A handmade gnocchi is like a hug from your italian grandmother (which I don’t have) but I would imagine her being round and soft and sweet, just like these pillows of heaven. I was given some squash from a friend, not sure the type but the flesh was deep and dark and orange, and I decided to roast it up and mash it up with equal parts of ricotta cheese, then once turned into dough cut into tiny mouthfuls and simmered in brown butter with a garlic and sage infusion finished with a glug of white wine and sprinkle of a robust cheese. ‘Um heaven indeed.
These start off mostly healthy, and certainly you could boil them and toss them with a drizzle of your favorite pasta sauce, but if you really want to enjoy these in all their gnocchi goodness then go for the brown butter fry!
The dough is simple:
equal parts (2-3 cups) of mashed squash roasted (not boiled) and ricotta cheese
add 2 eggs
aprox. 3 heaping Tbsp spelt flour (don’t get carried away and add too much flour)
season with a handful of fresh herbs of your choice (I used chili flakes, rosemary and sage)
and a sprinkle of fine sea salt
toss into a bag and refrigerate for at least and hour (but overnight is good too)
* HALF of this dough recipe will make dinner for 4, the balance can be frozen, or used up within a couple days.
The to form the gnocchi’s you can use any number of techniques, there is many a web page dedicated to how to form the perfect gnocchi. I opted to roll out the dough from little balls into long snakes (on a well floured surface) then cut the snake into little 1cm thick “ovals” which you can then roll down the back of a fork or off a butter paddle… or if you rushing of to a knitting night with the gals, just chop and plop them into a pan filled with bubbling brown butter.
Pan fry each side for about 3 minutes until golden brown then toss browned gnocchi in a large bowl. Once all of them are cooked and waiting patiently in the bowl you can add 1 large minced garlic glove into a pan and brown, add a pad of butter and a splash of white wine (about 1/2 cup) simmer quickly and add a handful of fresh herbs (sage, rosemary and parsley were my herbs at hand) pour the “sauce” over the gnocchi along with a handful of freshly grated grana or parmesan and gently toss until well coated. I threw a handful of fresh ribbons of kale in with the garlic too which was a nice addition.
Anyway your coat or cook these they are hug-i-lishious fabulous.