This is one of our winter favorites as a main course or as a side dish to accompany chicken, pork or even fish. We grew Delicata squash this year and had a bumper crop, but any winter squash will work!
Winter Squash Gnocci
1 Butternut, Acorn or Delicata squash (about 1-1/2pounds)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Sage Butter Sauce
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
12 fresh sage leaves
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
Salt, to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 F.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise, through the stem end, and place on a greased cookie sheet. Roast until tender, about 35 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, scoop out and discard the seeds. Remove squash flesh (pulp) and place in a sieve. Set the sieve over a bowl to catch liquid and allow squash to drain in a refrigerator overnight. NOTE: Some squash does not need this step-not all are watery after baking.
The next day, puree the squash in a food processor. Transfer puree to a bowl and add the eggs and salt, stirring to combine. Add the flour and blend thoroughly. The dough should feel sticky and soft.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Using a teaspoon, form walnut-sized pieces of dough and push them off the spoon and into the water with your fingers. Alternately, use a pastry bag and a small knife.NOTE: don't worry about being precise about the shape of the gnocci. I just take a tablespoon and scoop up some squash and slide it off into the boiling water.
Cook the gnocchi in small batches, 10 to 15 pieces. Once the gnocchi have risen to the surface, poach for exactly 2 minutes. Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
Sage Butter Sauce Prep
Place butter in a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the foam subsides and the butter begins to lightly brown. Add the sage leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Add the gnocchi to the butter, brown each side slightly turning over to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan ( and freshly chopped Italian parsley if available) and serve immediately.
Partner this with a salad and bread and you have a wonderful meal fit for Royalty!