I am so incredibly glad I made the effort to make this recipe.
It comes from the Williams Sonoma website and originally called for butternut squash, but I figured making this minor change didn’t matter much.
The texture of these little dumplings can honestly be described as pillowy, which is something I never imagined possible. You always read about something being pillowy, but I figured anyone using that description with regards to food was just being… Weird.
I’m also amazed at how delicate these taste. They’re just so… nice! The sweetness of the squash isn’t overpowering like sweet potatoes and yams are, it’s just nice and subtle. And now that I’ve tried brown butter and sage for the first time in my life, I can honestly say it’s not for me — it’s just too much.
I cooked all of the gnudi, but only served about half — after boiling everything, I removed them to a cooling rack set on top of a baking sheet so they would cool quickly. The gnudi I didn’t serve for dinner tonight ended up being put straight into the deep freeze, still on the baking sheet but lined with parchment, so they wouldn’t stick together as one large mass when put into baggies for a later meal.
My hope is that they will taste just as good the second time around after a quick dunk into boiling water to reheat, then serve them with some tomato sauce and perhaps, as The Hubbs requested, a crispy pork cutlet on the side.
Acorn Squash Gnudi
2 acorn squash, about 3 lb total weight
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. fine sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups flour, sifted
(10) fresh sage leaves
salt & pepper
Preheat an oven to 450ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and brush the surface lightly with olive oil.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove & discard seeds.
Place the halves, cut side down, on baking sheet & bake until thoroughly tender when pierced with the knife, about 40-50 mins.
Remove from the oven and scoop out the flesh when cool enough to handle into a large bowl.
Mash squash with a potato masher until smooth and leave until cold.
Add the eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper to the squash and mix well.
Slowly resift the flour into the squash while stirring with a wooden spoon until well mixed.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
Warning! The mixture is very soft & sticky but is cohesive enough to make little dumplings.
In a large pot, bring lots of salted water to a rapid boil.
To form gnudi, use a wet ice cream scoop to divide dough into portions and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, then “cut” each portion into quarters with a wet spatula. (The water will make it so that the dough doesn’t stick as much to everything.)
When ready to cook, use two wet spatulas to gently roll the quartered gnudis into a cylindrical shape on the baking sheet before dropping gently into boiling water, using the spatulas.
Remove gnudi from water when they float to the surface and transfer to a wire rack to cool while cooking the remaining gnudi.
In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium low heat and add the sage leaves.
Add the cooled, drained gnudi and cook until warmed through & slightly crispy and golden brown on the outside.
Serve immediately and pass the cheese at the table.