Sunday, November 13, 2016

Butternut squash gnocchi with roast garlic, burnt butter and crispy sage

A photo posted by Lara Beans (@beanslala) on

This was a really lovely easy recipe to make!  I’ve adapted it from Daniel Ottolenghi’srecipe for gnocchi in today’s guardian, using what I had at home to make the sauce plus my love of sage with butternut is no secret! 

I have a lot of butternut at the moment. And i mean a lot! I‘ve been cooking it in roasts and stews and salads, and still they keep on piling up.  I get at least 1 with every veggie delivery! I was looking for something new to make, and I’ve been thinking about gnocchi so when the recipe came up today, I thought, why not?

This recipe can be easily multiplied.  You can also make the gnocchi in batches ahead of time – simply freeze on the tray after shaping into individual gnocchi, then place in freezer bags in whatever size portion you want).  I’m definitely going to make a couple of night’s worth of portions, this recipe is easy enough as it is, but to have the veggies roasted and the gnocchi prepared beforehand means dinner could be on the table on a weeknight in the time it takes to make the burnt butter sauce! J  These little pillows of happiness are softer and definitely tastier than ready-made ones you get at the shops – and as an added bonus, you feel like a total “nonna” making these and pushing each one down on a fork!  I look forward to making these with my nieces, they will love it!

Butternut squash gnocchi with roast garlic, burnt butter and crispy sage

Serves 2 for dinner as a main meal

For the gnocchi:
1 baking potato (about 350g)
½ small butternut squash, unpeeled, seeds removed (about 250g)
olive oil, salt and black pepper
85g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

For the Sauce:
1 small head garlic
olive oil, salt and black pepper
30g unsalted butter
1½ tbsp small sage leaves, freshly picked
Pecorino, grated, to serve

To make the gnocchi:
Prick, then bake the potato at 200C directly on the rack for about 45 min-1hour, until the flesh is soft, then leave to cool a little, cut in half lengthways and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh into a bowl.  Mash the potato with a fork (you’ll have around 250grams potato). 

Place the pumpkin cut side up onto a baking dish and brush with olive oil, and season with salt and plenty of pepper.  Lightly smash the top of the head of garlic on the cutting board, then place on the tray and drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Roast them for around 30-45 min (prepare and place them into the oven about 10-15 minutes after you’ve started baking the potato, and it will be ready about 5 minutes before. The pumpkin will be lightly caramelised on top and soft and cooked through, the garlic should be soft inside the skins.   Removing it just before the potato will give it some more time to cool enough to handle.

Remove from the oven.  Let the pumpkin cool enough to handle and with a spoon scoop out the soft flesh and the soft caramelised bits.  Discard the skin.  Mash the butternut with a fork and add to the potato.

Mix in the flour and a good pinch of salt until it comes together.  Tip onto a floured top and roll into a fat sausage.  Cut in half and roll each one into a long sausage around 3 cm wide.  Cut into 1.5cm wide slices. Gently press one side of each piece into a floured fork to make the typical gnocchi indentations, and place onto a floured tray. 

Boil a large saucepan of water, add plenty of salt, and cook the gnocchi in 2 batches for about 2 minutes, until they float to the surface.  As soon as they float up, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them onto an oven tray. Cook  the rest of the gnocchi and allow to cool while you’re making the sauce. 

To make the sauce: 
Gently pop the roasted and cooled garlic out of skins, they should come out easily and be creamy white with brown edges.  Place in a small bowl/mortar and mash with a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. 

Heat the butter in a large frying pan, swirling as it melts and foams, and add all the sage leaves.  Cook for a minute and remove the sage leaves with a slotted spoon onto some kitchen paper to drain and crisp up. 

Keep on cooking the butter until it changes colour and smells nutty.  Stir in the mashed garlic and mix well until fragrant, the smell of caramelised garlic is so appetising!  Add the gnocchi and crumble a few of the crispy sage leaves back in, and toss/stir gently until the gnocchi are coated all over with the burnt butter.  Season with pepper, sprinkle with some grated pecorino and toss lightly again. 

A photo posted by Lara Beans (@beanslala) on
Serve immediately with more grated cheese and the remaining sage leaves.  

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