Recipe: Squash gnocchi with sage butter
Roman gnocchi are biscuit-like rounds made from semolina that's simmered like polenta with milk. They're then patted out like dough, cut out and baked, with a scattering of fresh sage and a drizzle of butter. (Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)
Servings: 4 to 6
1 kabocha or buttercup squash, about 2 pounds
2 cups whole milk
1/2teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/2teaspoon freshly ground white pepper or to taste
7 tablespoons butter, divided
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped sage
3 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
1. Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Place the halves, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350-degree oven until very soft, 45 to 60 minutes. Cool, then scrape out the flesh and mash until smooth. Turn off the oven.
2. Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy saucepan. On low heat, slowly whisk in the semolina a little at a time until incorporated. Using a rubber or silicone spatula, continue stirring until smooth, 5 minutes. Blend in the squash and continue cooking and stirring for 15 minutes. Add the allspice, cayenne, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons cheese, mixing well. Cool slightly; stir in the egg yolks.
4. Use 1 tablespoon butter to grease a 10- by 15-inch rimmed baking sheet. Scrape the batter onto the pan and smooth it out with a wet spatula to a thickness of about one-half inch. Refrigerate until firm, 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
5. Use one-half tablespoon butter to grease an oval (8- by 10-inch) baking dish. Melt the remaining butter with the chopped sage in a small skillet.
6. Using a drinking glass or a cookie cutter, cut the batter into 2 1/2-inch rounds. Using a metal spatula, carefully remove the rounds from the baking sheet and lay them into the prepared baking dish, overlapping slightly if necessary.
7. Drizzle the sage butter over, evenly distributing the chopped sage. Combine the remaining cheese with the bread crumbs and sprinkle evenly over the gnocchi. Bake 20 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Serve hot.
Each of 6 servings: 344 calories; 10 grams protein; 35 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams fiber; 20 grams fat; 12 saturated fat; 122 mg. cholesterol; 35 mg. Sodium