Buckwheat and butternut squash gnocchi
Make your own gnocchi, with our healthier light take on an Italian classic. This recipe uses butternut squash rather than the traditional potato.
Filling gnocchi can sometimes be rather heavy. Instead, this delicious buckwheat and butternut squash homemade gnocchi is perfect for suppers throughout summer. Pair with spring veg in primavera sauce for a truly satisfying meal.
As well as being utterly delicious, butternut squash has a wealth of wellbeing benefits. This vegetable is low in fat and a fantastic source of antioxidant beta-carotene, which is essential for youthful-looking skin. It’s also an excellent source of fibre and contains a generous helping of vitamins including A, C and E.
With buckwheat rather than regular flour, this recipe is also gluten-free and low on the glycemic index, helping to lower blood sugar levels.
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- Butternut squash is low in fat and a fantastic source of antioxidant beta-carotene – essential for youthful-looking skin
- Buckwheat flour is gluten-free and low on the glycemic index, helping to lower blood sugar levels
For the gnocchi
- 2 large butternut squash, deseeded and cut into wedges
- 100g buckwheat flour
- 1 large free range organic egg
- 200g grated Parmesan (or vegetarian hard cheese)
- 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
For the sauce
- 200ml crème fraîche
- 100g sugar snap peas
- 100g peas
- 3 large handfuls spinach
- 150ml vegetable stock
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
- Place the butternut squash on a baking tray and drizzle with rapeseed oil before scattering over the garlic. Place in the oven for an hour or until soft. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool (this step can be completed up to one day in advance).
- When the butternut squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out of the skin and place into a food processor – blend until it becomes a purée. Pass the mixture through a sieve with the back of a spoon and place into a large saucepan. Place the saucepan over a low heat and cook the purée – making sure it doesn’t stick – until a thick, concentrated texture is reached. It is crucial that the purée reaches this texture, as it helps the mixture stay together during cooking. It should take about 45 minutes to reach the right consistency.
- Transfer the thick butternut squash mixture into a bowl and add the buckwheat flour, egg, Parmesan and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. If the mixture is too wet, add more buckwheat flour a tablespoon at a time until it reaches a malleable dough.
- Set a large pan of water to boil and add a teaspoon of salt.
- Divide the mixture into three and, on a floured surface, roll each piece into a long sausage shape with the same circumference as a pound coin. Cut each sausage into 3-4cm pieces, roll into gnocchi shapes and press down with the back of a fork.
- Cook the gnocchi in batches in the boiling water – they are ready when they float. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on a baking tray.
- When all the gnocchi are ready, place them under a grill until golden and slightly crispy at the edges.
- While the gnocchi are grilling, make the primavera sauce. Start by blanching the peas and sugar snaps in boiling water for 3 minutes. Place the crème fraîche in a medium saucepan with the vegetable stock and heat to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Add the spinach to the crème fraîche until wilted, before adding the drained peas and sugar snaps.
- Serve the creamy vegetable sauce in a deep plate, topped with the golden gnocchi and a generous helping of grated Parmesan.