Gnocchi with winter squash and seared radicchio

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by: Texan






I'm hopeless when it comes to making gnocchi, but if you're not, homemade will be the best. However, if gnocchi is a challenge for you, in its place, use store-bought, or ricotta ravioli, mushroom tortellini, or wide Hat egg noodles. Vegans will want to use dried pasta and omit any cheese. I’ve made this recipe many times, and this is the simplest version. While I’ve opted for steaming the squash, another way to go is to brown it slowly in olive oil with plenty of the fresh sage and garlic, which adds another layer of flavor and a firmer texture, although the volume shrinks considerably. A hearty red wine is called for here. A Napa Valley Merlot such as Joseph Phelps or a Petite Syrah from Stag’s Leap Winery would be an excellent match.




ingredients

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serves: 4

1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds)

1/4 cup olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 head radicchio (sliced into wide ribbons)

2 cloves garlic

1 big handful of parsley leaves

12 large (or more) sage leaves (or 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary)

1 tablespoon butter if making the sauce

3/4-1 pound potato gnocchi, cheese ravioli, or mushroom tortellini (homemade or store-bought)

freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (and/or crumbled Gorgonzola cheese)

Nutrition Facts
Gnocchi with winter squash and seared radicchio

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 417

  • Total Fat: 19 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 4.7 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 13.6 mg
  • Sodium: 313.2 mg
  • Total Carbs: 60.3 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 8.5 g
  •     Sugars: 8.8 g
  • Protein: 8.7 g
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preparation

1.  Cut off the neck of the squash, divide into two or three easily managed sections, and slice off the skin. Cut into slabs, then dice into 1/2-inch cubes. (Don’t worry about irregular shapes!) Toss with a little olive oil and sea salt, then steam over 3 cups simmering water until tender, about 20 minutes. Reserve the water.

2.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil in a wide skillet; add the radicchio, season with salt, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted, tender, and no longer red, about 8 minutes. When the squash is done, add it to the pan. Chop the garlic, parsley, and sage together. Add most of it to the radicchio and squash and reserve the rest.

3.  If you have time to make a sauce, put the strings and seeds from the squash in a pan with 2 cups of the water that was used to steam the squash, a few pinches of salt, and any leftover bits of parsley, garlic, squash, and sage. Simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes, then strain. Whisk in a tablespoon of butter and you have a beautiful, thin orange sauce to spoon around the pasta.

4.  Salt a skillet of water, bring to a boil, add the gnocchi, and simmer until done. Add them to the pan with a little of the cooking water. Taste for salt, season with pepper, and add the remaining herbs and garlic. Serve with the remaining oil drizzled over the top, plain, or with the cheese or cheeses.

Cooks' note:
Start with a utilitarian butternut squash, which has that great, easy-to-handle neck. Use the neck for the cubes and the base on another occasion. Cook the radicchio while the squash is steaming, then simmer the gnocchi in the same water used to steam the squash. Finally, bring everything together. If time allows, you can make a thin, vibrant sauce from the trimmings to spoon around the dish.

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