I’ve attempted various gnocchi recipes before and so far the only ones I liked were the ricotta ones I posted here. But these butternut gnocchi were a great success. Try them with tomato sauce, the sun-dried tomato pesto I posted the other day, or even just parmesan, butter and black pepper!
Butternut Squash Gnocchi
675g (2 1/2 cups) butternut squash puree (I roasted my own butternut for this)
50g (1/2 cup) grated parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp salt
425 – 500g (3 1/2 – 4 cups) flour
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
First make sure your puree is really smooth, then mix in about 400g of the flour and all the other ingredients. Depending on how much moisture is in your puree, you may need the whole 500g of flour, but try not to add too much as this should be a very soft dough. Use plenty of flour on your work surface and divide the dough in half. Form into two long “sausage” rolls, about 2-3cm in diameter, and then cut them into bite-sized pieces. If you like, you can roll the back of a fork over them and fold them over, but this is optional.
Put them on a sheet of greaseproof paper on a tray, so they are not touching each other. If you make them ahead, they then go in the fridge or even freezer. (Once frozen they can then be packed in a freezer bag for future use.) If using immediately, cook in boiling water until they rise to the top of the pot, and then give them another couple of minutes before removing with a slotted spoon. They can be eaten like this with a sauce, but even better is if they are then browned in a frying pan in some hot olive oil/butter!
Here they are with my red pesto…. Yummy!
They have a lovely flavour and texture. And although it does take a little extra time to prepare them, they are so much better than the store-bought ones.
I searched for ages for a recipe for this pesto and was going to give up and try out my own quantities… but then a day later I opened a magazine, and there was exactly what I had been looking for! Sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil….
… and it tasted even better than I had imagined!
So here is the recipe, the quantities slightly adapted from the original.
75g (3 oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
100ml (2/5 cup) olive oil, including a little of the oil from your jar of tomatoes
25g (1 oz) grated parmesan cheese
25g (1 oz) pinenuts
1 clove of garlic
1/2 – 1 tsp dried thyme
(If you can find sun-dried tomatoes in a herby marinade like I used you can simply add herbs/seasoning to taste afterwards.)
Chop the sun-dried tomatoes roughly. Briefly dry roast the nuts in a frying pan – mind they don’t burn! Then pulse everything with a mixer to a rough puree.
Red Pesto with Butternut Gnocchi
I think it tastes even better a day or two later, as the flavours meld… you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week (the magazine actually said 2 to 3 weeks, but I think it will disappear before then!), but keep the surface covered with a little olive oil to seal in the flavours and preserve the colour.
We have had it on pasta, jacket potatoes, butternut gnocchi (recipe coming soon), crostini… there are endless possibilities!
I am assuming that this is a local rock(!) that wasn’t shipped in from some exotic location, in which case it is most likely Jura limestone. (Having said that, a lot of building materials from all over the place are shipped on the canal just below us in the valley!)
Jura limestone (Jura-Marmor) is the stone found all around this region and quarried locally for building material. In fact almost all the houses around here will have window sills made of this stone, and possibly floor tiles too. It is sanded down and polished to give it a smooth and shiny finish. It also often contains fossils.
Near my hometown in the UK sandstone is the local stone, used in buildings and stone walls.
Do you have stone quarried locally? Is it polished up or used in its natural form?
I am most definitely NOT artistic! Ask me to draw a tree and I will opt for the lollipop version. Ask me to draw a cat and it will be unrecognizable, probably resembling a mouse or teddy bear more than anything feline!
But I do believe a camera and image editor allow almost anyone to be “arty”…
Winter still hasn’t really arrived, although it has been cold and frosty again. And wet. Grey. Triste.
On a more positive note:
On the sheltered side of the garden beneath those birch trees, where more sunlight falls in winter, one of my ground cover plants has been amazing me for months; Veronica umbrosa/peduncularis ‘Georgian Blue’ actually flowers in May or June and then stops flowering for me until about October, when it bounces back with a burst of indigo petals. But this winter it has just gone on and on.
It is always evergreen, forming a lovely thick and glossy carpet with its dark green foliage, but the flowers are a bonus at the moment!
Do you grow this type of Veronica?
The other blue I noticed recently was the sky. On one of the sunny days we had last week, while looking up at the skeletons of the silver birch trees the fresh green of this fir tree caught my eye against the wintry blue and whispy white.