Sunday, December 7, 2014

Gnocchi & Squash Sauce - Comfort Food Cookbook

I was recently given Jamie Oliver's new Comfort Food Cookbook for my birthday! It's got fabulous recipes for folks who love to spend time in the kitchen (He mentions in the forward this is NOT a 15 minute recipe cook book)

After pouring over the pages, I decided on the Gnocchi in Squash Sauce dish, as Squash is just so delicious right now!

The recipe below is basically right out of the book. Of course I've quantified a few measurements, as well as added/subtracted as needed. I promise you'll love it!

Butternut Squash Gnocchi (serves 4 - 6)


  • 3 lbs Yellow potatoes
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/3 tsp nutmeg, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 fresh red chile
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • Parmesan cheese


1) Preheat the oven to 400F. Wash the potatoes and place in large baking dish (skins on), and bake for 1 hour. Allow the potatoes to cool slightly and then remove the skins. Mash the potatoes finely and then set aside.

2) Peel the squash, then carefully cut in half and seed. Slice into 1/4" thick pieces, then dice into smaller cubes. Set aside.

3) Peel garlic and chop finely together with rosemary leaves and chile. In large sauce pan over medium heat, fry for 1 minute in 2 tbsp of olive oil.

Take a minute to admire the colour! It's a little festive isn't it?

4) Add the squash and crumble in the bouillon cube. Saute quickly then cover with 2 cups of boiling water. Simmer with the lid on for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the squash breaks up, stirring occasionally.

5) Your sauce should have a nice thick consistency! Add salt and pepper to taste, as well as a sprinkling of Parmesan. Keep simmering and move on to your gnocchi.

6) Pile your mash potatoes on a large board and make a well in the center. Add the yolks and flour to the well with a good pinch of sea salt and your nutmeg. User your hands to gently fold and mix it all together. Don't over work it and try to avoid using extra flour if possible.

7) Divide the dough into four. Take one quarter at a time and roll out the mixture into 3/4-inch-thick logs. At this point, I added a little bit of extra nutmeg to taste (just a pinch for each quarter). chop into 1" lengths. 

8) Dusting lightly with flour, pinch your gnocchi in at the center to create a bit of a depression, or score with a fork to create grooves. This will make sure your gnocchi can pick up extra sauce! Cook the gnocchi in boiling water in 4 bunches. It only takes about 2-4 minutes. 

put the gnocchi in and wait until it floats to the top, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to do the next batch. When all my batches were done I plopped them back in together for another 2 minutes then removed to eat!

9) At this point, the cook book recommends taking 1/4 of the sauce and 1/4 of the gnocchi and frying in a separate pan on low heat. remove onto plate, grate with Parmesan and serve.

I went for more of a "All the gnocchi in my sauce pot, cook on low for 4 minutes to merge flavours" method. Both ways are fine, I just didn't want to have to wash another pan.

Either way, serve hot and straight away!

Be sure to grate a little bit of Parmesan over top before eating, pour yourself a nice glass of wine, and really savour that first bite!