Thursday, January 22, 2009

Gnocchi with Butternut Squash and Sage


I've always loved the rich and savory combination of pasta, squash and sage. A new, favorite restaurant features a special dish on their fall and winter menu that uses potato gnocchi rather than plain pasta with squash and sage. When I found this Cooks Illustrated recipe for the main ingredients, I decided to try it using some store-bought gnocchi.

It was fantastic!




The method of first sautéing the bacon with the sage and then using the bacon drippings to carmelize the squash was a wonderful idea.

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Sage
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from a recipe published January 1, 2009 from Cook's Illustrated.

Ingredients

4 slices bacon , halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
8 large fresh sage leaves , plus 1 tablespoon minced (I used frozen leaves from my garden)
1 medium medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 scallions , sliced thin (about 1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon sugar
Table salt and ground black pepper
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound prepared potato gnocchi
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Instructions

1. Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Add whole sage leaves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer into small bowl, reserving bacon fat and bacon-sage mixture separately.

2. Return skillet to high heat, add 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat (adding olive oil if necessary) and heat until shimmering. Add squash in even layer and cook, without stirring, until beginning to caramelize, 4 to 5 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until spotty brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Add butter and allow to melt, about 30 seconds. Add scallions, nutmeg, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and minced sage; cook, stirring occasionally, until scallions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to simmer; continue to cook until squash is tender, 1 to 3 minutes longer.

3. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large stock pot over high heat. Add store-bought potato gnocchi (I used Alessi brande). Cook for 3-4 minutes, until gnocchi rises to the surface. Drain in a colander.

4. Add squash mixture to pasta; stir in 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese,and reserved bacon-sage mixture, adjusting consistency with reserved pasta liquid. Serve, passing almonds and Parmesan separately.

13 comments:

  1. This sounds so good Susan! I've copied and look forward to trying it soon.

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  2. Oh, Susan... I love all those flavors... I'll bet it was delicious!

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  3. oh my, fab new look, fab new painting! this blogging was made for you to showcase the goods!

    and your new dishes showing off what looks like a damn good meal! opps i swore! i think it becasue all i had today was like 30 cupcakes, real food has me WILD WITH DESIRE! gorgeous pics, and excellent looking recipe, now you made me hungry...

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  4. Looks lovely; I have been on a butternut squash kick as of late, and I do believe I will have to bookmark this to try soon. Thanks!

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  5. I so enjoy butternut squash. Cooks Illustrated is one of my favorites. I bet this was wonderful. I'm going to copy it.Thanks!

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  6. This sounds good! I happened to have some butternut squash in the fridge!

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  7. I have everything!!
    Great idea..I once had gnocchi w/ escargots in a fine resto and recreated..this should be amazing thanks Susan..and it looks so beau on the plates!!

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  8. Combinations sounds wonderful..another keeper!

    Love your new painting in the header..such talent!

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  9. That looks delicious, I love butternut squash...
    And your new look on the blog...beau!

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  10. Ooooh this looks fabulous. You share the most interesting recipes Susan! Thank you for sharing them with us.

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  11. I am making this for dinner tonight. I love the "look" of your blog, your photography and your wonderful watercolor (header).

    My husband has some almost exact duplicates of pictures of a cardinal and trees in winter (NY).

    Of course I have a thing for "red"!

    Lovely to find you!

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  12. I made it, with more bacon (turkey) and one cubed chicken breast (poached), no butter, and honey (not sugar) and my family is bowing at my feet! Wow!

    This is a winner.

    D

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  13. Thanks so much for visiting and your review of the recipe, Denese!

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