Squash Gnocchi

by: Chef Mario

This is not a particularly difficult thing to make, actually quite simple, but it does take a little finesse. The key is not to over work the dough, and to make sure your squash is nice and dry. For best results, roast your squash the night before, scoop out the meat, and hang it overnight in cheese clothe or a fine strainer. Definitely worth a shot. Good luck.

Ingredients:

squash
1 egg yolk
AP flour
nutmeg (a dash)
salt/pepper (a couple pinches should do)

Method:

  1. The day before, place your piece of squash, seasoned and rubbed with olive oil, flesh side down, on a roasting tray.
  2. Place a quarter inch of water in the bottom of the tray to keep your squash from burning, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and roast at 350 for about an hour or until very tender.Remove from oven and cool.
  3. When cool to the touch scoop out the flesh and hang in cheese cloth or a colander overnight to extract as much moisture as you can.
  4. Now, the next day, take your squash, and puree in a food processor. Mix should be smooth. Add your egg yolk, salt, grated nutmeg, and mix until incorporated.
  5. Set a pot of lightly salted water to boil.
  6. Here’s where the finesse and your chefs intuition will be tested: on a clean, dry surface (counter-top), place the squash mix that you have made.
  7. Lightly dust the mix with flour, slowly folding in with a bench (pastry) scraper. Continue until you have a dough that you can cut and holds it’s shape.
  8. Cut off a piece, roll into a half inch tube, cut off a gnocchi sized piece, and drop in the boiling water, and reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook for 3-4 minutes and test. If it falls apart, add more flour. If the outside is firm, but the inside is gooey, cut off another piece and increase the cooking time.
  9. When adjusting the flour, add incrementally, as too much flour will make your gnocchi tough.
  10. When you have your dough to desired consistency, roll out your gnocchi, place on a floured tray, and cook in batches, careful not to crowd the water. Let the water return to a boil between batches.
  11. Serve as they are, sauteed in brown butter, our chef it up. Pairs well with lobster, venison, and sage.

Cheers!

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