Saturday, April 28, 2012

Winter Squash Gnocchi With Brown Butter And Sage

Much like the souffle, gnocchi has a reputation for being easy to mess up.  This was my first gnocchi and I was a little nervous.  The dish does take a while, mostly because there is an hour of baking before you even begin to make the dough.  Also annoying,  I discovered as I was making it, it was a big sticky mess, and I was kind of hoping it would be the colossal failure I was worried it could be because it was so laborious and messy.  No such luck.  It was unbelievable!!!  The light fluffy pillows of pasta in a nutty, herby sauce.  They didn't look like much but they were yummy!  Another thing I liked about this recipe is that the recipe made enough to freeze half of the gnocchi for a future use.  After I ate some, I realized I could have made the entire recipe and we would probably would have eaten it all.  We may have felt ill after but it just might have been worth it.  If you make the entire recipe and eat it for dinner the recipe cost $7.67.  Add a salad and you have a very filling dinner for about $10.  We only ate half so that brings the cost down to $3.84 plus salad.  If you grow your own herbs, you can shave a bit off that cost.  Oh I forgot the parm; lets call it $8.00/$4.00.  I consider that part of a stocked pantry, but if you don't...  So I'm happy even thought I had a pretty big mess and a long cook time because I have as much as I had tonight for a future use.

Winter Squash Gnocchi With Brown Butter And Sage

1    head of garlic,top third cut off
Extra-virgin olive oil,for rubbing
1 lb baking potatoes
1    Two pound butternut squash—peeled,seeded and cut into 2-inch
2    large egg yolks,at room temperature
1/4 c  fresh ricotta cheese
2 T  minced flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt
1 1/4 c  all-purpose flour,plus more for dusting
1    unsalted butter
10    sage leaves,thinly sliced
1 T  fresh thyme,finely chopped
Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings,for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 375. Place racks in the lower and middle
thirds of the oven. Drizzle the garlic with olive oil, wrap it tightly
in foil and roast on the bottom rack of the oven for 50 minutes.
Lightly rub the potatoes with olive oil, prick them all over with a
fork and bake on the lower rack for 45 minutes, until fork-tender. Line
a large baking sheet with foil. Add the squash and rub with olive oil.
Bake on the upper rack for about 30 minutes, stirring once, until soft.
2. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins into a small
bowl and mash to a paste. Peel the hot potatoes and pass them through a
ricer into a large bowl. Add the hot squash to the ricer and pass it
into the bowl with the potatoes. Let cool slightly. Add the egg yolks,
ricotta, parsley, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of the mashed
roasted garlic (reserve any extra for another use). Stir until combined.
Sprinkle on the 1 1/4 cups of flour and gently stir it in. Scrape the
dough onto a floured surface and knead gently until smooth but still
slightly sticky.
3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. Cut the
gnocchi dough into 5 pieces and roll each piece into a 3/4-inch-thick
rope. Cut the ropes into 1/2-inch pieces and transfer the gnocchi to
the baking sheet.
4. Lightly oil another baking sheet. In a large, deep skillet of
simmering salted water, cook half of the gnocchi until they rise to the
surface, then simmer them for 1 to 2 minutes longer, until cooked
through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the baking
sheet.    Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
5. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat and
cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the sage and thyme and
cook for 20 seconds. Add the gnocchi and cook for 1 minute, tossing
gently. Season with salt and serve, passing the cheese shavings at the
table.
Make Ahead The gnocchi can be prepared through Step 3 and frozen on the
baking sheet, then transferred to a resealable plastic bag and frozen
for up to 1 month. Boil without defrosting

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