Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Whiskey Cream Sauce

Labor of Love, AKA Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Whiskey Cream Sauce.

Human beings are fairly predictable. We generally do things for others, for one of two reasons–to GIVE or to GET. It doesn’t really matter what the action is; giving or getting is always the underlying motivation.

Sadly it’s most common to give TO GET. If you watch people closely you can usually read their intentions. They are after title, promotion, acceptance, favors, money. Their smiles and efforts seem luring, but their agenda is purely selfish.

Yet if you don’t lose hope, along the way, some will surprise you!

As a parent, you get to watch this glorious development in your children. For the first several years, they ONLY give to get. They want instant gratification. When it isn’t available…tantrum!

Then slowly, they learn to give…for the sake of giving. They offer a plucked garden flower, simply because they know it will make you happy. They mention you in their bedtime prayers–protective of mommy and daddy. They share candy or a silly band with a friend who doesn’t have any. Beautiful.

Offering words, time, affection, a listening ear, even money, for the sole purpose of giving, is truly divine! Sometimes it feels like a sacrifice in the process, but when you look back on it, and see the impact it has made on others, the reward is rich.

When you offer a gift to someone and receive no personal benefit, it restores faith in the recipient’s heart!

Homemade gnocchi is this kind of gift. It is not quick. It is not (terribly) easy. It takes time, determination and patience. It is a labor of love.

These tiny melt-in-your-mouth pillows of heaven are a simple act of giving. Gnocchi shows anyone you serve them to, that they are special. They are worth your time and effort. Not because you want something from them–but because you love them!

I can’t think of another pasta that offers such sublime flavor and delicate texture. Plus, the Whiskey Cream Sauce is spectacular in it’s own right. Silky, robust–a perfect coating for the most luxurious of pastas!

Make this for someone you love, just because. (But give yourself ample time to prepare it!)

The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving. ~Albert Einstein

To make:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut the squach in half. Remove the seeds and lay on a oiled, rimmed baking sheets. Roast the squash until soft—30-40 minutes.

Scoop the flesh of the squash out and place it in the food processor. Puree until completely smooth.

Mix the pureed squash with parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, pepper and eggs. Then add the flour into the mixture and work together by hand. It will be very sticky.


Once smooth, flour a work surface and a large piece of parchment paper. Flour your hands and grab a handful of dough. Roll into a long strip, about ½ inch wide. Cut the strip into ½ pieces.

~This is the tricky part~ Place each piece in the palm of your hand (or on the cutting board) and gently roll with a fork to create ridges. Place each piece on the floured parchment paper and repeat with the rest of the dough.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Boil half the gnocchi, then remove and repeat. With each batch, boil until all the gnocchi floats—about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat another large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and flour, whisk until smooth.

Then add the shallots and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes.

Then add the bourbon and chicken stock.

Whisk and raise heat. Bring the sauce to a boil. Allow the sauce to reduce down to a thin gravy-like consistency. Then lower the heat to medium-low and add the cream. Salt and pepper to taste—usually about 1 tsp. of salt.

Once the gnocchi are finished cooking, remove them with a skimmer and place them directly into the cream sauce. Stir to coat.

Serve the gnocchi warm and garnish with fresh thyme leaves! Serves 4.

*If the cream sauce thickens too much, add a little water from the gnocchi pot to thin it out!

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Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Whiskey Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

1 small butternut squash, about 1 lb.
½ cup Parmesan cheese
¾ tsp. nutmeg, cinnamon, or ginger
1 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
2 eggs
2+ cups flour
3 Tb. butter
2 Tb. flour
2 shallots, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup bourbon
1/3 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Fresh thyme leaves for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut the squach in half. Remove the seeds and lay on a oiled, rimmed baking sheets. Roast the squash until soft—30-40 minutes.

Scoop the flesh of the squash out and place it in the food processor. Puree until completely smooth.

Mix the pureed squash with parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, pepper and eggs. Then add the flour into the mixture and work together by hand. It will be very sticky.

Once smooth, flour a work surface and a large piece of parchment paper. Flour your hands and grab a handful of dough. Roll into a long strip, about ½ inch wide. Cut the strip into ½ pieces.

~This is the tricky part~ Place each piece in the palm of your hand (or on the cutting board) and gently roll with a fork to create ridges. Place each piece on the floured parchment paper and repeat with the rest of the dough.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Boil half the gnocchi, then remove and repeat. With each batch, boil until all the gnocchi floats—about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat another large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and flour, whisk until smooth. Then add the shallots and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes. Then add the bourbon and chicken stock.

Whisk and raise heat. Bring the sauce to a boil. Allow the sauce to reduce down to a thin gravy-like consistency. Then lower the heat to medium-low and add the cream. Salt and pepper to taste—usually about 1 tsp. of salt.

Once the gnocchi are finished cooking, remove them with a skimmer and place them directly into the cream sauce. Stir to coat.

Serve the gnocchi warm and garnish with fresh thyme leaves! *If the cream sauce thickens too much, add a little water from the gnocchi pot to thin it out!

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59 Responses to “Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Whiskey Cream Sauce”

  1. #
    51
    Elana — November 7, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

    I'm planning on making this tonight- but I was wondering how many servings it makes?

    Reply

  2. #
    52
    A SPICY PERSPECTIVE — November 7, 2010 @ 10:34 pm

    Hey Elana~ Sorry to respond so late, I've been gone all day. It makes 4 good sized servings! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

    Reply

  3. #
    53
    Ashley — April 3, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

    I meant to make these on Easter, but my squash went bad! So I made them yesterday…and I’m glad they turned out so tasty! It was a lot of work (not something I’d normally tackle on a weeknight) but they were incredibly flavorful. The sauce was great, and the flavor from the roasted squash really was wonderful. I love the addition of fresh nutmeg. Yum! Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply

  4. #
    54
    Samantha — April 2, 2014 @ 12:05 pm

    These look amazing! But if you are making them for any sort of group (pot luck, Thanksgiving, etc) please consider making it with vegetable stock. This is the sort of thing vegetarians will get really excited about and reach for. A good veggie stock will taste just as good (or better) I promise!

    Reply

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