Photo by Caitlin Abrams
A plate of gnocchi
After the blur of family-gathering burnout, booze-and-sugar hangovers, and failed resolutions (that was a fun three days subsisting on vegan smoothies), it's time to eat like a normal person again. Try this savory squash gnocchi, complete with one of the most ethereal and soul-satisfying ingredients known to man: brown butter.
Gnocchi has a reputation for being fussy, and this recipe does require TLC and planning. (Heads up that the garlic needs to roast two hours—during which, by the way, your house will smell like heaven.)
That's why it's so perfect for cold winter days: You're not going anywhere anyway, right?
Shaping the gnocchi is essentially just like making dumplings, which isn't so hard once you get the hang of it. Stock up on acorn squash and potatoes, and practice this soon-to-be classic recipe on the next snow day. You’ll be a pro by February, we promise.
- Before skinning and ricing, you'll want to fork the potatoes and bake for about 40-60 minutes at 400°F.
- Ditto on the squash, however make sure to place it in a large baking pan, cut side up, with about 1/4 inch of water in the bottom of the pan (so the skins don't burn and the squash doesn't get dried out).
- If you don't have a ricer on hand, you can grate the cooked potatoes and acorn squash using the large holes of a box grater.
- You can roast the garlic and prepare the gnocchi ahead of time. Freeze the gnocchi on a sheet pan, then move to an airtight container to boil later.
Andrew Zimmern’s Acorn Squash Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage
Serves 4 – 6
- 1 lb. russet potatoes, baked, skinned and riced
- 2 lbs. acorn squash, halved, seeded, baked, skinned, and riced
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 c. ricotta cheese
- 1 bulb garlic
- 2 T. minced parsley
- 3 c. all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 10 sage leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 T. finely chopped fresh thyme
- Reggiano Parmesan, for serving
- Preheat an oven to 300 degrees. Place garlic bulb into a small ovenproof container and roast two hours. Remove and let rest at room temperature. Cut top off bulb and squeeze out roasted garlic puree and reserve.
- Add 3 T. roasted garlic puree, ricotta, parsley, egg, and egg yolk to a large work bowl. Add riced squash and potatoes. Add 2 c. flour and mix quickly by using two or three forks held in your hand. Let the fork tines pull dough into a pile of small clumps. Add flour a little at a time until dough holds together when pinched.
- Gather dough into a ball and let rest for several minutes, then roll out onto a floured work surface and cut into fifths. Roll each piece by hand into a long hot dog shape. Cut every 1/2-inch using a pastry bench knife/scraper. Freeze on a sheet pan and bag for later use, or cook right away in rapidly boiling salted water until dumplings float 60 seconds. Drain and serve.
- To plate: Melt 1 T. butter (for each serving of 12–14 gnocchi) in a large skillet, and when it turns light brown add some fresh thyme and sage. When butter turns nut brown, add cooked gnocchi, tossing gently. Season and serve with plenty of passed Reggiano Parmesan at the table.
+ Pairings from Surdyk's
We asked the experts at Surdyk’s for beverages to complement this gnocchi. Here’s what they recommend:
Pairing #1 (Wine): Elemental Cellars 2012 ‘Ferrar Vineyard’ Pinot Noir
This single vineyard Pinot Noir from Oregon’s famed Willamette Valley is loaded with cherry fruit, pie spice, and cola flavors. Gloriously silky in texture, this wine will highlight the warm tones in both the squash and the browned butter as well as shine a spotlight on the herby sage.
Pairing #2 (Beer): Monks Café Flemish Sour Ale
This mildly tart ale has a bit of sweet and a bit of sour in the finish. Great with a full-flavored dish like this!