My grandmother used to make gnocchi when I was little. I vaguely remember a ring of flour with eggs in the middle. Grannie’s hands would start flying and the next thing you knew, gnocchi would start peeling off her thumbs. I don’t recall there being riced potatoes involved but there must have been. I say this because when you think of gnocchi, potato gnocchi is probably what you’re envisioning. Making potato gnocchi involves ricing potatoes and getting just the right amount of flour. Just about every recipe on the web warns about how difficult it can be to get potato gnocchi right. The results can be anything from light, puffy little pillows of dough to tough, gummy potato leaden lumps. Just a wee bit intimidating, don’t you think?
Thanks to FineCooking.com, I’ve discovered a far easier way to make gnocchi which doesn’t even involve rolling of dough (or thumbs, for that matter). Just pipe the dough into a disposable pastry bag and squeeze little dumplings in a boiling pot of water. Easy, peasy!
- 2 cups cooked, mashed butternut squash
- 1 egg
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs. chopped sage
- 1/4 cup shredded smoked mozzarella
Use very well roasted squash for the best results. Mash squash in a bowl. Add egg, flour, nutmeg, and Parmesan cheese. Mix well
Cover and refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow mixture to firm up a bitSpoon mixture into a disposable pastry bag. Use a knife to slice off dough off in 1/2 inch dumplings into a boiling pot of water. Cook about 20 at a time. Allow gnocchi to cook until they float to the top (about two to three minutes). Carefully remove from the boiling water with a slotted spoon, small wire strainer or wire spider into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove the gnocchi from the ice water and lay out on a cookie shoot lined with a kitchen towel. Repeat the process until all the dough is cooked.
Brown Butter Sage Sauce
In a large skillet, melt butter of medium heat. Allow butter to brown but not burn. Add the sage leaves and gnocchi, tossing to coat. Cook until the gnocchi are heated through. Top with grated smoked mozzarella cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.