Pear Feta Gnocchi

On the plane home from Italy, I started a list of dishes we had tried that I wanted to recreate in my own kitchen. The pear gorgonzola gnocchi I had on one of our last in days in the country went straight to the top of the list. I loved the way the sweet pears contrasted with the sharp gorgonzola, and couldn’t get over the soft, pillowy gnocchi.

Last night, I tried to reproduce the gnocchi. Since I couldn’t find local gorgonzola, I used feta instead. While not as sharp in flavor, it added a nice saltiness to the sauce. And instead of the traditional potatoes, I used butternut squash puree.

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Pear Feta Gnocchi

Serves 6

For the gnocchi:

1 c butternut squash puree

1 1/4 c flour (see note)

1 egg

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For the sauce:

1 T olive oil

1 medium Bartlett pear, diced

1 c milk

2 tsp spelt flour

2 T butter

8 oz feta cheese, crumbled

For the gnocchi:

Fill a large stock pot with water, and bring to a boil. In the meantime…

With a fork, whisk together the squash puree and egg in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour in 1/4 c increments, mixing after each one. Eventually, you may need to use your hands to mix in the flour. When the dough has reached the point where it can be rolled out but is still sticky, stop adding flour.

Separate the dough into 6 equal pieces. On a floured surface, roll each piece out into 3/4″ thick ropes. Cut each rope into 1/2″ pieces, forming little dough pillows.

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In 3 batches, drop the gnocchi into the boiling water. Allow to cook for 7-8 minutes. This will be when the gnocchi have floated to the top of the pot and cooked for an additional 1 or 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked gnocchi to a serving bowl, allowing the water to drain off first. Repeat with remaining gnocchi.

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For the sauce:

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pear and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, or until the pear has started to caramelize and brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

In the same pan, heat the milk and flour over medium-low heat, whisking them together until well-mixed. Add the butter and stir until melted. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the liquid starts to bubble and reduce. Add the cheese and pear and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is heated through. Toss with gnocchi and serve.

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Note: The sauce was spot-on, but the gnocchi was a little tough. I think I added too much flour? I suggest using a little less. The dough will be more sticky, but according to my research, it will also be more light and pillowy.

Comments

  1. says

    what a fabulous idea! gnocchi are definitely tricky, I’ve been meaning to try them again! i think it is a tricky balance with the flour, and smoothness of the butternut squash (or potato). might have to try this one myself :)

  2. says

    I just returned last night from a week-long cooking class in Italy. We made regular gnocchi one day and the teacher said the trick is to use about 1/3 flour compared to the amount of potato. The gnocchi we made was out of this world. So soft and like you said, pillowy! I have the recipe we used at the school on my blog if you’re interested. I’m going to certainly try your sauce!

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