I think that’s because they view my interest in fermentation with an assumption that I have time to make complicated recipes. When truthfully… fermentation is the laziest way to prepare food. There’s not even any cooking involved!
Admittedly, I have made beer, cheese and tempeh… but those were weekend projects that usually involved a few friends and a hefty interest in trying something new.
Still, I’m caught by other’s expectations that even had me gifted, not one, but two pasta makers in the same year! While I tried making pasta once, I quickly realized that I neither had the interest nor a convenient place to store a pasta maker in my tiny 8′ x 11′ kitchen.
Gnocchi is different.
Gnocchi is fun.
- It’s like playing with edible play-dough.
- Perfect for getting my kids to help with cooking.
- More affordable and flavourful than store-bought gnocchi.
Butternut Squash Gnocchi
I’m gluten-free… so I’ve written this as a gluten-free recipe. However, feel free to replace the chickpea flour and oat flour with your favourite wheat flour. The gnocchi will be a bit stiffer and more pasta-like. If you’re using wheat flour, just don’t over mix or knead the dough since you don’t want it to be really dense and chewy.
For an even EASIER dinner, use canned pumpkin instead of butternut squash. The gnocchi will be a deep orange colour with a deliciously pumpkiny flavour.
For the gnocchi
- A medium-sized butternut squash (enough for 2 cups of cooked squash)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of chickpea flour
- 1 1/2 cups of oat flour
- 1 tsp of salt
- Slice the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Then roast it in a 400 F oven, cut side down for 40-50 minutes. This can be done in advance. Or if you’re short on time, use canned pumpkin instead!
- When the squash is cool enough to handle, scrape out the flesh and puree the squash. You need 2 cups of cooked butternut squash for a batch of gnocchi.
- Mix the squash with egg, flour and salt. Leave the dough to cool and hydrate the flour for 30 minutes before rolling. (If making wheat gnocchi, then roll right away.)
- Roll the dough out into long tubes about 1/2-inch wide. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
- At this point, you can freeze the gnocchi, uncooked for a quick weeknight meal. (We usually make a double batch so there’s enough to freeze).
- To cook the gnocchi, drop the dumplings into a pot of boiling water. Only cook as many gnocchi as can fit in the pot without crowding. The gnocchi are finished when they float. Remove them from the boiling water and rinse with cool water. Then toss with olive oil so they don’t stick together while you cook the rest of the gnocchi.
Garlic and sage gnocchi (for four)
Butternut squash gnocchi are deliciously fancy all on their own. They don’t need to hide behind a complicated pasta sauce. Here’s how we serve our homemade pasta.
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1/2 cup of fresh chiffonade sage
- 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large salad
- Lightly saute the garlic in butter and olive oil. After about 1 minute, add the sage and the gnocchi, continue to cook until everything is nicely browning, about 5 minutes.
- Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and a salad.