Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Squash Gnocchi with Meat Sauce

A regular favorite in the household, to be eaten as frost gathers on your windows.


  1. 1/2 lb. ground beef
  2. 1/2 lb. ground pork
  3. 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  4. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  5. 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  6. 1 28-oz. can peeled whole plum tomatoes, chopped
  7. 1 small butternut squash, quartered lengthwise, seeds removed
  8. 2 eggs
  9. Salt
  10. 1 cup flour


For the meat sauce: brown beef and pork in 1 tbsp. of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, using the back of a wooden spoon to break meat up. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook onions in remaining 1 tbsp. oil in another medium skillet over medium heat until soft and golden, about 20 minutes, then stir in tomatoes and their juices. Reduce heat to low and simmer, cook til sauce thickens. Drain fat from meat then add meat to tomato sauce. Adjust seasoning.

For the gnocchi: Preheat oven to 350°. Put squash in a baking pan, cover with foil, and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle scoop out the flesh into a strainer, then press out as much liquid as you can. Transfer to a large bowl, add eggs, and mash together with a potato masher. Season to taste with salt, then work in flour to form a thick, soft dough.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Using 2 tablespoons (1 to scoop, the other to push batter off spoon), drop spoonfuls of batter into water. (If gnocchi fall apart, skim pieces out of water, add a little flour to batter, and try again.) Cook until gnocchi have risen to surface and simmered for 1-2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a warm platter. Continue until all batter has been used. Spoon warm sauce over gnocchi.

(Courtesy David Richter)

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