What drew me to this recipe in the San Francisco Chronicle was the list of ingredients in the title. I love gnocchi, butternut squash and kale and imagined they would be a killer combo. Tasty and healthy at the same time. It was a fairly easy recipe that took little preparation, as I was able to use pre-made gnocchi, pre-cut squash and pre-cut kale.
Unfortunately I was wrong on several counts and actually chock this up as a bit of a failure. It is healthy and it was easy, but it wasn’t terribly tasty. The gnocchi gets quite gummy and sticks together, the squash doesn’t get that nice brown crisp that adds to its flavor when roasted, and the pre-cut kale had some thick ribs that made for a more than few nasty mouthfuls. And even with the addition of salt and parmesan cheese, it lacked any oomph or real flavor. It was a bit soggy and the liquid was not thickened at all. Overall, I cannot recommend this dish, but in fairness to my goal at the beginning of the year, I wanted to post my failures as well as my successes, so if you are brave, you can try and recreate this and judge for yourself, or modify it in a way that would make it tastier (more cheese? herbs? pancetta or bacon? Sausage?)
Recipe after the jump
1 small red onion, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
3 cups diced butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
10-ounce package gnocchi
2 cups thinkly sliced lacinto kale, ribs removed
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a 13x9-inch baking dish, toss the onion and squash with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften but are still slightly firm. Remove from oven and stir in the gnocchi, kale, broth and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Season with a bit more salt and pepper. Cover with foil and return to the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove the dish from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Remove the foil and sprinkle the casserole with the remaining cheese. Broil for about 2 minutes, until cheese is melted and stars to brown. Serve.