few healthier swaps). I might have to heat up the leftovers when I get home, just to photograph them again. I was in a big rush last night and got the worst photos ever, but it is what it is. At least it tasted good. 🙂
Gnocchi is not something that I would typically order at a restaurant (or pasta, period, for that matter) but when I see the words “butternut squash” in any recipe, I feel compelled to try it out. I would also like to try this recipe with pumpkin, acorn squash, kabocha squash, sweet potatoes…. you get the idea. I think the key to making this recipe successful is use a really flavorful squash to begin with. The butternut squash I used was just okay- not the best I’ve ever had- but the gnocchi was still good. It definitely has the potential to be a lot more flavorful given the right squash.
I served it with one of our standard dinner sides: Chard+ ‘Shrooms. I never get tired of Swiss Chard (or mushrooms!) and this is such an easy side dish to throw together.
Since this was only my first time making gnocchi, I was pretty basic in my preparation. I didn’t make little ridges in it to collect sauce (but will do that next time!) and didn’t put a lot of thought into the size/shape of each little piece of pasta. I think that I would make them a little smaller next time- bite size. These were more like two bites each.
A lot of the instructions for my adaptation are the same as the recipe I posted above, and there are great photos to go along with each step on the Tree Hugger site.
Here’s my version (I scaled down the ingredients a bit from the original version, since there were just two of us):
Butternut Squash Gnocchi (with coconut + sage sauce)
1 medium sized butternut squash
3/4 c oat flour
2/3 c wheat flour (plus more for dusting)
1/2 c nutritional yeast
1 small egg (you could probably use flax egg to make this vegan)
3/4 tsp nutmeg
+ pepper to taste
1.5 T coconut spread, like Earth Balance (you can also use butter)
2 tsp fresh sage, finely chopped
Pre-heat oven to 400. Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Fill a baking dish with a little bit of water and place the squash in the dish. Cover with foil and roast for 45 minutes- the squash should be soft and tender. Remove from oven and let it cool completely. (I actually roasted mine the night before, which saved a lot of time.) When squash is cooled, remove the flesh from the skin and place in a large bowl. Use a potato masher to mash up the squash (you could also put it in a food processor, but that would require a lot more clean-up!). Add the flour, nutritional yeast, egg, nutmeg, salt + pepper to the bowl and mix together with your hands. If the dough is still super-sticky, add a little more flour. When all ingredients are incorporated, form the dough into a log. Cut off small pieces of dough and shape into small “logs.” Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and gently place the pasta in the water. It will cook pretty quickly- once the gnocchi rises to the top of the water- it’s done. Drain the water and place the pasta in a bowl. Melt the coconut spread in the heated pot and add in the chopped sage leaves. Drizzle the sauce over the gnocchi and gently stir, so that each piece of the pasta gets sauced. 🙂
Chard + ‘Shrooms
1 bunch of swiss chard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T extra virgin olive oil
5 button mushrooms, chopped
2 T grated parmesean cheese
1/2 tsp red pepper flake
1/2 tsp ground sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
Cut the stems and lower rib area from the chard and chop into small pieces. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet and add garlic and chopped stems and stir to incorporate all ingredients. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until stems start to get a little bit soft. Cut the rest of the chard (leaves) so that they are about 2″ long and add to the pan, along with the mushrooms. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Continue to stir the mixture every minute or so, until the greens are wilted down (about 5 minutes total).
Hope you are all having a great Tuesday- I have a feeling that this is going to be a long week!
Have you ever made gnocchi (or your own pasta)?