Sunday, November 14, 2010

Butter ‘em up

A few weeks ago, I decided to make gnocchi (an Italian cross between pasta and dumplings). They’re traditionally made with potatoes, but my husband adores potatoes and I have trouble keeping them in plentiful stock. I had a butternut squash and figured, “why not?” The best recipes often emerge from making do with what’s available. Gluten-free Butternut Squash Gnocchi have a smooth texture, bright flavor, and a vibrancy that compliments any well-laid table.
This is the basic pasta recipe. They can be served all sorts of ways, so don’t be afraid to try out interesting combinations. Gorgonzola and sage. Roasted almond pesto. White beans and marinara. But my favorite is the simplest: sautéed in butter with nutmeg, parmesan, and fresh basil or garlic.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi
Butternut Squash Gnocchi
Makes about 4 cups

1 2-lb. butternut squash (about 2 cups mashed)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup potato flour
1 cup potato starch
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
sweet rice flour

Halve butternut squash, scoop out seeds, and place face-down in a baking pan in 1 inch of water. Cook in 375 degrees Fahrenheit oven about 45 minutes or until a fork easily penetrates the thickest part. Remove from oven and allow to cool about 15 minutes. Scoop out steamed squash, being careful not to take any skin with it, and mash or whip until smooth. Measure out 2 cups, draining out excess water.

In a standing mixer or bowl, beat egg into 2 cups mashed squash. Add salt and nutmeg, blending well. Add potato flour and potato starch, mixing and kneading until dough is uniform and smooth. It will be slightly sticky.

Dust a surface with sweet rice flour and flour your hands. Working with small amounts of dough at a time, roll into a snake about ½-inch thick. Cut snake at 1-inch intervals. Roll each gnocchi gently between your index finger and a fork so it marks one side and drops to the surface. Repeat until all dough is formed into gnocchi. At this stage, gnocchi can be frozen on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet and transferred to bags or containers to keep in the freezer long-term.

To cook fresh, drop gnocchi into boiling water and cook until they float to the surface. Skim the floating gnocchi off the top and sauté briefly in butter with nutmeg, parmesan, and fresh basil or garlic. Frozen gnocchi can be cooked directly from the freezer and will boil longer than fresh gnocchi.

Note: This recipe can be made vegan, substituting Ener-G Egg Replacer for the egg.

No comments:

Post a Comment