I have to admit, the first time I made Squash Gnocchi it was a bit of a failure. I didn’t stick to any recipe and simply went by my ‘feeling’. I ended up with Gnocchi which resembled mis-shaped dumplings that had lost their way. All the effort I had made in getting the fine groves into each of the pieces with my newly purchased gnocchi board were wasted because I failed to pay closer attention to the ratio of flour to pumpkin/ potato.
With this recipe the dough cannot be very sticky, that was actually the hardest part of this dish, because I felt like I was forever adding flour to the mixture: I was afraid I would lose the bright orange colour of the pumpkin by diluting it further with flour.
However when it came to rolling it out, I found that this time round the gnocchi pieces held their shape. I think it’s also because I laid them to rest for an hour before shaping and boiling. As it boiled, I found the bright zesty colour sprung back to life! It was a success. You should be left with a light fluffy dumpling. Should you want to re-heat them, just add a bit of water to the mixture and allow them to steam again. You can stir some freshly chopped Kale into the mix, as well.
Coquina Squash Gnocchi with Sage Butter
2 kg butternut or coquina squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium potato, peeled, quartered
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups (or more) all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
2 garlic – crushed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 spring onion, finely chopped
Handful of chopped Kale (optional)
Additional grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400°F (or gas mark 9). Cut the squash into pieces and drizzle with oil. Roast until squash is very tender when pierced with a fork and browned in spots, this should take about 1 1/2 hours. Allow it to cool then scoop out the flesh then put the squash into a food processor and puree until smooth. Then transfer the squash to a saucepan and stir constantly over a medium heat until it begins to thicken for about 5 minutes. Allow it to Cool.
Meanwhile, boil the potato in another saucepan of boiling salted water, mash and cool cool completely.
Mix the squash, potato, 1/2 cup Parmesan, egg, nutmeg, and salt in large bowl. Gradually add the flour, and add more if necessary, you should have a soft smooth dough that holds together . If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls.
Then divide the dough into 10 pieces. Working with 1 dough piece at a time, roll dough out on floured surface to about 1/2-inch-thick rope. Cut rope crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, flour the piece of dough and roll it down the back of fork (length ways) making ridges on 1 side. Or use a gnocchi board. The dough should appear to curl over as you do so.
Transfer gnocchi to baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover with cling film and chill at least 1 hour.
Cook gnocchi in large pot of boiling salted water until the gnocchi floats to the surface.
Cook butter in heavy large pan over medium heat just until golden, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes. Add sage, garlic and half vegetable stock cube; stir 1 minute. Add gnocchi; cook until heated through and coated with butter, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Serve with additional Parmesan.