I don't eat gnocchi much, but when I do, I really like it. I ended up making this dish not because I was craving gnocchi though, but because I had all of these wonderful fresh zucchini around and was dying to make something with zucchini ribbons; they were the inspiration for this one. A while back, I saw a picture of some dish with zucchini ribbons and gnocchi, so decided to roll with that idea, but added some extra goodness along with it. I love the combination of butternut squash and sage together- it's amazing- and I love Parmesan and nutmeg together... so I went with that, knowing they'd fuse together to make some yummy deliciousness. I decided to keep this light- no heavy sauces, but rather added flavor by using fresh herbs. I started by infusing a little ghee (I used ghee/clarified butter- use regular butter if you want) with some fresh sage, then added shallots, zucchini ribbons, roasted butternut squash, tomatoes, parsley, a dash of nutmeg, parmesan, and gnocchi. The gnocchi was pre-cooked so once it was in the pan, it just needed a little heat, nothing more. You can make yours fresh or buy one you like from the store- either way will work for this. Once you have the gnocchi and squash ready, this dish is quick- done in a matter of minutes! You have to move kind of fast actually 'cause you want the zucchini and tomatoes to be lightly cooked, but not so much so that they're droopy and mushy- they just get tossed in, heated up, and tossed out!! It's really yummy when done... the man was thoroughly into this one- loved it actually! Yay, I love successes!!
2 cups gnocchi, see note below
1 cup butternut squash, cut into 1 inch squares/bite-sized pieces
1 large zucchini, about 2 cups when shaved
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 large shallot
1/4 cup parsley, I use flat-leaf
5-6 sage leaves (make extra for garnish if desired)
1/2 cup Parmesan, plus extra for topping
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tbsp ghee/butter
For gnocchi, you can make it fresh or buy it at a store. For a great basic gnocchi recipe, I like Mario Batali's, which can be found HERE. If you prefer to buy it, find a nice fresh or frozen gnocchi you like, boil until they begin to float- only a few minutes, and drain.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Begin with roasting squash...
Drizzle squash with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper
Bake for about 20 minutes, until soft
Flip them about half way through
While the squash is cooking, prep all of the other ingredients...
If the gnocchi isn't already cooked and drained, do so now :)
Trim the ends of zucchini
Then carefully peel thin slices, or ribbons, with a vegetable peeler
I find it easiest to start with it standing up, peeling about half...
And then laying flat to peel remaining half... however works for you is great
You want at least 2 cups of zucchini ribbons, more is fine
Then thinly slice shallot (you can mince if prefer, but I like long strings/rings)
Half tomatoes, chop parsley, and grate cheese (or get out if already grated)
By now, squash should be done...
So now you have all ingredients ready!
In a large skillet, heat ghee/butter over medium-high heat
Lay sage leaves flat in melted goodness and let cook for a couple minutes, until crisp and sizzling
Flip and let lightly brown on other side- you don't want to burn them, so just let it lightly sizzle and then remove from heat- place on a paper towel to dry
Set aside until serving, but this step is done first to
infuse the butter/ghee with that delicious sage flavor
Okay, this is where everything starts happening really fast... so be ready!
Throw the shallots in the pan and stir around, still over medium heat, quickly for about one minute
Since pan was already hot, they will cook quickly and brown easily- keep stirring until lightly golden
Then toss in zucchini ribbons
Spread out over pan, but be gentle since these intertwine and get messy easily-
you want to try and keep them in nice ribbons
They don't need long- just a enough time to mix in with shallots-
less than a minute before the next thing goes in...
Mix in squash and gnocchi now... stir carefully just to keep things from burning
Again, don't let these sit long- just a few seconds to get things situated and mixed in pan
Then toss in tomatoes, parsley, nutmeg, Parmesan, salt and pepper
Stir gently and give it enough time to heat through, a minute or so
Immediately transfer to a dish...
Like I said, this is all very quick- since the gnocchi and squash are
already cooked, the pan cooking is just to mix flavors and get things heated up
It's up to you how cooked you want everything- I like my tomatoes still plump and fresh tasting, so I barely leave them in there... you can choose to cook them longer if you prefer
When ready to eat, serve, top with sage leaves and a little fresh Parmesan, and enjoy!!
Best when eaten warm or at room-temp :)