Saturday, June 24, 2017

Gnocchi with butternut squash and gold beet

It's summer, and a verrrrrry hot one, no good (by Trump :D).
It means we don't really feel like eating all the meaty meals, but would rather stick to a lighter one. 
Speaking for myself, I was also in for something new.
Gnocchi is known as an italian potato dumpling, but it is actually a Hungarian pasta as well that's running under the name of nudli.
It is one of my childhood favorites with nothing but tossed in roasted bredcrumbs and a pinch of salt.
Today I was in for some boost from those beautiful butternut squashes I found, as well as the bunch of fresh golden beets. The outcome got a thumbs up from every family member.

The nudli (gnocchi) could be home made, but I was way too lazy and settled with some store bought ones, more precicely some Costco bought gnocchis. Worth every penny, not to mention that $5.9. A steel..
The topping is also very simple, and could be a side dish on its own.

Butternut squash topping (baked for 30 min at 350F/180 C)
1 medium sized squash
4 garlic heads
salt (about a small teaspoon, but alter based on your taste, try with less and add salt as needed)
freshly grated peppercorn mix
olive oil (2-3 tbs)

Gold beet topping (baked for 20 min at 350F/180 C)
2 large gold beets, peeled
2 garlic heads
salt (a large pinch, but alter based on your taste, try with less and add salt as needed)
freshly grated peppercorn mix
olive oil (2 tbs)

1 bag home made, or store bough gnocchi

Fresh leaves
Fresh beet leaves, thinly sliced (try other salads, too, I think a rucola could work well)
or pea shoots

fresh-fried bacon slices

Preheat the oven to 350F, 180 C. Lay parchment paper in two smaller, or one large tray. I used two smaller ones because I removed the beets a bit earlier from the oven, and it was way more convenient to remove the whole tray than scoop them out from the larger one. However, if you have one large tray, go for it, it might be a bit of inconvenience, but all worth it.

Peel the butternut squash, slice and chop into about 1"x1" cubes, maybe a bit smaller, like 2x2 cm.
Slice the gold beets as well into 1/6" thin slices, about 2-3 mm thin.
Place a parchment paper in both trays and spread the squash cubes into one, and the gold beet slices into the other. Sprinkle with salt, ground a little peppercorn on top, and drizzle with olive oilt, until they are lightly coated.  Mix with your fingers, or just joggle the trays to coat them.
Place them uncovered in the preheated oven, and bake for 10 minutes.
Turn the beets, mix lightely the squash, and bake for additional 10 minutes.
Now you can remove the beets, and leave the squash for additional 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven.
Prepare the gnocchi/nudli according to the instructions, and serve while hot, topped with some bacon and beet leaves.

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