squash

Vegetables

Acorn Squash + Creamy Herb Farro

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Creamy Herb Farro | www.hungryinlove.com
Creamy Herb Farro | www.hungryinlove.com

Spring has sprung and brought with her today  a high of 28 degrees. Good grief. We're weary here in New England but I know, I know, old news.  I'd probably be numb to our situation if we hadn't just returned from a jaunt to Florida. There's nothing like a four day Vitamin-D binge to bring your state of deprivation into sharp focus. Well that and the fact that while I'm sporting flip flops and a maxi dress, the snowbird one seat over at brunch is cloaked in a turtleneck and a fleece. No lie.

But enough of that. In the spirit of the sunshine state, I'll turn to the bright side. March in New England has its charms and one is kitchen projects that involve cream sauce and melted cheese. Think of our poor neighbors to the south. Floridians have no business turning their ovens on in 80 degree weather. I'll bet there's but six weeks a year where roasted squash sounds like a good idea. The rest of the time they're left to get along on coconuts, strawberries, and rum runners. It's a pity, really, to not know the joys of hunkering.

This mish-mash was dreamed up one of those nights where the dinner selections looked positively drab. Wilty parsley = not inspiring. But you know what is? Mac + cheese. This farro will take you there. Except 'there', with all those whole grains and green speckles, will feel delightfully virtuous.

Hello sunshine, my old friend. 

Hello sunshine, my old friend. 

Farro | www.hungyinlove.com
Acorn Squash | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Acorn Squash | www.hungryinlove.com
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Creamy Herb Farro | www.hungryinlove.com

Roasted Acorn Squash + Creamy Herb Farro

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 Acorn squash
  • Olive oli, salt, + pepper
  • 1 cup farro
  • 2 Tbs. butter 
  • 1 Tbs. flour
  • 1 Cup whole milk
  • 1 Cup grated Gruyere cheese + extra for sprinkling
  • 1 Cup chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and basil)

Prep

  • Roast the Squash
    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
    • Cut squash in half lengthwise (be careful, this part's a tad scary)
    • Scoop out seeds and discard (or save to roast)
    • Place halves on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt + pepper
    • Bake for one hour or until the flesh easily gives when pierced with a fork; remove from oven
  • Cook the Farro
    • Bring 6 cups of salted water to a rolling boil
    • Rinse farro and add to boiling water (You can cook farro like rice or like pasta; I prefer the pasta method so you eliminate the guessing game of getting the right grain to liquid ratio)
    • Cook farro at a boil for 20 minutes or until grains are tender
    • Drain
  • Make Cheese Sauce
    • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan melt butter over medium heat
    • Whisk in flour
    • Whisking regularly, cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until roux takes on a light brown color and becomes completely smooth; take care not to burn
    • Add milk whisking constantly until sauce begins to thicken
    • Turn heat to low and continue cooking, whisking regularly, for about 10 minutes until sauce is smooth and no longer tastes of flour
    • Add grated cheese and stir until melted and incorporated
    • Remove from heat
  • Assemble
    • Add cooked farro and fresh herbs to the cheese sauce and stir until well blended (you will have more of this mixture than you need to fill the squash, and that's is a good thing! It's awesome on its own and makes great leftovers)
    • Scoop farro into squash halves and garnish with grated Gruyere
    • Return squash to a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until cheese on top has melted and just browned
    • Serve hot

 

Pasta

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Butternut Squash Gnocchi | www.hungryinlove.com

When Tripp and I got married I told him that there was one condition under which I would permit him to file for a divorce: in the event I develop a gluten intolerance. Before you start thinking he's a crummy guy, let me explain. It is I who would become intolerable. My relationship with bread, pasta, cake and the like can pretty much be summed up by this Mariah Carey song  ("You've got me feeling emotions / Deeper than I ever dreamed of / Now you know the way you make me lose control / When you're looking into my eyes.") I'm actually aghast that I haven't posted a pasta recipe on this blog yet. So here begins what will surely be a robust section of this site.

This gnocchi has a couple steps but it's worth it. You start with an old clunker of a squash and end up with delicate little butternut-colored pasta pillows.  It's a beautiful thing.

Butternut Squash | www.hungryinlove.com
Butternut Squash Gnocchi Dough | www.hungryinlove.com
Butternut Squash Gnocchi | www.hungryinlove.com
Butternut Squash Gnocchi | www.hungryinlove.com
Find the recipe for this  Parmesan Broth at BonAppetit .

Find the recipe for this Parmesan Broth at BonAppetit.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups butternut squash puree (1 medium butternut squash + olive oil, salt, and pepper)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • Sage leaves
  • 4 Tbs. butter, divided
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup Parmesan Broth (we prepared this recipe from BonAppetit; if you don't feel like bothering with this, your pasta cooking water is a fine substitute)

Prep

Squash Puree

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees;
  • Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds
  • Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  • Roast until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes 
  • Scoop flesh out of squash and transfer to a food processor
  • Blend until smooth, 30-60 seconds; allow to cool; this may be done a day ahead (you may have a bit more than 1 1/2 cups - here are a few ideas from The Kitchn on how you can use any leftovers)

Gnocchi

  • In a mixing bowl, beat an egg into squash puree (use only 1 1/2 cups)
  • Gradually fold in flour (Note: dough will be soft. You want to add enough flour for the dough to just come together. If dough is still sticky after adding the full 2 cups of flour, continue adding one tablespoon at a time until it's workable.)
  • Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead gently until smooth
  • Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 8 equal sections
  • Take each section and using your palms roll into a long rope, about 1/2 inch thick
  • Cut the rope into 1/2 inch pieces and transfer the gnocchi to a floured surface (at this point you can pinch each gnocchi with the tines of a fork but I skipped this step)
  • Gnocchi may be used fresh or frozen; to freeze, spread gnocchi on a baking sheet so they are not touching and freeze until firm, about 1 hour; transfer frozen gnocchi to a zip lock bag for freezer storage

Sage Leaves

  • In a small saute pan heat 1 Tbs. butter and 1 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat
  • Add sage leaves (removed from stem) and fry 5-10 seconds until crisp - do not brown
  • Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt

Assembly

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; have a large saute pan on another burner ready to go
  • Cook fresh gnocchi at a rolling boil until they float, about 3 minutes; remove gnocchi using a slotted spoon and drain
  • In a large saute pan, heat 3 Tbs. butter over medium heat
  • Once butter has melted, add cooked gnocchi and parmesan broth (substitute pasta cooking liquid if not using parmesan broth; you can also add a handful of finely grated parmesan at this step if you like)
  • Cook over medium high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes; the gnocchi will be lightly coated in sauce
  • Transfer gnocchi to serving dishes, garnish with fried sage leaves, and serve immediately