Chef Tara Lee’s Roasted Butternut Squash and Ricotta Gnudi

To me, winter feels like the most difficult season to stick to veg-first eating habits. The call of meaty bolognese and chicken stews rings through my head when the snow starts flying.

This recipe from Eastbound Brewery’s chef Tara Lee, leans in with the hearty trio of squash, kale and mushrooms. Together with the silky, rich ricotta, these elements help create a comforting and satisfying meal without a hint of bacon.

Gnudi is the rustic version of gnocchi with a cheeky name. It’s also, basically, the easiest pasta to make at home.

Chef Lee uses her brewery’s Basecamp saison for the sauce and we’ve paired the finished dish with the Exchange’s peppercorn rye saison for an added layer of complexity and seasonally appropriate spice.

Gnudi ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, halved
  • 2 cups ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash puree
  • cornmeal, for rolling

Sauce ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale, rip leaves, chop stems
  • 2 cups mixed mushrooms, stemmed and sliced thinly
  • 2 shallots, sliced thinly
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups Eastbound Basecamp saison
  • 3 cups 35% cream
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash puree
  • Ricotta salata, for garnishing

Gnudi directions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cover squash halves in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes, or until soft. Start flesh side down and flip halfway through. Discard seeds and scoop flesh out of skin. Puree in food processor.
    2. In a bowl, mix together ricotta, egg, egg yolk, parmesan and squash puree. In a separate bowl, combine salt, pepper, flour and nutmeg. Fold dry ingredients into wet until fully combined, try not to overwork the dough.
    3. Portion dough into 20 g balls (about the size of a walnut) and roll in cornmeal onto a tray.
    4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, blanch gnudi for 3 – 4 mins. Toss in oil when removed from water.

Sauce directions

  1. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until translucent.
  2. Add in kale stems and continue cooking. Add mushrooms and increase heat to get some colour on them, about 10 mins. Add in kale leaves.
  3. Deglaze the pan with beer; reduce by half. Add cream and bring to a simmer. Add in gnudi, toss to coat. Divide gnudi among 6 plates, distributing gnudi, kale and mushrooms evenly.
  4. Shave ricotta salata over top to finish.

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