Gnocchi, roast butternut squash and cherry tomato pesto

I came up with this idea while on my exercise bike, feeling quite ravenous. I knew I wanted to eat something substantial, but nutritious and if possible under 500 calories.

The gnocchi is home made, but you could use shop bought if you prefer. I find home made is much lighter in texture and more digestible though, and now I’ve made my own, I don’t think I’d shop buy again. The butternut squash I use is frozen – life is too short to peel butternut squash. I’ve done it. Took me about 3 days and I lost 3 fingers in the process. Ok, untrue. But really, the frozen stuff is perfectly acceptable – to me at least.

What to use

Baked potatoes – one large one per person

20g plain or pasta flour per person

(you will also need some flour to roll out the gnocchi onto)

free range egg yolk – usually one egg yolk for 4 potatoes so you may need just half if cooking for one or two. My advice would be make more gnocchi than you need, and freeze it or eat over several days.

Butternut squash – 100g per person

Olive oil

Cherry tomato pesto – see above

Toasted almonds – 25g per person

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Basil leaves to garnish

How to use it

You’ll need the cherry tomato pesto already made – actually even if it’s not, that’s not an issue because it takes seconds to make. See recipe here.

The one thing you will need already is the baked potatoes for the gnocchi. You need to bake them ideally the day before. Baking not boiling is key as you want dry potatoes not soggy ones. Cut the baked potatoes in half and scoop the flesh out of the potato skin into a bowl. Mash / break up with a fork. Add the flour and mix. Make a well, then add the egg yolk. Mix into a dough. Leave for a few minutes. Take the dough and put onto a lightly floured surface. Cut into four, then roll out each of the four pieces into a roll. Then cut the roll into your gnocchi pieces. That’s it. Amazing, eh?

Put your butternut squash in the oven, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt if you use salt in cooking.

After 25 minutes, ie 5 minutes before the squash is due to be done, put on a large pan of boiling water. When the water is at a rolling boil, put the gnocchi in the water. They take a really short time to cook – about a minute if that. When they bob to the surface they are done. As they bob up, remove with a slotted spoon and put in a colander.

When they’re all done, put them into your eating bowl, put the squash on top, and drizzle the pesto all over it. You can add natural yoghurt, parsley and some toasted almonds for a bit of added texture and interest.



Mmm rating: mm mm mm

Cost per person: £2.50

Calories: under 500

What to listen to: this is mellow food and suits mellow music so I recommend Lenny Kravitz – All I Ever Wanted

What to watch: An episode of Friends –  The one with the ‘cuffs as it features pasta

4 thoughts on “Gnocchi, roast butternut squash and cherry tomato pesto

  1. Made this yesterday. It was very tasty with the tomato pesto and some grated (vegetarian) parmesan. Rob had thirds 🙂 And this despite me burning my squash so having a lot less than should have had as I had to discard almost a third of it. (Perils of trying to feed a toddler while also cooking!) The texture of my gnocchi wasn’t great – they were rather lumpy. I think this is down to the variety of potato. The ones I used – just ordinary whites – were very waxy which meant they didn’t crumble when I forked them. They were kind of a glutinous mass which I couldn’t break down, even before adding the egg yolk. I also had to use about double the quantity of flour in order to get anything close to a rollable dough. Even then it was very sticky. But ultimately successful. I would make this again but using a more floury potato variety. Thank yoo, Soo! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Made this last night – again super quick and absolutely delicious! I made it with butternut squash and sweet potato and found a few leftovers of feta cheese in the fridge which I just threw on as well. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

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