butternut squash, kale + whole wheat gnocchi casserole

 

This was my attempt at recreating Monument Lane’s baked dumpling casserole, which I crave daily. I was working from memory and I’ve only had theirs once (last time I went it wasn’t on the menu) but I think I got pretty close. I had a million questions when going in, but I found a Martha Stewart recipe for Pumpkin Pasta and used the same procedure, which worked pretty well.

This is definitely a winter dish; it really has it all: butternut squash, wintery greens, ricotta, maple syrup and comforting little potato dumplings. I found a package of whole wheat gnocchi at Trader Joe’s and I think this dish is ideal for whole wheat. Normally I’d be afraid that it would taste bland but with everything else going on in the dish, the whole wheat gnocchi fits right in. I found myself adding more maple syrup to my dish when I was eating it. It felt wrong because I wanted this to be an entree, not dessert, but for some reason it works so go ahead and try it.

before baking, dot casserole with ricotta cheese

butternut squash, kale + whole wheat gnocchi casserole

serves 6

ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 (17.5-ounce) package whole wheat potato gnocchi
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch kale or swiss chard, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups diced butternut squash (about 20 ounces)
  • 1 portobello mushroom, thinly sliced and halved
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 12 ounces ricotta
  • 1/3 cup pecan pieces (I used hazelnuts but pecans would’ve been better)

procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt to a large pot of water; bring to a rolling boil. Add gnocchi. Cook until gnocchi float to the top, about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In same pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add greens and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; cook and stir until wilted, about 3 minutes.
  4. Once greens are cooked, add butternut squash, mushroom, pumpkin puree, vegetable broth, maple syrup and remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt; stir and bring to a simmer. Remove to a 9×13-inch casserole dish.
  5. Spoon heaping tablespoons of ricotta cheese over casserole; sprinkle with pecan pieces. Bake in oven until squash is tender and ricotta is slightly brown, about 35-40 minutes. Serve warm in bowl; drizzle with additional maple syrup if desired.
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