Butternut Squash Gnocchi in Date and Sage Sauce

A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending an amazing cooking demo led by Dana Cowin, Editor-in-Chief of the legendary Food and Wine Magazine. Dana inspired me to rev up my own recipes and experiment with new cooking techniques. With this fresh perspective in mind, I decided to try my hand at making gnocchi. Although there were a few bumps in the road, the final product was festive and flavorful.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb butternut squash (peeled and diced)
  • 2+ cups flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 4 dates
  • 3 sage leaves
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg

How to (Gnocchi):

  1. Begin by roasting the butternut squash in the oven. Β ~40 minutes in the oven, until it is soft.
  2. Once squash is soft, puree it. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper to pureed squash.
  3. Adding half a cup at a time, fold flour into the pureed squash. Continue to add flour and mix until it is no longer sticky (this may take more than 2 cups).
  4. On a floured surface, create balls of dough. Roll the dough out into a 1-inch wide, 1 foot long snake. Cut down the snake, making bite sized pieces. Set aside and begin the sauce.

How To (Date and Sage Sauce):

  1. First start by rehydrating the dates. Continuously add 2-3 cups of water to a sauce pan on low heat, until the dates are soft. Residual water in the pan will strengthen the flavor of your sauce.
  2. Puree the soft dates (mine were a little chunky) and return to the sauce pan, add a bit more water, set to medium heat. Add sage.
  3. Add a bit of salt and pepper according to taste, continuing to cook.
  4. At this point begin to cook your gnocchi, continuously stir your pan so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom. Your gnocchi is done cooking when the pasta is floating at the top of the pan.
  5. Add the butter to the pan a few minutes before you add gnocchi.
  6. Add cooked gnocchi to pan with date sauce, mix well, and serve!

 

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