SERVES 4 TO 6
It is almost impossible to allocate the exact amount of flour that a recipe for potato gnocchi will need. The flour used, the size of the eggs, the type of potato, the way the dough is worked, all these are factors. In making dough you will know by the feel of it if the dough is the right consistency, so if it doesn't come out just perfect the first time, don't be afraid to start over. Eventually your hands will talk to you and let you know when enough is enough (flour, that is).
This gnocchi dough is made with butternut squash and makes a thick batter-like dough that is dropped like a dumpling into boiling water. It is a traditional Umbrian dish from Gubbio, usually served with finely shaved white truffles over the top. Since white truffles are very expensive and hard to come by, I added diced dried apricots when I made them for the first time; this gave them a subtle, sweet flavor and I dedicated the first bite to those inspirational women chefs at Le Noci. Serve these as a first course.
1 pound butternut squash, cut into quarters
1 cup King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup finely diced dried apricots
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Put the squash chunks in a casserole dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Pour in 1/2 cup of water and cover the dish with a piece of aluminum foil. Bake the squash until a knife is easily inserted into a chunk. This will take about 45 minutes.
Let the squash cool until it is easy for you to handle. Scrape and discard the seeds, then scoop the squash into a bowl and throw away the skins. Mash the squash with a fork to smooth it out. You will need 1 1/2 cups to make one recipe. Stir in the flour, egg yolks, salt, cinnamon, 1/4 cup of the cheese, and all of the apricots. Cover the bowl and refrigerate it at least 2 hours or overnight. This will make it easier for you to handle it.
Butter a casserole dish and set it aside. Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
To form the gnocchi, use two soupspoons to scoop up some of the batter and drop it into the boiling water. Do not crowd the pot. Make six to eight at a time. When they bob to the surface of the water, take them out with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the casserole dish. Keep them warm and covered until all the batter is used.
Melt the butter in a small pan and pour it over the top of the gnocchi. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and bake the gnocchi for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until heated through. Plan on 4 or 5 as an individual serving.
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