The first time I ate gnocchi, I fell in love. I remember it as though it were yesterday. Jeff and I had just begun dating and this was our first fancy dress up dinner date. It was such a memorable evening that I’m still feeling the intoxicating effects today.
Our dinner date was at Cafe Vico, where upon arrival we were promptly greeted by chef and owner Marco Vico, who gently held my hand, kissed it and called me “Bella”, I remember blushing. Marco lead us to a romantic cozy alcove, where we were served warm crusty bread with an herb and garlic infused olive oil, soon followed by a savory zuppa di porcini and crispy fried calamari. Once the main course arrived in huge serving plates, I immediately coddled my handmade gnocchi resting in a creamy pesto sauce, while Jeff consumed chicken marsala set upon succulent layers of perfectly sauteed baby bella mushrooms.
Our dinner ended with a rich deep roast espresso and a dreamy fluffy tiramisu. The dining experience left me reminiscing the evening’s tasty morsels… great food, excellent service, a beautiful setting and the finest of company… it was all very exquisite. The magic continues today for both my deep love for Jeff and gnocchi.
Why am I gushing about love?
Well, I’ll tell ya!
I’m part of this month’s blogHop, where the food blog community connects with other blogs to share recipes and spread the love. This months bloghop is focusing on the wonderful Autumn harvest with the incredible lovable squash.
So for today…for this month’s bloghop we’re uniting in the name of #squashlove… Acorn Squash Gnocchi meet Candied Walnut Pesto
You are cordially invited to dinner…
Here’s what you’ll need
1 1/2 pounds acorn squash
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (additional for rolling out gnocchi)
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
4 tablespoons butter
2 garlic gloves, minced
salt & pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, finely grated for topping
Candied Walnut Pesto
1 cup candied walnuts
1 cup arugula
6 sage leaves
3/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic gloves
2 tablespoons of acorn squash ( I added squash to blend the flavors with my homemade gnocchi)
For the Gnocchi
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Cut the acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds. Using a 1 tablespoon of butter, dollop into the center of squash, place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and place in oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 6 hours or overnight. Reserve 2 tablespoons for pesto. (make ahead).
In a small sauce pan, heat the remaining butter, add minced garlic and chopped fresh sage, cook until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Set aside until ready to use.
For the Pesto
In a food processor, combine arugula, sage leaves, squash, candied walnuts, olive oil, garlic cloves and blend until a rich thick paste has been reached. Remove and place in airtight container, refrigerate until ready to use. (make ahead).
Peel and puree the acorn squash, place in food processor, add the sauteed sage and garlic, mixing well. Add the eggs, salt and pepper, mix well. Add the flour, a little at a time, stirring to combine all the ingredients. The gnocchi should be soft but not sticky, if sticky add a tablespoon of flour at a time until a soft consistency is reached.
Transfer to a work surface and knead briefly until smooth. Keep your work surface, tools, hands and dough lightly floured as you work. Roll 1 portion of dough into a 1/2 inch thick rope and sprinkle lightly with flour. Using a knife, cut the rope into 1/2 inch pieces. Layer Gnocchi on a lightly floured parchment-lined baking tray. Finish making the remaining Gnocchi. Freeze remaining gnocchi in layers on wax or parchment-lined freezer tray. Gnocchi may be frozen for a month. Cook from freezer—do not thaw.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, preparing in 2 batches, cook the gnocchi for 15 to 17 minutes or until gnocchi floats to the surface.
Drain the cooked gnocchi and add them to the pan with the candied walnut pesto. Toss gently to coat. Serve warm and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. (Gnocchi recipe adapted from Mario Batali)
You’re more than welcome to join us by simply adding your recipe at the end of this bloghop!Baker Street | Anuradha : @bakerstreet29 Bloc De Recetas | Salomé : @blocderecetas Bon à croquer | Valerie : @valouth Cafe Terra Blog | Terra : @cafeterrablog Cake Duchess | Lora : @cakeduchess Elephant Eats | Amy Food Wanderings | Shulie : @foodwanderings Hobby and More | Richa : @betit19 Georgie Cakes | Georgie : @georgiecakes Mike’s Baking | Mike : @mikesbaking Mis Pensamientos | Junia : @juniakk My Twisted Recipes | Dudut : @mytwistedrecipe No One Like Crumbley Cookies | T.R : @TRCrumbley Queens Notebook | Elizabeth : @mango_queen Simply Reem | Reem : @simplyreem Skip To Malou | Malou : @malou_nievera Teaspoon Of Spice | Serena : @tspcurry The Daily Palette | Annapet : @thedailypalette The Professional Palette | Regan : @profpalate The Spicy RD | EA : @thespicyrd Vegan Miam | Rika : @veganmiam
Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…
57 thoughts on “SquashLove: Acorn Squash Gnocchi, meet Candied Walnut Pesto”
Yay! for #squashlove .. the Arugula Walnut Pesto sounds absolutely delicious!
You must try it with the candies walnuts, the flavors compliment one another so well, sweet and savory.
Romantic dinner indeed, and I love gnocchi! I have made it once and I should make it again soon with squash!
So happy to meet you through the Squash Blog Hop, and I am looking forward to your upcoming posts and tweets!
It’s a heavy meal, so I indulge in once in a while, but I love it so much, that when I do I go all the way.
I also have a squash gnocchi recipe, it sounds definitely delicious! I really have to try it, but I don’t know why, I’m kinda afraid of making pasta, I’m afraid it doesn’t work as I’d like… But well, until I don’t try I won’t know! Ain’t I right? ahah
Hi Valerie, You have to try at least once. I was nervous too at first, but the moment I began working with the dough I realized how much fun I was having, regardless of how it tasted. But, I’m happy it tasted really good 😉 I’m excited about trying other recipes.
I LOVE GNOCCI and this sounds great! Yummmy!
Thanks, Mike! they are super tasty and worth a try. Off to visit your site and read all about your pumpkin cinnamon rolls.
I’ve never made homemade gnocchi, but I’m dying to. This sounds yummy.
Thanks Regan! You have to try it, and let me know I’m always interested in testing other versions. I think Lora’s @cakeduchess version will be next.
Heehee Georgie, we thought alike, gnocchi. Your gnocchi pillows look so beautiful. I haven’t made them in years so first batch was trial and error. They are finicky little treats but so worth it. Love your version and cohosting this squashlove with you and the gang is so much fun!
Shulie, I’m so glad I get to be a part of bloghop with you & the bloghop gang. It is funny, we made similar items – I was wondering if anyone else would try gnocchi. I’m making Lora’s gnocchi next with your butternut puree!
wow georgie… homemade gnocchi! amazing. and i can’t get over how u use candied walnuts for the pesto. that is just brilliant. with a bit of sage, YUM! so glad u are hosting with us! #squashlove
Thank you, so glad to be a part. I heart all my new friends within love bloghop. Do try it with candied walnuts, be warned it’s super sweet so you’ll want a savory to compliment it.
Love your LOVE plate & love the squash gnocchi recipe. I’ve never done this. I must try this one. Glad to cook along with you on this event!
Thank you! I think I’ll dress up the LOVE plate for ever #love bloghop with it’s ingredients. Should be fun! So nice to meet you and thanks for making laugh, u funny!
Wow this sounds absolutely delicious…..
Beautiful dish, I bet candied walnut pesto taste out of the world….
Nice to meet you dear through #bloglove, have a great day.
The candied walnut pesto is super tasty. I made extra… I just had some for lunch spread on chiabatta bread, yummy! Try it, I think you’ll like it.
I love gnocchi ( at least in my pre gluten free days) and your recipe looks fabulous! I’d love to try making a gluten-free version. Love the pesto with candied walnuts too! You have a lovely blog-happy to meet through #squashlove 🙂
Nice to meet you too! I know it’s gnocchi is good stuff. I’m sure you can tweak a recipe to meet a GF needs, and there’s got to be a tried and true one available. At least the pesto, you can eat, every day of you like 😉
goodness, Georgie, can you make me this for dinner sometime? 😉 i’ve had sweet potato gnocchi and loved it so i’m thinking acorn squash would be amazing too… and the candied walnut pesto? mmm… i’m so hungry now!
Lillian, Ha – Ha! It’s a rewarding endeavor, it’s a lot like baking all day long 😉 So be sure to make some that you can freeze and eat. How you are well.
It’s very nice to see a gnocchi dish because while abroad in Berlin, I almost ate gnocchi everyday with different sauces. Gnocchi is like my guilty pleasure for anything Italian! But with acorn squash sounds really lovely! Thanks for bringing me memories of gnocchi!
Squash-love for ya!
Hi Rika, It’s funny how I ate this later in life. My mother ate this as a child often, so it really never made it to our table. I also think with 5 kids in our family, everything was about convenience. It’s worth a splurge once in a while. Nice meeting and thanks for visiting.
i love the idea of candied walnut pesto.. i am not much of a gnocchi eater or a home made pasta person:) but i will try the pesto for sure ..its so intriguing with all those flavors and a bit of squash too.!
I know what you mean, gnocchi is a comfort food, I usually splurge on occasionally. The pesto I have to concur is delicious. I just spread the very last bit of it onto my panini! Boo!
That looks so delicious. Love the post and the recipe. Come visit. Alessa has a wonderful pumpkin cheesecake recipe today.
Thank you! Be right there! Yum!
I love the #squashlove. What’s not to?
These gnocchi was surely made with loads of LOVE. So yum!
Kiran, Join us! Really! I love what you’ve done with your site, the layout is so beautiful! I’m heading there now!
I would be honored to join you all 🙂
Thanks for the lovely words of encouragement honey!!!
Pesto and candied walnuts! Gorgeous! I’ll try it soon… Besos
I know you’re going to love it as much as I did! Nice meeting you Salome!
I think we should set up my pumpkin gnocchi with your acorn squash gnocchi and trade sauces lol Love the candied walnuts in the pesto – absolutely brilliant – bookmarking this! Yes, #squashlove is awesome, and so glad to meet you too!
Ha ha ha, Lisa your funny! They are smitten by one another, I bet they taste great together. Glad I have a new gnocchi friend. I’m in love with the candies walnut pesto, so good.
I love all things squash, so I know this would be a great dish!
Hi Katie, Hard not to love those gourds! I’m actually drooling over your gooey oatmeal cookie pie! Oh my!
Candied walnut pesto! Oh my that sounds divine.
Sylvie, you have to try it! It will taste nice on roasted cauliflower.
This is probably the most unique gnocchi recipe I’ve seen so far! I love that it’s all homemade. Will be saving tis one. Thank you 🙂
I love the idea of squash gnocchi. I’ll have to give it a go.
Nisrine, Let me know how they turn out. Enjoy!
gnocchi love is the very best kind!
You rock! Thanks for visiting and giving me blog love!
Oh my word! How much do I love the idea of Candied Walnut Pesto? I would have never thought to action a combination like that. Real question: How do you avoid eating all of it before it goes onto the gnocchi?
Kat, it was very hard not sticking my finger into the bowl, repeatedly! It’s sweet, so it’s easier to eat in small batches. HA! I think you need to make pasta next 😉
Squash gnocchi with candied walnut pesto….what a match made in heaven. I especially love the sound of the candied walnut pesto (I love candied walnuts).
Jennifer, it’s all gone now. Boo! I m afraid of making another batch… back to back. I’ll eat it all within a few days! Double Boo!
OMG major yum. I do love all things squash but it’s the candied walnut pesto that has me all excited!
Thanks Winnie! I made your fall greens with apple and walnut salad last night, good stuff!
Candid walnut pesto..wow! Would love to try this wonderful combo.
Sanjeeta, I’m sure it will become a staple at the dinner table! Enjoy and let me know how it works out.
Georgie I love this and you blog, I add my pumpkin recipe! Im following you! gloria
Gloria, Thank so much for the kind words, I’m off to visit you now. Hope you enjoy the bloghop and welcome!
Yey Squash Love! Speaking of love – love, love, LOVE that candied walnut pesto. It’s now on my “must make” list. Thanks so much for sharing!
Thank you, It’s really good stuff, borderline addictive. I’m warning you 😉 thanks for visiting.
I just love gnocchi! This dish sounds wonderful, I love the idea of using candied walnuts in the pesto:-) Beautiful, Hugs, Terra