I’m always excited when I can incorporate my Chopped Challenge ingredients into a dish I was already planning to make. This week it worked out just that way. On my menu for the week I had planned to make butternut squash gnocchi. I’ve been wanting to make homemade gnocchi for years, just never had gotten around to it. When I picked up an assortment of just-in-season squash varieties last weekend, I knew I wanted to whip that butternut squash into my first ever homemade gnocchi.
Luckily, Becca Rogers submitted squash as the first ingredient in this weeks challenge. As I awaited the results of what else I would be cooking with I was crossing my fingers that they were ingredients I could use with the gnocchi. The next three items to roll in on my Facebook page were Okra from Jake Fordenbacher, Peanut Butter from Jessica Pauls and Cornmeal from Kate Elizabeth.
Now these ingredients I could definitely work into my butternut squash gnocchi. The final result of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” Week Eight: Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Balsamic Peanut Butter Sauce and Crispy Parmesan Okra.
Ingredients (serves 6)
Butternut Squash Gnocchi
- 1 butternut squash
- ½ cup ricotta
- ¼ cup parmesan
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp fresh sage
- 1 egg
- 4 cups brown rice flour
Balsamic Peanut Butter Sauce
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 tsp maple syrup
Crispy Parmesan Okra
- 2 cups okra (fresh or frozen/defrosted)
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 tsp paprika
Begin by slicing the squash in half and removing the seeds.
Next, roast the squash cut side down in a 400° oven for 45 minutes.
Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool.
Once cool enough to handle, scoop the squash out and discard the skin.
Puree the squash with a hand mixer.
Once completely cooled add the ricotta and parmesan.
Next add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, sage and egg.
Mix well then add the flour one cup at a time until the dough is somewhat sticky, but not too sticky too handle.
Cover the dough with a damp towel for 30 minutes, then slice the dough into 8 sections.
One section at a time roll the dough out into a snake-like shape and cut into equal squares.
Next, press down on each individual gnocchi with a floured fork to produce indentations then drop the gnocchi 10-12 pieces at a time into a large pot of boiling water. Do not over-crowd the pot with gnocchi or they will stick together.
Once the gnocchi rises to the top of the water they are ready to go in the sauce for tossing. Speaking of the sauce, lets make that now!
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a skillet and bring to a simmer.
Simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.
When the gnocchi is ready, toss in the sauce before serving.
For the side, prepare the crispy parmesan okra while the butternut squash is roasting.
Begin by whisking together the milk and syrup then pouring over the okra.
Next, place the wet okra into a large ziploc bag, then cover with the parmesan, cornmeal and paprika.
Shake until all of the okra is well coated then spread evenly onto a baking sheet.
Bake in a 400° oven for 30 minutes, then serve on the side of the gnocchi. I also drizzled mine with a little balsamic vinegar before serving. Totally optional, but I liked the meshing of the flavors with the Balsamic Peanut Butter Sauce!
This was the first Chopped Challenge meal that I invited a dinner party of friends over for! After-all, I wasn’t making all of that homemade gnocchi for nothing!
Everyone LOVED the Balsamic Peanut Butter Sauce! It’s so fun when those random “mystery basket” ingredients end up turning into a new family favorite!
Now it’s time to dig in!
Then the okra!
Such a delicious fall meal!
♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.
♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.