The first time I had gnocchi was when I spent the summer in Florence studying photography and art history. Like most of my fellow students, it was my first time out of the country without my family and I was in a constant state of culture shock for at least the first half of the summer. As different as everything was from my Hoosier upbringing, the one thing that always made me feel more acclimated was the food. Oh, how I loved the food! Not speaking a lick of Italian, I didn't know what I was ordering half of the time but once it arrived at my table the language barrier seemed to be all part of the past. Italy taught me how to slow down and really take it all in. The flavors, the mouthwatering aromas, the animated conversations around me all made each meal a memorable one.
Now about six years later, I have started trying my hand at making my own pasta. I picked up this recipe from our local Ft. Greene farmers market a couple of weeks ago and my-oh-my is it scrumptious. A good tip when making this is to make sure not to overwork the dough once you've added the flour so it stays nice and fluffy instead of gummy.
Happy cooking and crafting!
Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter
Gnocchi recipe is adapted from Tables of Tuscan Women by Anne Bianchi; Sage Brown Butter recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit, Oct. 2010
What you need:
- 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled seeded, and cubed
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup flour (or as much as ou need to form the dough)
- 1 stick butter
- 2 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
- Parmesan cheese
What to do:
Bring water to boil in a large pot and add squash. Cook for about 15 minutes (or until tender for food processor). Drain and blend in food processor. Let the squash cool. I stuck mine in the freezer for about 15 minutes to speed things up. In a large mixing bowl add blended squash, salt, eggs, and flour. Using your hands combine the ingredients and form a ball of dough. Flour a working surface and roll the dough out into long cylinder pieces that are about 1" in width. Cut cylinders into 1" pieces. Bring a salted pot of water to boil. Working in two groups, add gnocchi to the boiling water and cook for approximately 6 minutes (or until gnocchi is floating on the surface).
For the sauce, cook butter in a skillet over medium heat (stirring often) until it begins to brown (3 to 4 minutes). Add sage and cook for 1 minute. Once gnocchi is cooked, add gnocchi to the sauce. Stir to mix. Add grated Parmesan. I used about 1/4 cup, but this is more a personal preference here. Let ingredients cook for an additional minute, gently stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Photo: by Marcus Nilsson from www.bonappetit.com
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