After picking up my last fall CSA share (don't be too sad, my winter share starts in two weeks!) I realized that I had to find some new things to do with squash (and potatoes and rutabagas...). I had six decent sized ones on my counter yesterday morning and was feeling pressured to start eating them. I'd originally been wanting to do a traditional Melfi (my Italian family name) Sunday dinner of meatballs and gravy, but it just felt wrong to go to the store for ingredients when I had a house full of food.
So I was extremely excited when I found this recipe for squash gnocchi from my Tuscan cooking school vacation. We made regular gnocchi when I was there, which were amazing, so I had faith that these would turn out well. Plus, I had the rest of the ingredients, it was super simple AND I got to use my new immersion blender again!
Paired with Brussel sprouts sauteed in butter, then tossed with toasted walnuts, it was a delicious dinner. The texture of the gnocchi was silky smooth and I loved that the combination of flavors was something entirely new.
Gnocchi di Zucca
2 lb pumpkin or butternut squash (mine was not butternut, it was long thin and striped yellow and green, though I do not know the variety!)
3 cloves garlic
1 large can crushed tomatoes (either with basil, or plain and then add a few basil leaves into it)
5 oz flour
3 oz parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350.
1. Peel the squash, remove the seeds and cut into 1 inch cubes. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large skilet and sautee the squash. Add salt and pepper.
2. Meanwhile, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add to the squash. Turn off the heat when everything is softened or is starting to brown.
3. Transfer the squash mixture to a large glass or ceramic bowl and use a hand blender to process (you could also do this in a food processor, though maybe let the mixture cool slightly first.)
4. Return the squash to the skillet, turn the heat on low, and stir in flour a little at a time until it is considerably thicker but still creamy.
5. Pour the tomatoes into a large shallow ovenproof dish. With 2 spoons, make walnut sized balls of squash and place in the sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake for 15 minutes. Top with more cheese to serve, if desired.