Saturday, December 7, 2013

I'm back :)

After a long, long hibernation, I'm back to blogging. Thanks, Petra, for the recurring pushes :) It finally paid off ...

I'm not sure yet how I will play this blog. i'm " facebooking " all my daily dinners ( or sometimes lunches or breakfast ) over at Leite's Culinaria What's for dinner, so I guess I will post here only the more interesting stuff ;)

So, than let's begin with our dinner yesterday. I still had this butternut squash from our last CSA delivery laying on the counter, and while browsing through some of my Italian cookbooks, I found a interesting recipe in Anne Bianchi's Italian Festival Food : Gnocchi di Zucca, Butternut squash gnocchi. It was not very complicated, just boil the squash with some onion, puree it, thicken it with some semolina flour and knead it with regular flour. That worked quite well, I had just one problem with the recipe. Instead of the suggested 1/2 cup flour, I needed almost 2 cups. In the beginning the only way to work in the flour was with the bench scraper. And in the end, the dough was still somewhat sticky. But good enough to roll it into ropes, cut the gnocchi and roll them over the gnocchi board to give them that ridged surface, to which the sauce clings so nicely. As a side , i made broccoli with garlic. Again, really easy. Just peel the stalks, cut the broccoli in large ' flowers ' and blanch it. Than brown some garlic in olive oil and cook the broccoli for a couple minutes in the flavored oil. Yummy.

-=========  REZKONV-Recipe - RezkonvSuite v1.4

     Title: Gnocchi di Zucca - Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Categories: Side, Appetizer, Vegetable, Italy
     Yield: 4 Servings

============================ GNOCCHI ============================

      2   tablesp. Butter
      1    medium  Onion, thinly sliced
    900     grams  Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
    1/2       cup  Water
    1/2       cup  Semolina flour
      1     large  Egg yolk, lightly beaten
      2      cups  Flour, AP, unbleached

=========================== TO SERVE ===========================

      8   tablesp. Taleggio or montasio cheese, or other soft,
                   -- sharp tasting grated cheese ( I used Parmesan
                   -- )
      4   tablesp. Butter for the brown butter

============================ SOURCE ============================

            adapted from Italian Festival Food, Anne Bianchi
            -- Edited *RK* 12/07/2013 by
            -- Ralph Knauth

Heat the butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add onions and

sauté for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add squash, season
with salt, cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the cooked onion and squash to a food processor and puree.

Pour the mixture back into the clean skillet, add 1/2 cup water, and
heat to boiling. Pour in the semolina in a thin stream, whisking
constantly, for 3 minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Remove
from the heat, and pour mixture into a wet baking pan and let cool
completely. Stir the egg yolk into the cooled squash mixture and
transfer to a floures surface. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, adding
flour as needed to create a smooth, dense dough ( It was a sticky
mess in the beginning, so I used a bench sraper to get the dough
started. )

Divide the dough into quarters and roll each quarter into a 3/4 inch

wide rope. Cut the rope into 1 inch pieces and roll them over a
gnocchi board to create a ridged surface ( you can use thetines of a
fork instead, though I think the gnocchi board is much easier ), and
transfer to a floured board. Continue rolling and cutting the dough
until all the dough has been used.

Brings 4 quarts of aggressiveley salted water to a boil. Heat the

butter in a wide pan over medium heat and let brown.

Add the gnocchi, a few dozen at a time, to the water and bring to a

boil again. When the gnocchi float to the surface, remove them with
a slotted spoon and add them to the brown butter. Cook for a few
minutes, than plate on warmed plates and dust with some fresh grated
parmesan cheese.

A very nice side to that is sautéed broccoli rabe or broccoli with


Ralph. Very nice, great colors on the plate. Something different to

do with a butternut squash ...