These Gnocchi alla Romana are infused with rosemary, garlic and sage while the butternut squash is caramelizing and roasting in the oven. The squash is then added to the polenta like dough while cooking on the stove top. It was a winner and a technique I will use over and over again.
- Portion size 4 servings
- Credits : Valerie Harrison
MethodCombine the water, milk, and salt, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add butternut squash and whisk vigorously. Add the semolina in a steady stream, whisking all the while, and then half the butter. Continue stirring; the mixture will thicken quickly, to the point that you will want to switch to a wooden spoon. Continue cooking the semolina over a moderate flame, stirring constantly, until it peels easily away from the sides of the pot, about 20 minutes. (if your arm gets tired enlist your friends) By this time the semolina will be quite thick. Spread the mixture out on your work surface in a 3/4 inch (1.cm) layer and let it cool for a couple of hours. Use a moistened glass to cut out rounds, and arrange them in a baking dish, partially overlapping them. Either distribute the cuttings in the spaces between the rounds, or save them for a less elegant batch of gnocchi. (For individual dishes you can also fry your gnocchi rounds in a little olive oil and top with a sauce of your choice) Sprinkle the cheese over the gnocchi and dot them with butter. Or, if you'd rather, pour melted butter over them, if you're following a less light recipe. Bake your Gnocchi alla Romana in a preheated 400 F (200 C) oven for about 15 minutes or until heated through and browned, and serve at once, either as a first course, or with a roast or stew. A wine, if you're serving them alone? White, for example Orvieto Bianco, or Est! Est! Est!
**Roasted Butternut Squash** 1/4 teaspoon ground sage (use fresh if desired) 1 teaspoon dried oregano Olive oil 1 butternut pumpkin or squash, halved, deseeded, cut into 8 lengthwise 1 clove garlic, crushed A few sprigs of fresh rosemary ************** Preheat your oven to 400F (200°C). Bash all your spices together in a pestle with a good pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, add a few glugs of olive oil and mix well. Rub this all over the squash segments, then place them on a roasting tray. Bake in the hot oven for about 25 minutes. Just before time is up, pick the rosemary leaves and dress them in your hands with a tiny bit of olive oil sand the crushed garlic. Sprinkle over the squash ? it will give a delicious flavour. Put it all back in the oven uncovered and turn the temperature down to (345F)170°C, brushing the pieces with a bit of olive oil if you feel they need it. Cook for another 25 minutes, or until the squash is soft, golden and delicious looking. You will have leftovers since you only need a cup for the above recipe.