Sunday, March 3, 2013

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Crispy Prosciutto, Goat Cheese and Sage Brown Butter

This is definitely a weekend dish.  There are a lot of different steps that go into making the final product but trust me, it is worth it.  I love gnocchi and this butternut version is special.  The good thing is that this recipe makes about eight servings so you can freeze some for later.  

The skin on the squash is quite thick so I peel mine with a sharp knife.  Cut each end off to make a flat surface. Then cut the squash where the ball ends meets the neck and peel.  The ball end has seeds so scrape that out like you would a pumpkin.  

This is the raw squash cut and tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.  

To ensure they don't stick, I always use a silpat liner.  The silpat is probably one of the best tools I have in my kitchen.  

Throw all of the roasted squash in the food processor and blend.  

 This is what it should look like.

 This is the most important step of the entire process.  Put the squash puree in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes.  You will need to constantly stir it so it doesn't burn.  This cooks some of the moisture out of the squash so your gnocchi dough is not too wet.  

Peel two large russet potatoes, cut into large chucks, boil then put through a ricer.  

Mix squash puree, potatoes, parmesan cheese, egg, salt and fresh grated nutmeg by hand. Then slowly add flour until mixture forms a ball of dough.  DO NOT over mix or gnocchi will be tough.

This is what the dough looks like after everything is combined.  It will be sticky but you are going to use more flour when rolling it out.  

Put dough on floured surface and cut into eight sections.  

Separate the sections and one at a time, roll into a thin rope with your hands and chop bite size gnocchi.  

 Place gnocchi on a floured sheet pan.  At this point, you could pop the pan in the freezer and once frozen, throw into Ziploc bags for later!  

At any point in the day, you need to cook up some crispy prosciutto.  To do this, simply place prosciutto on a cookie sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes.  Set aside.  

In a large nonstick saute pan, heat butter until it browns... watch this at all times because there is a point where it can turn from brown to burnt very fast!  Put gnocchi into a pot of salted, boiling water.  When the gnocchi float to the top, they are finished.  Immediately scoop the floating gnocchi from the boiling water  and place in the pan with the brown butter. Top with chopped sage and grated parmesan.  

 Phew!  Now you are finished and can plate the gnocchi.  Top with crumbled goat cheese and crispy prosciutto and enjoy!  

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Crispy Prosciutto, Goat Cheese and Brown Butter Sage Sauce
(makes around 8 servings)
1 c. butternut squash puree (about one 1lb squash)
2 c. loosely packed riced potatoes (about 2-3 russet potatoes)
1 c. crated parmsan cheese
1 egg
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1 3.4 c. flour
1/4 lb thinly sliced prosciutto
4 T. butter
5-6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
crumbled goat cheese

Preheat over to 400 degrees

Peel and cube squash.  Roast in oven for 45 minutes.  Cool and puree in a food processor until smooth.  Over medium-high heat in a small saucepan, cook squash for 10-15 minutes to remove moisture.  Measure 1 cup and set aside to cool.  

Peel 2-3 russet potatoes and cut into large, even cubes.  Boil over high heat in salted water until soft.  Place potatoes through ricer and measure 2 loosely packed cups.  Set aside to cool.  

Line cookie sheet with prosciutto.  Cook at 400 degrees until crispy... About 8-10 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  

In large mixing bowl, combine squash, riced potatoes, parmesan cheese, egg, salt and nutmeg.  Gradually mix in four until a large ball of dough forms.  

Turn dough out onto a floured cooking surface.  Cut dough into eight equal portions.  Working with one portion at a time, use gentle pressure to roll dough into a long rope with your hands. Cut rope into small pieces to form gnocchi.  

In a large nonstick saute pan, melt butter until it turns to a brown, nutty color.  While melting the butter, place the gnocchi in a pot of salted, boiling water.  Once gnocchi float to the top, immediately remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to pan with butter.  Shake and toss gnocchi in pan so they don't stick.  In pan, add remaining parmesan cheese and fresh chopped sage.  

Plate gnocchi and top with crumbled goat cheese and crispy prosciutto bits... Enjoy!  

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