Herfst. Automne. Autunno. Outono. Otoño. Fall. Autumn.
In other words, my favourite season of them all. Maybe it’s the scarves, or because I can wear my Ugg boots. Maybe it’s the changing of the leaves or the smell of woodsmoke in the air. Of the many reasons for loving Autumn, I know for sure that food is one of the biggest. Once summer begins to draw to a close, the lighter fare turns to richer, more complex kinds of food. Apples and pears are ripening, root and cruciferous vegetables are all over the farmer’s markets, pumpkins and other squash are beginning to show up. With the weather turning cooler, there’s more time to spend inside. Time you’ll need to make this recipe. Don’t be shy, it’s completely worth it. Making your own gnocchi dough is very fulfilling. Pasta without the machine!
Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through the whole thing.
Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Vegetables
2 Small Butternut squash (approximatle 2 lbs. all together)
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped or torn
salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 lb. brown crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 medium zucchini, sliced and quartered
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1. Prepare squash. Peel, slice in half vertically, scoop out the seeds and place cut side down on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes in a 375°F oven.
2. Place 1 piece at a time into food processor. Pulse until a thick purée forms. Continue until all pieces are puréed.
3. In a large bowl, add squash, egg, salt & pepper. Mix together until completely incorporated.
4. 1/2 a cup at a time, add the flour. Stir until completely mixed before adding more. You may or may not need to use all 4 cups. The dough should be airy and light, not dense and hard. The perfect consistency will be achieved just after the dough has become less sticky. IE. It is still slightly sticky but the dough doesn’t stick to your hands too much.
5. When dough is ready, take out handfuls and roll out into long strips.
6. Cut 1/2 inch pieces off and place against the tines of a fork. This is not a necessary step, but it adds dimension to your gnocchi, and a place for sauce to settle.
7. When all your gnocchi is cut and ready to go, have a pot of boiling, salted water at the ready. Put handfuls at a time into the pot and wait for them to come to the surface. When they all begin to float, remove from pot with a slotted spoon and place in a colander.
8. While you are doing this, get the sauce ready. In a large saucepan, add garlic, mushrooms, zucchini, onion and butter. Sauté until all vegetables are softened. Add in gnocchi and tomatoes, sauté for 2 minutes.
9. At the very end, stir in the basil and place in bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve. A hearty dish to welcome my favourite season.