Tag Archives: pasta

Meatless Monday: Pumpkin Gnocchi Recipe

pumpkin gnocchi recipe

Fall is a favorite culinary season for many of us. There’s still an abundance of fresh produce to be had in the markets, but the cooling temperatures allow the chef to once more unfold the apron and re-enter the kitchen. Days gets shorter, the light gets more golden, and we again turn to comforting, hearty recipes that will carry us through the winter.

We of course turn to carb-heavy dishes, and pasta is definitely a favorite of all, but after all the pasta salads of the summer, you might be hankering for something more filling and a bit more interesting. Like gnocchi: small, pillowy pasta dumplings are so evocative of Italian Nonas. Or, in this case, pumpkin gnocchi!

pumpkin gnocchi recipe

Alas, many people hear the word “homemade gnocchi” and hear: kitchen nightmare! But don’t be intimidated by this homemade pasta! It’s actually very easy to make, and is a great recipe for any weeknight (yes, we promise).

pumpkin gnocchi recipe

We decided not to go with the traditional potato gnocchi, which can still be quite heavy for this time of year, and also has no nutritional benefits to speak of (other than delicious, which is not a nutritional benefit). Instead, try our very seasonal pumpkin gnocchi, made with roasted pumpkin (butternut squash will also do in a pinch).  Not only is it lighter, pumpkin is also rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, which are great to pump our immune system for the winter ahead (for more information on the amazing health benefits of pumpkin, check out this article).

pumpkin gnocchi recipe

You can choose to mark the pumpkin gnocchi with the traditional ridges with the tines of a fork, but if you find that too time-consuming, gnocchi can be perfectly (and in some chef’s opinion, correctly) served plain. What is important is to roast the pumpkin instead of boiling it, so you don’t add any water to them – water is the enemy of gnocchi. Also important: make sure the gnocchi are about ½ inch thick, and not any thicker, which will cause the outside to cook faster than the inside.

pumpkin gnocchi recipe

Pair your pumpkin gnocchi with your favorite sauce. In our case, that is a simple and traditional brown butter and sage sauce. A generous serving of grated Italian cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano, and you’re got a delicious fall dinner recipe.

 

Pumpkin Gnocchi Recipe

Prep Time: 18 minutes

Serving Size: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin, cubed
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup Grana Padano cheese, very finely grated
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/3 cup for kneading
  • 2 tsp. Sea salt
  • 5 tbsp. Butter
  • ¼ cup fresh sage leaves
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a bowl, toss the cubed pumpkin with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange in a baking sheet, and bake until they’re tender and golden about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, let cool down to warm, and puree using a food processor.
  5. In a bowl, mix 1 cup of the pumpkin puree with the Grana Padano cheese, egg yolk and nutmeg, until incorporated. Slowly add in the flour, mixing and forming a soft dough ball.
  6. Working on a floured surface, cut the dough into equal pieces, then roll them out into ropes of about ½ inch thick. Add more flour as needed as you go along. Cut each rope into small pieces, about ½ inch wide. They should resemble small, plump pillows.
  7. Optional: using a fork dipped in flour, mark the gnocchi with the tines of the fork by rolling it and gently pressing down.
  8. Transfer to a floured baking sheet.
  9. Boil a large pot of salted water, and start adding the gnocchi, a few at a time, stirring once in a while. Once they rise to the surface, cook for an additional 30 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon or skimmer. Set aside on a pan or large plate while you work on your sauce.
  10. Heat a large saucepan until hot, then add the butter. Once the butter has melted completely, add the sage and stir. Leave it for about ½ minutes, until fragrant, then add the gnocchi and toss till golden. Serve with a good amount of grated Grana Padano.
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Braised Chicken in a delicious Sherry and Sherry Vinegar Reduction – browning the chicken. Photo by: Alexandra – AlexandraCooks.com

Winter Weeknights: Braised Chicken With Sherry and Sherry Vinegar

Sophisticated Take On Chicken And Noodles! Braised Chicken in a delicious Sherry and Sherry Vinegar Reduction, Over Egg Noodles. Photo by: Alexandra of AlexandraCooks.com

Sophisticated Take On Chicken And Noodles! Braised Chicken in a delicious Sherry and Sherry Vinegar Reduction, Over Egg Noodles. Photo by: Alexandra of AlexandraCooks.com

There are a few things more comforting than a big bowl of pasta during a cold winter night. Easy to make (boiling water, anyone) and the ingredients don’t really spoil (who has ever looked at the expiration date on a box of spaghetti?). However, weeknight pasta can get boring and need beefing up, or, in this case, chicken-ing up! Introducing your new favorite pairing for your winter spaghetti dinners: Braised Chicken With Sherry Vinegar by Alexandra of AlexandraCooks.com.

The recipe calls for the more flavorful sections of the chicken – thighs and drumsticks. However, Alexandra buys the chicken whole and like to cut it up – she has a super useful video on how to do this, if you’re interested in giving it a try. If, however, you’re not feeling like putting in some many kitchen hours, just buy a tray of thighs and drumsticks (organic or free-range chicken is always more flavorful).

Why Sherry Vinegar?

The addition of a good aged Sherry vinegar makes a world of a difference in sauces. To even be considered Sherry vinegar, it must be produced from the sherry grape, aged in American oak barrels for at least six months, and all this needs to happen in what’s called the “sherry triangle” of Spain, an area in the Spanish province of Cadiz. This wine vinegar is sweet, well rounded, with a full bouquet of flavors, which translates into the finished preparation.

This dish will fill your kitchen with delicious aromas, as you braise, sauté and reduce your heart out. Serve Alexandra’s Braised Chicken in Sherry Vinegar with egg noodles, your favorite spaghetti, or just with a big hunk of bread to wipe that plate nice and clean. For more of Alexandra’s great recipes, follow her blog at www.AlexandraCooks.com. You can view her original recipe, along with some very useful tips, here.

Braised Chicken in a delicious Sherry and Sherry Vinegar Reduction – browning the chicken. Photo by: Alexandra – AlexandraCooks.com

Braised Chicken in a delicious Sherry and Sherry Vinegar Reduction – browning the chicken. Photo by: Alexandra – AlexandraCooks.com

 

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Braised Chicken With Sherry and Sherry Vinegar - AlexandraCooks

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Braised Chicken With Sherry and Sherry Vinegar - AlexandraCooks

Serve this mouthwatering braised chicken in sherry vinegar over your favorite pasta, or simply with a side salad and a big hunk of bread.

Ingredients

  • Thighs and drumsticks from one 3lb chicken, skin on.
  • kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • freshly cracked pepper, plus more to taste
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive, grapeseed or peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup medium-sweet sherry
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar, prerably aged
  • 1 – 1-1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup drained and coarsley chopped peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
  2. Heat 2 tsp. oil in a skillet and sear chicken until golden on each side. Add more oil as needed working in batches.
  3. Reduce heat and sauté shallots, covered until softened; uncover and sauté until golden brown. Add sherry and deglaze; reduce by half. Add vinegar and sugar and reduce by half. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, mustard, salt and pepper. Add chicken thighs and legs, partially cover and cook 7 mins. Cover and simmer 20 mins or until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Remove chicken to a plate.
  5. Simmer sauce 10 mins or until slightly thickened and flavors are rich and mellow.
  6. Return chicken to pan and heat through.
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