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Gnocchi and Kale with Browned Butter and Butternut Squash Sauce

20 Nov

This dish is both decadent and delicious.  The rich browned butter and cream from the half and half create a rich, deep-flavor when combined with the sweet roasted butternut squash.  Combined with the slight bitterness of the sautéed kale and pillow-y starch of the gnocchi, this dish is perfection.

It is also healthy enough that you don’t have to feel guilty.  Whole wheat gnocchi adds a serving of whole wheat and stand up beautifully to the bold flavors of the browned butter and butternut squash.  The squash is rich with vitamin A, as is the kale.  The kale also has an insane dose of vitamin K.  Both also have a really respectable smattering of other vitamins and minerals as well.

Even Zak, who isn’t the hugest butternut squash fan, really loved this.  This is definitely something I will be bringing out for special occasions in the future and is a must-try for anyone who loves butternut squash, browned butter, kale, or gnocchi.

Gnocchi and Kale with Browned Butter and Butternut Squash Sauce

1 17.5 oz. package whole wheat gnocchi, cooked according to package instructions and drained

1/2 stick butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small butternut squash (yield about 3/4 cup butternut squash puree)

3 1/2 cups red Russian kale, stems removed, cut into thin ribbons

Splash half and half

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°.  Using a sharp knife, cut some slits in the squash.  Place on a baking sheet and bake 60-90 minutes until tender.  You should be able to easily insert a knife tip deeply into the squash.

Let cool until cool enough to handle.  Scoop out the flesh, reserving the seeds for another use.

Puree the flesh in a food processor or using a hand mixer until smooth.  Should yield about 3/4 cup.  Season with kosher salt and black pepper and set aside.

In a 10″ cast iron skill, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Cook until it just begins to froth, and then reduce heat to low.  Cook another 2-3 minutes until just beginning to brown.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.  At this point, the butter should be golden brown.  If not, cook another 1-3 minutes over low heat.

Add butternut squash puree and half and half and whisk to combine with the butter.

Add the kale and stir to combine.  Cook until wilted, 2-3 minutes.

Add gnocchi and stir to coat with the sauce.

Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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