13 November 2011

Gnocchi with Squash and Kale

Though I have my fair share of duds and flubs in the kitchen, this past Saturday night I made one of the yummiest main dishes.  Goodness it was delicious!  It's technically vegetarian if you're the kind of vegetarian who eats eggs and dairy, but no matter what your tastes, the gnocchi was fantastic-- and this was my first time making that type of pasta. No, I didn't do it homemade, but it gives you (me) a sense of accomplishment when cooking successfully with a new ingredient.

Okay, enough bragging, let's get down to business.  This recipe is courtesy of Food Network Magazine, October 2011 issue.  It's also low calorie, only 438 per serving and it serves four (or two if you split it up for lunch and dinner....).    Best part-- it takes 35 min to cook, has simple ingredients, and is EASY.

Butternut Squash and Kale are great vegetables with tons of benefits, but there never seems to be a lot of recipes out there that don't involve tools I don't have (i.e. an immersion blender, food processor, mandolin). When I stumbled upon this recipe I had to try it.  Kale is normally so bitter that it's hard to work with but the nutrients are worth it. I will admit though, peeling the squash HARD when you don't have sharp knives.

Isn't it beautiful? Bon appetit!

Gnocchi with Squash and Kale

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh sage
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
1-1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth or water (I used the broth)
1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped (about 8 cups)
1 17.5 oz package potato gnocchi
3/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese

1. Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the squash and cook, stirring, until slightly soft and golden, about 8 minutes.
2. Add the garlic, sage, red pepper flakes, and 1 tsp of salt (or a pinch). Cook until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.
3. Preheat broiler. Add the chicken broth to the skillet. When it starts to simmer, stir in the kale and cook until it wilts slightly, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the gnocchi, stirring to coat. Cover and cook until the gnocchi are just tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in 1/4 cup parmesan and the remaining 1 Tbsp butter. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan.
5. Transfer to broiler and cook until golden and bubbly, about 3 minutes.

Hodge Podge Cooking Tips:

  • I followed the recipe exactly, excluding doing a pinch of salt over the tsp.  I'm not a salt person.  All the flavors work and I really wouldn't change a thing.
  • The complications I found were the use of the broiler and covering the pan.  I used my 12-inch skillet which I don't have a cover for.  Would that stop me? Never!  I used foil to cover almost the entire thing-- it worked the same way.  I really do need a lid for that pan though...
  • Also, the skillet is not ovenproof.  I hate when recipes tell you that you need to do stove and oven cooking with one pan-- you don't!  I cooked everything in the skillet first then transferred it to my stoneware dish.
  • I was concerned about putting the dish in the broiler under my oven, not to mention I don't think it would've fit.  Instead, I heated the oven to 475 (though next time I'll just crank it all the way to 500 degrees) and put the dish in for about 6 or 7 minutes... until bubbly.
  • Finally, I highly recommend Food Network Magazine.  Though it has its fair share of complicated recipes with obscure ingredients, there are plenty of gems, as well as great advice.  Well worth a subscription.

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