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
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