Autumnal Sunday, not long before Halloween. It’s time to try some butternut recipes. We made butternut gnocchis, and my goodness it wasn’t easy (first time ever!).
The thing is, butternut has a higher water content, which makes it a but more difficult than with regular potatoes, because more liquid and elastic.
But the recipe itself is pretty straightforward. You just need to slowly add wheat flour until the dough is okay to work with. Then you switch to rice flour to shape the gnocchis.
A bit long, but very fun. We must have made over 100 gnocchis. And good surprise, they hold well together after cooking.
We tried them different ways, simply cooked with a mushroom and parmesan sauce (recipe coming up); as well as slightly fried on the pan with some figs and hazelnut pesto. Yum!
Handmade gnocchis, replacing the potato base with butternut
- 1 butternut
- 1 egg yolk
- 200 g wheat flour
- 50 g rice flour
- salt & pepper
Slide the butternut in half, take off the seeds and peel it. Cut it in small chunks and steam it until very tender (about 15-20min cooking).
Mash the butternut with a fork (or a potato-masher). Add nutmeg, salt & pepper and let it cool down.
Once the mashed butternut is room temperature, put it in a big bowl and add the egg yolk. Progressively pour the wheat flour, and blend it in the butternut to form the dough. Now the work out begins.
You need to slowly add the flour, until the dough is not so sticky and holds together. At first it sticks to much to your fingers you think it's never going to work. What would really help you is a silicon spatula, as large as possible, like the ones they use in bakeries to make bread. It makes the process a lot easier.
Once you have a sort of dough ball (more or less), you can start modelling the gnocchis. Pour some rice flour on the work surface. Take some of the dough and roll it in the rice flour. Add as much flour as necessary to make it not sticky. Now make a roll with it, and continue rolling it until it's about 1cm diameter (you might have to cut the roll in two and roll it again).
Then cut the roll in little rectangular shapes of 1cm width. Roll them in your flour-dusted hands. With a fork now, roll the ball towards you applying a light pressure to imprint the gnocchis. It becomes natural after a few gnocchis.
Display the gnocchis on a large plate dusted with rice flour. Then move on to the next roll, until there is no dough left.
Boil some water in a large pan. Cook the gnocchis little by little. They are about cooked once they rise to the surface. Pick them up with a sort of big colander spoon.
The idea is to reuse the water to cook the next batch of gnocchis. So let it boil again, and cook the rest.
Enjoy it with olive oil, parmesan and more black pepper. Or with a mushroom sauce, pesto, etc. Fry leftovers on the pan to twist them.
I find that butternut gnocchis are lighter than regular gnocchis. I wonder what it would be like with sweet potato…
Good luck! I want to see the result of your bravery, send me pickies!