Last September, Mike and I had a lovely date night dinner at Basil's Restaurant. The view of the Crystal Court from the Mary Tyler Moore table was amazing, the fresh bread with basil butter was delicious, and the food presentation was beautiful. The only thing missing was butternut squash: my butternut squash gnocchi entree featured six measly pieces of butternut squash, all but drowned out (albeit deliciously) by piles of gnocchi and a thick cream sauce. Since then, the thought of making a butternut squash and gnocchi dish with a more generous squash-to-gnocchi ratio has been at the back of my mind. Spurred on by some increasingly pathetic-looking mushrooms left over from Vegetable Fried Jasmine Rice and a package of mushroom gnocchi from the Cosseta Market in St. Paul, I finally gave my recipe scheme a try this week. Instead of making a cream sauce, I simply roasted the squash with some olive oil and tossed in some Parmesan cheese. Besides being healthier, this also allowed the flavor of the butternut squash to shine through.
If you can't find mushroom gnocchi, I'm sure regular gnocchi would work just as well. However, you may want to double the amount of mushrooms in the dish if you want a more pronounced mushroom flavor.
- 2 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 6 cups)
- 4 ounces white mushrooms, quartered (about 1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 16 ounce package mushroom gnocchi
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place squash and mushrooms in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss until squash and mushrooms are evenly coated with oil. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 35 minutes or until squash is tender.
Meanwhile, prepare gnocchi according to package directions.
Add the prepared gnocchi and the Parmesan cheese to the squash mixture and toss.