I've made potato gnocchi and ricotta gnocchi before, but I've never branched out beyond that--nor realized I could. But it does make sense. The idea that squash could be turned into gnocchi immediately grabbed my attention when searching around Saveur.
But for some reason, my gnocchi didn't come out right. Perhaps I didn't cook them long enough, or added too much flour, but they were too dry. It's a shame because the sauce is stellar. I know it sounds so simple but the mixture of beef and pork adds an unexpected richness and dimension. I couldn't eat enough of it, and eventually just used my spoon to scoop it up (never a good idea). The next day, I piled the sauce on spaghetti for a very unauthentic bolognese.
The sauce is a keeper. And without the gnocchi, this recipe can be completed in about 30 minutes.
About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a co-founder of The Paupered Chef, a blog dedicated to saving time and money while enjoying food in every way possible. He sells wine for a living and lives in Columbus, Ohio.
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 28-ounce can peeled whole tomatoes, chopped
- 1 butternut squash, quartered and seeds removed
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup flour
Preheat the oven to 350. Place the squash in a roasting pan, cover with foil, and place in the oven. Cook for an hour.
Meanwhile, toss the pork and beef into a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, breaking up the chunks with a wooden spoon, until browned.
Meanwhile, the oil into a large pot over medium heat, add the onion, and cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Dump the tomatoes with the juices, then reduce the heat and simmer. Pour off as much fat from the meat as possible and then add it to the pot.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When the squash is done, scoop out the flesh and place in a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher for a few minutes. Add the eggs and mash some more. Add the flour and work it in with your hands, until it forms a soft dough.
With a tablespoon, sccop up some batter and use a second tablespoon to scrap the dough off into the boiling water. Cook until the gnocchi rise to the top of the water and transfer to a warm platter. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Serve the sauce over the gnocchi and season with salt.