Winter squash is completely abundant right now, and I have quite a hoard of it. I have acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, yellow squash, and, well you get the drift.
I also have a very picky eat, and no it’s not the kids! It’s my husband. Chris is extremely picky when it comes to veggies and I get quite frustrated.
There are countless ways of preparing these delicious gourds, but I wanted to do something different. I also needed to use the butternut up quick!
It just happened to be that I was watching Good Eats and the episode Squash Court was on. He was making all sorts of things with Winter Squashes. Some I’ve done before and some, I didn’t even think of!
So he cuts in half and quarters two butternut squashes, seasoned them, and then put them in the oven. The whole time, I’m like “Duh, that’s what you’re supposed to do.” And then he said dumplings. Say what?! So I payed close attention. When he took out the squash from his oven, he pulled out four potatoes that just magically appeared in there.
I then realized that this awesome man was going to make Gnocchi! My husband loves butternut squash but in small doses. My mom well, if it has the word squash in it, she’ll eat it. So I decided that I was going to make it. However, there was one problem, what was I going to cook the gnocchi with? So I decided to make a butternut squash gnocchi chowder.
I’ve made gnocchi before, so that was the easy part. The hard part was making sure I had enough Butternut Squash and flour. Let’s take a look at the recipe. I had to change Alton Brown’s recipe a little bit. You’ll see why.
- 1 large Butternut Squash or 1 1/2 medium sized one - Quartered
- 6 medium baking potatoes
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 salt
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3-4 cups all purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil for brushing and seasoning
- 1 bunch Leek - chopped
- 2 Carrots - diced
- 1 Celery stalk - diced
- 5 Italian Sausages - grilled and sliced
- 15 slices of cooked bacon - chopped
- 8 cups of Chicken Stock
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese
- 1 Block of Velveeta Cheese - cubed and melted
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees
- Place the squash and the potatoes on a baking sheet. Brush the squash with Olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes.
- Once the squash and the potatoes have cooked and have cooled, begin by smashing both the potatoes and the squash together.
- Begin adding the flour to the mash half a cup at a time, until a soft dough forms. If it is still too moist continue adding the flour until the dough is dry but still soft.
- Turn the dough out unto a floured surface and just gently massage the dough to incorporate all of the flour.
- Cut the dough into 8 even pieces.
- Piece by piece, roll into a rope - about a half inch thick
- With a knife or pastry cutter cut each rope into 1/2 inch pieces until all of them are done.
- In a large stock pot add two table spoons of olive oil and allow it to heat up. Once the oil has heated add the veggies and the meats.
- Saute them until the carrots and celery are a little tender and add your chicken stock.
- While stirring add the heavy cream, and all three cheeses.
- Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for one hour.
- Add the gnocchi in and cook until they all float to the top.
- Turn the heat off and serve hot!
- I had left over grilled sausage in the fridge from a barbeque we had the day before. I sliced those up and used it in the chowder.
- The dough should be very pliable and soft, but you don't want it sticking to your hand. Keep adding flour until the dough no longer sticks to your hand. A good way to test this is to turn the dough "inside out."
- To make sure that the potatoes and the gnocchi mash well together, use a food mill or potato ricer.
- Don't allow the potatoes and the squash to get too cold before mashing. The starches will gel and the gnocchi will come out very tough.
Making gnocchi is definitely time consuming, but the end result is absolutely delicious! I also thought it was awesome to be able to make one of our favorite pastas out of a different vegetable.
Please be sure to read the notes and tips in the recipe, they will help your gnocchi turn out excellent!