Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Blue Cheese and Bacon

What better combo than gnocchi, blue cheese and bacon? This was inspired by a recipe on the Culture Magazine site and a hunk of Gorgonzola dolce I had from one of their great Zoom seminars. Making the gnocchi is a bit of a project, but it’s worth it and the recipe can be done in stages and put together quickly. Serves 4:

Butternut Gnocchi with Bacon and Blue Cheese Sauce 

  • 1 ½ cups cooked butternut squash, from about 1 medium sized squash*
  • ½ cup ricotta
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 slices bacon, finely diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces Gorgonzola or other blue cheese, crumbled

Combine cooked squash, ricotta, Parmigiano Reggiano, egg, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Fold in flour a little at a time until dough is slightly stiff, but still sticky. Try not to overwork the dough.

On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope, about an inch in diameter. Using a knife or bench scraper, cut each rope into 3/4-inch pieces. Transfer to a baking sheet.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, cook gnocchi until tender, stirring occasionally, until it floats to the top—about 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked gnocchi to a clean baking sheet to cool.

Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp and brown, about five minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper towel. Set aside.

Add gnocchi to pan with bacon fat and cook until golden brown, flipping once, about 2-3 minutes per side. Stir in spinach until just wilted. Remove from heat.

Melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in blue cheese until combined. Add mixture to gnocchi and toss gently to let the cheese melt into the gnocchi. Serve warm with crispy bacon on top and enjoy!

My verdict:

What a great use of butternut squash! Of course, I’m probably prejudiced because I love gnocchi and coating it in Gorgonzola, butter and bacon, can’t hurt, can it? You can make and boil the gnocchi, let it cool and freeze it for future use. We had a lot of the blue cheese and butter mix leftover, so I rolled it up in a log in parchment paper and froze it with the gnocchi. Next time dinner will be a snap. This was a bit of a project, but I roasted the squash and made the gnocchi in the morning and finished the dish in less than 30 minutes.

*Being kind of lazy about peeling butternut squash, I just cut it in half lengthwise and roasted it for about 35 minutes in a 425° oven. When it cooled, I scooped out the flesh and mixed that with the rest of the gnocchi ingredients.

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