Friday, 27 July 2012

Gnocchi with squash, goats cheese and pine nuts

This is a great summer supper dish, its more substantial than you might think as gnocchi can be quite heavy, its tatties and flour after all.  I always find its best to use leftover mash which is stone cold, if you make mash especially you have to wait for it to get cold and for the protein to stabilise (sounded canny clever that didnt it) it basically means it wont be sticky and sloppy.

for the gnocchi:
250g cold mashed potato
salt and pepper
100g plain flour

for the rest of the dish:
1 butternut squash
a lick of veggie or olive oil for roasting
salt and pepper
goastcheese 1 standard log from a supermarket is fine
a handful of pine nuts gently toasted in a dry frying pan (this is vital to develop their flavour)
50g of butter melted
a handful of baby spinach

Theres two main sections you need to get cracking with the gnocchi and the squash, probably start with the gnocchi, mix all of the ingredients together with a good whack of salt and pepper to your taste.
take half the mix and roll it out into a thin sausage about the width of your finger, unless you have fingers like Madonna, then roll them a little thinner.
Cut your fingers of dough into 1.5cm pieces and press each piece with the back of a fork to make a slight indentation.  This isnt just for decoration but the grooves help tjhe sauce stick to the gnocchi.
leave your gnocchi to one side covered with a teatowel and start your squash.
Peel and chop into 2cm pieces, roughly, no ones going to measure but the smaller you chop them the quicker they will cook.
Toss them in the oil, season and roast on 200 for 30 minutes or until tender.
To cook the gnocchi get a pan of water boiling, pop some salt in and drop your gnocchi in, they will take around 2-3 minutes to cook and will float to the top once done.
As soon as they are cooked you need to work quickly, drain them and immediately toss with the cooked squash and any oil from the pan.
add the pine nuts, spinach, butter and crumbled goastcheese and toss everything together for a minute.  No need to have any heat under the pan, there will be enough residual heat from the squash and gnocchi.
There we go a nice quick supper.

Once you have the basics of this recipe down you can chop and change, gnocchi with tomatoes, chilli and rocket, or with pesto, or with mushrooms and mascarpone. spring veg, creme fraiche and lemon - loads of options.

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