Baked Squash Gnocchi

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Baked Squash Gnocchi

These are not like boiled gnocchi at all, but are creamy balls of squash baked in a tomato sauce. Guests who come on our cooking courses in Italy say that they are one of their favorite fall dishes.

  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 10

Ingredients

  • 1kg (2 lb) butternut squash (or similar)
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 kg (2 lb) tomatoes, skinned
  • basil, a few leaves
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
  • olive oil
  • 150g (1 1/4 cup) white flour (you may need more or less depending on how wet your squash is)
  • 100g (3 oz) parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Peel the squash, remove the seeds and cut into 2 cm (1 inch) cubes.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed pan, begin to stir-fry the squash in a good splash of olive oil. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Peel and chop the onions and garlic.
  4. When the squash has softened, add the onions and garlic to the pan and continue to fry for a few more minutes. Turn off the heat when the onion begins to brown.
  5. In a saucepan, combine a splash of olive oil, the tomatoes and the torn basil leaves.
  6. Cook on a low flame for 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer the squash mixture to an appropriate container and use a hand-blender to process. Return the mixture to the pan.
  8. Heat the mixture. Begin adding flour to it, little by little, stirring constantly.
  9. When the mixture is considerably thicker but still creamy (almost stiff mashed potato consistency), stop adding flour, turn off the heat and allow to cool a little. It will thicken further.
  10. Pour the tomato sauce into a large shallow ovenproof dish. If using, add the cream to the tomato in swirls.
  11. With 2 spoons, make walnut-sized balls of squash mixture and place in the sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan.
  12. Cook for 15-20 minutes on 180°C/350°F, until the cheese is browned.

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