Butternut Squash Gnocchi

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Here’s another recipe that is sure to ruin my diet, but oh so delicious. I wanted to make a vegetarian dish for Sunday dinner with company coming over. This meal was perfect, using the delicious warm flavours of autumn, with butternut squash and nutmeg. The recipe was really labour intensive, and with a clingy baby, even harder. I started making the dumplings in the evening, then continued through the morning and into the evening. Results were awesome, though, and totally worth the effort.

One thing I’ve found with this blog is that my culinary skills are definitely improving. Last time I tried to make gnocchi they were hard, flour-y messes. This time around, they were melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Frying them in butter didn’t hurt either, though.

I would recommend this to anyone trying to make an impression, and if you have a few hours to work on them.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter
1 1-pound butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 12-to 14-ounce russet potato, peeled, quartered
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups (or more) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Additional grated Parmesan cheese

Special equipment: Potato ricer

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut squash lengthwise in half; discard seeds. Place squash halves, cut side up, on baking sheet and brush with oil. Roast until squash is very tender when pierced with skewer and browned in spots, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool slightly. Scoop flesh from squash into processor; puree until smooth. Transfer to medium saucepan; stir constantly over medium heat until juices evaporate and puree thickens, about 5 minutes. Cool. Measure 1 cup (packed) squash puree (reserve remaining squash for another use).

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Meanwhile, cook potato in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. While potato is warm, press through potato ricer into medium bowl; cool completely. Measure 2 cups (loosely packed) riced potato (reserve remaining potato for another use).
Mix squash, potato, 1/2 cup Parmesan, egg, nutmeg, and salt in large bowl. Gradually add 1 3/4 cups flour, kneading gently into mixture in bowl until dough holds together and is almost smooth. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls. Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead gently but briefly just until smooth. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.
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Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Sprinkle parchment lightly with flour. 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.

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Working with 1 piece at a time, roll gnocchi along back of fork tines dipped in flour, making ridges on 1 side. Transfer gnocchi to baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Keep chilled.

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Working in 2 batches, cook gnocchi in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, 15 to 17 minutes (gnocchi will float to surface but may come to surface before being fully cooked). Using slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to same parchment-lined baking sheets. Cool. DO AHEAD:Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover loosely and chill.
Cook butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat just until golden, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes. Add sage; 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.

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Word of the day:

Epicene: belonging to, or partaking of the characteristics of, both sexes: Fashions in clothing are becoming increasingly epicene; flaccid; feeble; weak: an epicene style of writing

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