Who is Marina Di Chioggia you might be wondering.
Well, she is a unique squash that is both sweet and dry. This heirloom winter squash is fantastic for using to make gnocchi. It is often used by Italians for this very reason. Gnocchi is an Italian pasta: squash dumplings that are boiled the same way pasta is.
Several weekends ago I roasted up one of our Marina Di Chioggia in order to make gnocchi. I had a hard time finding a recipe that didn’t use potato as well. Since my dad is diabetic, I am aware of which foods cause sugar levels to spike, which is not a good thing for anyone. Potato is one of those foods. However, squash, with similar properties, is great for sugar levels. The Marina squash, once roasted, has the same qualities as baked potatoes. So, after researching a variety of recipes, I decided to wing it using just squash.
It was so good I forgot to take pictures of the squash pasta. But, the Marinna di Chioggia is beautiful cut up into pieces before and after roasting. I still have a bag of it left, after being roasted, in my freezer to pull out when needing a quick meal on a week day.
Here is One Love’s Gnocchi recipe:
===Cut your squash (several different kinds of squashes will suffice but the Marina is best to use because of its dry flaking qualities) into large pieces.
===Roast face down with a small amount of water at the bottom of the pan on 350 degrees until soft when stuck with a fork (time depends on amount and size of squash: usually 30 minutes or more)
Let it cool while you prepare your sauce.
Fill your food processor half way with roasted Marina di Chioggia squash and blend.
Then, add a cup or more of flour
Add one or two eggs
Add salt, pepper, minced onions and garlic and sage
Then, blend in the food processor.
I didn’t measure my amount of squash or flour because I wasn’t using any particular recipe. You know you have a good ratio when there is still colour and you are just able to roll the dough into round strips on the counter without it being too soft or too dry. Don’t forget to flour your surface.
Cut up your rolled strips into half to one inch pieces after indenting your entire strip with a fork (similar to how forks are used to indent ginger snaps)
Set aside in a floured bowl until your sauce is near ready and your water at a small rolling boil.
Gently boil your gnocchi with olive oil until a minute or so after it has risen to the surface of the pot (around five minutes in total or more depending on thickness).
Make sure your sauce is not too overpowering as the gnocchi has a delicate flavour that is nicely brought out with simple ingredients.
Our sauce: we sauteed our mildly spicy beaver dam peppers with onions, olive oil, garlic and Braggs seasoning sauce. Then we crumbled firm pressed tofu near the end. We tossed this with our gnocchi and it was divine!!!