Roasted Garlic and Squash Gnocchi

 Acorn squash and garlic, roasted and ready to become part of a batch of gnocchi.

This was my first attempt at homemade gnocchi, a form of pasta I really enjoy. The recipe I came up with today wasn’t difficult, but it was somewhat time consuming. I oven-roasted the acorn squash and the garlic for about 45 minutes. I then squeezed the soft, roasted contents out of each garlic skin (not the husks, but the skin itself) and mashed the garlic together with the squash once it was cool enough to handle. Then, I rolled the gnocchi dough into long, thin logs and chopped them into bite-sized pieces. I used a fork to make the traditional marks on the gnocchi–these slight indentations help sauce stick to the pasta.

Roasted Garlic and Acorn Squash Gnocchi

one acorn squash

one head of garlic

enough olive oil to coat a baking sheet with additional olive oil brushed onto the squash

3 cups all purpose flour (and more to coat rolling surface)

one egg

dash salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking sheet with olive oil. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Cut squash halves into 3 or 4 pieces. Brush olive oil onto squash pieces and place them skin side down. Place garlic cloves onto squash. Bake for 40 minutes or until squash and garlic are soft (a fork should go easily through the squash). Remove from oven and allow to cool.

When cooled, squeeze roasted garlic out of its skin into a bowl. Scoop soft squash meat out of its skin and place into same bowl. Mix thoroughly. Then mix in flour, egg and salt. You may need to add in more flour if mixture is too sticky. Dough should form into a nice ball.

Slice off an inch or so of the ball and roll it with the palm of your hands into a long “worm” no more than an inch in diameter. Make sure your surface is well floured. Cut off  pieces that are a little smaller than bite-sized. If you would like to make gnocchi with the fork indents, go to youtube and check out one of the videos. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Once the gnocchi are formed, cook them in a pot of boiling water until they float to the top.

Serve with butter or olive oil and parmesan cheese or with a light tomato sauce. The gnocchi can also be fried in olive oil or butter and served with parmesan cheese.

This recipe makes about 200 gnocchi. Extras can be frozen.

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