Oooh! Squash for dinner!(week one). Making Butternut Squash Gnocchi

My CSA squashes are lining up on the counter. Now I’ve hidden them in the cupboards. Halloween came and I carved a giant pumpkin and stared at the speckled hound pumpkin wondering if perhaps I should carve him too. A sugar pumpkin, the Kabocha and the hubbard were close to the same fate. What am I going to do with all this squash?
When we first started getting gourds in the CSA box I wrote 10 facts about squash you always wanted to know (and recipes). If I had been diligent I would have roasted each squash as we got them and made puree so they would be ready for a recipe. I suspect that had I done so I would have several types of mystery squash puree in the freezer to be forgotten about. I figured if I kept them whole I would be forced to cook with them before they rot.
The trouble with squash is that I don’t necessarily find it that appetizing. I don’t get excited about “Oooh! Squash for dinner!”.
For inspiration I went searching for new squash recipes.
Epicurious posted a recipe collection with more 33 ideas for cooking squash!.

A new project was born: Squash once a week cooking my way through the CSA pumpkins and squashes: Hubbard.Kabocha.Butternut.Sugar Pumpkin.Speckled Hound.
Purpose: Not to waste food. And to come up with some tasty ways to add the very cheap and very nutritious squash to my diet this winter and finally go “Oooh! Squash for dinner!”

Luckily, squashes are supposed to last more than a few weeks. or so I thought. The hubbard bit the dust. I opened up the poor guy and he had fuzzy green mold all over his seeds.
One down.

This week I cooked with my first butternut squash. I chose “Oooh! Squash for dinner!” week one to be Squash Italian Style: I bring you: Butternut Squash Gnocchi from one of my favorite chefs/cookbook authors: Biba Caggiano.

The results: So far the best squash gnocchi I’ve made. Ok it’s only my second time but anytime you can make a squash recipe and want to make it again I’d say it’s a winner.

A few notes on the recipe:

  • It is imperative to drain the squash after you roast it or you will have too much water in the dough and have to add way too much flour. Mario Batali suggests draining the squash overnight in the fridge. Biba suggests putting all the squash in a kitchen towel and squeezing out the water. I tried Biba’s method a little concerned I was going to end up with a mass of squash all over a towel- but it squeezed out enough water and rolled off the towel nicely into the bowl. Not to messy at all!
  • Your dough is ready when…: You want your dough to be somewhat sticky. grab a ball of it in your palm, close your fingers over the ball and open them again. The ball will stick to your fingers and your palms. It is ready when it only sticks to your fingers, and not your palms.
  • When you’re shaping the dough into ropes, flour is your friend.
  • I added more herbs to the dough: thyme & marjoram. and I flavoured the butter sauce with a garlic clove.
  • Please note you need time for this recipe!
    6pm: Roast squash for an hour. Let cool. Squeeze out water.
    8pm: Made dough, and let it rest for 3hrs. You can let the dough rest overnight if you prefer.
    11pm: Shaping: the fun part! I rolled the ropes and my husband used the gnocchi paddle to shape them.
    1145pm: They are ready to cook now, or you can keep them in the fridge overnight and cook them the next day.
    12am: Cooking! We boiled the gnocchi in batches and let the cooked ones baste in the butter sage sauce until we finished both batches. at 12:31 AM.This recipe is enough to feed 4 generously. It can stretch to 6 as an appetizer or tasting menu portion. I will admit, we ate it all. and it was delicious.

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    Posted to Fresh Food Wednesday Link-up!

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7 Responses to “Oooh! Squash for dinner!(week one). Making Butternut Squash Gnocchi”

  1. i’ve been meaning to make squash gnocchi for ages. for some reason i’m intimidated by it. well done, sister. i’m jealous.

    p.s. good on you pushing your limits with your CSA! proud of you.

    p.p.s. this recipe would fit right in at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up – we go live in a few hours (when Wednesday hits – weird, right?)… i’d love it if you wanted to share this (or any other seasonal or real food posts). hope to see you there. xo, kristy

    • Oooh! then I highly recommend Biba’s squash gnocchi recipe. She uses a cup of ricotta in the dough which I think gives a delicious pillowy whipped cream texture to the gnocchi instead of dense squash and (too much) flour gnocchi pucks!

      p.s. See you on wednesday!

  2. Wow these look amazingly perfect. I think I might try this.. gnocchi is my favourite 🙂

  3. This sounds amazing and something our two guys would eat…they eat lots of veg, but winter squash is a newer one around our house and it takes awhile to get them used to something different. I have some beautiful butternut we grew as well as some delicata that would be great for this recipe. Will be pinning! Thanks for recipe and blessings!

  4. thank you for sharing your post with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up! I’ve bookmarked for future use.

    ps. Flour IS your friend. the counter is a bitch.

    I hope to see you again this week with more seasonal and fresh/real food posts 🙂 xo, kristy

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