I also find that I occasionally run out of dinner inspiration. The same recipes I usually make on a rotating basis start to feel boring and blah. That's when I know its time to hit up foodgawker or tastespotting for some ideas. I also start tolling the archives of some of my favorite sites like Smitten Kitchen (Did you see today's post? Double coconut muffins? Yes, please).
Butternut Squash Gnocchi
Recipe adapted by me several years ago from a variety of sources
There are dozens of butternut squash gnocchi recipes floating around out there. Some use ricotta cheese, others don't. Some call for eggs and some don't. The most basic recipes are simply pureed butternut squash and flour. That's it. My recipe falls somewhere in the middle. This is one of those "little bit of this, little bit of that" recipes which work so well for me. If you're an engineer or scientist type (or just really, really Type A) this might not work for you. But who am I to say?
1 small or 1/2 large butternut squash
whole wheat or all-purpose flour
Method: Slice butternut squash in half length-wise and remove seeds and pulp from center section. Place squash halves cut size down on baking dish or microwave-safe dish and add 1/2 inch water to pan. Cook squash in oven or microwave until flesh is soft and cooked-through. Cool.
|Squash and egg mixture before adding flour.|
|Slowly adding flour to form a dough.|
|Dough is almost ready. Note it looks less tacky than in the above picture.|
|Gnocchi dough ready to be cut into sections.|
Roll your section of dough out into a long "snake" like shape much like making a pretzel. If your dough is too sticky to roll properly, add a little extra flour to your board and roll the dough to incorporate the flour until dough is more manageable. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough log into pieces a half inch in size or so.
|Close up of gnocchi pieces before they've been shaped by the fork.|
|Don't worry if all your gnocchi don't look alike. They'll still taste good.|
Remove another section of dough from your mixing bowel and begin rolling and shaping more gnocchi. Each time you shape the dough you'll get a little bit better and making even gnocchi but as long as they're all roughly the same size they'll cook just fine.
|Gnocchi drying on a pizza pan.|
And that's it! It sounds more complicated than it actually is. Give them a try. I love these little guys. If you're making these ahead and then serving the pasta later, you'll want to reheat them very briefly in simmering water before adding to your sauce unless your sauce is hot enough to warm them through.
I served my gnocchi with a pesto cream sauce this last time. I've also gone the more traditional route with a browned butter and sage sauce which is also very yummy. M isn't a huge squash fan so he only thought these were okay. I, on the other hand, ate two helpings.
|Close up of the finished product.|