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Monday, November 7, 2011

Meatless Monday: Pan-fried squash gnocchi

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Oh hey, it's me, Shannon. I haven't posted in a month and trust me, it's been killing me as much as it's been killing you.

This baby has turned me, an healthy eater, into the pickiest eater of all time. Nothing has been really tasting good to me. Chocolate Halloween candy -- turned my nose up to it.  My dad takes me out to a fancy dinner in Portland -- I get a salad (while my dad had salmon and my husband had a steak). I have been craving the strangest things: Taco Bell, salad with bleu cheese (yes, I know, I'm NOT suppose to eat that), the yummy pretzels at Deschutes Brewery. Thank goodness, Soupcon always has something for me to eat.

When my dad visited last month, my husband made some comment about how our CSA was going to waste because I just wasn't up to cooking. Yes, I hate to admit that but at the time, my lettuce, beets and other stuff was basically worm food. My dad put a big dent into my lettuce and carrots because how the heck could his daughter WASTE such awesome organic veggies. Who have I become?

The good thing about some of my CSA veggies, the squash has a long shelf life. Then I started to struggle ... what do I do with two acorn squashes, two delicatas and a green pumpkin looking thingy? I roasted them all and scooped out the insides for puree.

Usually, as my co-workers would tell you, I overdose on making stuff with pumpkin and squash by Halloween. This year, that has not been the case. So I sifted through my pumpkin recipes in search of some inspiration for the pounds of puree I had and I found the perfect dish: Pan-fried squash gnocchi by Steamy Kitchen.

As you may remember, making gnocchi was one of my goals for the year so I dived into the recipe and boy, was it easy and amazing. In fact, I think I'm going to make another batch and freeze it for later.


Pan-fried squash gnocchi (she used pumpkin but I used acorn squash)
adapted from Steamy Kitchen

serves 4-6

1/2 cup skim milk ricotta
1/2 cup squash puree
1/2 cup freshly grated parmegiano reggiano
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon lemon zest (use a microplane grater) (plus extra reserved for garnishing)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
1 cup all purpose flour, sifted plus more for dusting (see sifting tip above)
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
3 sprigs fresh sage, plus more for garnish
shaved parmegiano reggiano for serving (use vegetable peeler)

Preheat oven to 300F

1. Combine ricotta, pumpkin parmagiano, yolk, zest and salt in large bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle half of the flour on the mixture, gently turn with spatula a few times to incorporate. Dump mixture on clean, lightly floured countertop or you can still do this in the bowl. Sprinkle remaining flour on top of the mixture. Gently knead with your fingertips, just bringing together the mixture until flour is incorporated through. This only should take a minute or two. Any longer and you will be over-kneading.

2. Dust a clean, dry surface with a generous sprinkling of flour. Divide dough into 4 parts. Take one part and roll into a long, 1″ diameter log. Cut gnocchi into 1″ pieces.

3. Heat a large frying pan or saute pan with just 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add a few gnocchi – enough to cover surface but not touch each other. Fry on medium heat for 1-2 minutes, turn and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove gnocchi, place on large baking sheet to put into oven to keep warm. Repeat with rest of gnocchi.

4. When all gnocchi is finished, discard butter/oil in pan and clean pan with paper towel. Heat pan on medium heat and when hot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add the fresh sage. Let the sage brown and sizzle (but not burn) for a couple of minutes until very fragrant. Remove the sage and discard if you want (or keep it in to eat — as many people in the comments below like to do!) To the pan, add the balsamic vinegar and whisk. Let simmer on low for 1 minute and pour over the gnocchi.

5. Serve with shaved parmegiano reggiano and a sage leaf for garnish.

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