Friday, August 7, 2009

Organic Butternut Squash Gnocchi w/ Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Summer on a farm is a seriously difficult time to start a blog- but I'm trying :) Harvesting food with a 21month old is challenging . Strawberries are a hit with the baby foodie and are her blanket word for blackberries,raspberries,blueberries,beets and radishes. Strawberry picking is also an excuse to runaway from home sporting only a bare bum and a pair of crocs.

Our Winter Squash are growing like gangbusters and we'll soon have a full line up of spaghetti squash, hubbard, pumpkin, fairy and butternut. This is a surprisingly versatile and delicious vegetable. Even if you have no time or imagination you can't really screw up squash ( I'm sure someone has a horror story but c'est la vie). This recipe uses butternut squash in the gnocchi and pumpkin seeds in the pesto .

Though I can't live without EVOO ( the only good thing to come from Rachel Ray-snide.. I know) Extra Virgin Olive oil for the uninitiated the rest of this recipe is homegrown- my farm, canadian wheat AND california organic lemons (another can't live without). Make Gnocchi with a friend (glass of wine can stand in for friend) and music you can dance around too (Harry Belafonte is enjoying a renaissance in my house courtesy of the 21month old- surprisingly misogynistic, listen to Angelique-O). This makes enough to freeze.


  • One smallish Butternut Squash peeled , seeded and cubed
  • One medium yukon gold potato peeled and cubed
  • 3 1/2 ish cups of white flour
  • 3/4 tsp of good salt
The combined amount of squash and potato should be about 3 cups. In a large pot just cover with water and add salt . Steam for approx 12 minutes until fork tender. Strain well, mash until not lumpy add approx 3 cups of flour, stir with wooden spoon until mixed. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and add the remaining amount of flour. Knead gently for 2-3 mins until still sticky but forms a ball. Divide dough into 4 pieces. With hands dusted with flour form each piece into a long rope about an inch thick and with a knife dusted with flour ( you may have to keep dusting it with flour repeatedly) cut into small pieces. Place onto a greased floured cookie sheet not touching one another. You will probably need 4 cookie sheets. This way any extra gnocchi are ready to be frozen. Boil water in a large pot add large pinch of salt, when at a rolling boil add gnocchi - when they float they are done. If you make the full amount it will serve 6 people main course servings. Strain and toss in pesto.

Please use organic ingredients !

  • 2 large handfuls of genovese basil leaves washed, dried and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup of fresh toasted pumpkin seeds - put raw seeds in a hot dry pan over medium heat when they pop they are toasted on one side, stir and keep an eye on them -just lightly toast
  • 1/2 cup EVOO- Extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of one small lemon- strained
  • large clove garlic smashed-use more if you like it !
  • 1/4 tsp of good salt -use more if you like it !
I have been using my blender to make this . EVOO goes in first then basil, pumpkin seeds, lemon juice, smashed garlic clove, salt. Pulse a few times and use a spatula to clean the sides down. Blend until smooth. Taste and re-season if necessary - more salt, garlic, lemon juice. Refrigerate any extra for a max of 5 days or freeze. This makes about 4 generous servings. You can also add this pesto to fresh hot cream or further it with extra olive oil.

I usually finish this dish with a dusting of parmigiano-reggiano and some sweet cherry tomatoes halved.

Enjoy !


Anonymous said...

I really want to try this pumpkin seed pesto. It looks amazing and I love your blog! Nice to read from someone who loves food as much as I do :)

aka Posh pudding

powderate said...

I relish this recipe as an addition to the fresh collection of stove-top recipes I'm gathering for this coming winter, where the challenge is to create portable back country meals for our guests, students and staff who are ski mountaineering powder hounds.

Thank you, Lee Ann.

Grace said...

this sounds amazing! I wonder if the butternut squash seeds could be utilized in the pesto as well. Maybe I'll give it a try!

ChocoMilk said...

Yum... vegetarian goodness! My sister will enjoy this a lot--she's vegetarian and writes a blog about being a teenage vegetarian so I'll def pass on some of these recipes to her! She'll enjoy them a lot, I'm sure.

ChocoMilk said...

By the way the pictures are beautiful! And I really admire your dedication to organic food. We should know what's in our food!

Maggie said...

Gnocchi and pesto!!! One of my favs combination, thanks for this recipe!!!

I'm also into the food blog world, and it would be great if you can take a look at my site and leave me any comment/suggestion.

Take care and keep posting!