My Italian grandparents used to be famous for their gnocchi, and one summer they showed me how to make them.
This is their gnocchi recipe as I remember it, except I made it vegan (no egg) and with butternut squash instead of potato. You could use potato if you prefer a more traditional method.
If you’re looking for healthy comfort food, look no further!
- 1/2 butternut squash (about 2 cups)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp dried basil, oregano, or sage depending on what flavor you prefer (or fresh leaves, chopped up)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Make the gnocchi: Poke the butternut squash with a fork all around and roast at 350F for about 1 1/2 hours until you can stick a fork through the neck pretty easily. Or microwave it for 10-15 minutes until tender.
Cool, cut in half, then scoop out and discard the seeds. Next, scoop out the flesh into a medium bowl and discard the skin. You’ll only need half of the squash so you can eat the rest separately.
Add the olive oil and salt and mix them in, then add the flour, mixing in 1/2 cup at a time. It will come together into a sticky dough ball. Knead it a few times to make sure it’s uniformly mixed (no chunks of flour or squash). If the dough really sticks to your fingers, add a little bit more flour, but not too much.
Break off spoonfuls of dough and roll them in gently floured hands into gnocchi-sized ellipses or cylinders, about 1″ long. You can optionally slide them over the back of a fork or spoon to make little patterns if you like. Place the gnocchi on a parchment-lined baking sheet – freeze until you’re ready to cook them.
Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, then add the garlic and herbs. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden but not too brown, then add the crushed tomatoes.
Turn the heat down to let the sauce bubble and simmer for as long as you can, at least while the gnocchi cook, then taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed.
Cook and serve: Drop the gnocchi into a large pot of salted, boiling water. They will pop up to the top after a few minutes. After about 10 minutes of boiling, take a large one out and taste it or cut it in half to see if it’s still doughy in the middle. If they’re frozen, they will take longer to cook (up to 20 minutes or so, depending on how big they are).
Once they’re cooked through, drain the water, toss the gnocchi with the sauce, and serve up yummy plates. Top with vegan parmesan and freshly ground pepper if you like.
Today, let us see what Thich Nhat Hanh has to say about interbeing:
“If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either…
If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see the wheat. We know the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.
Looking even more deeply, we can see we are in it too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, the sheet of paper is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. You cannot point out one thing that is not here-time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper.
“To be” is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.”