Gnocchi always sounds like one of those challenging homemade meals, when in reality it’s pretty simple to make, and you will certainly feel like an accomplished home-chef once you prepare it! What’s so special about this particular gnocchi is it uses nutrient-rich Japanese kabocha squash instead of the typical white potato, adding gorgeous colour, bold flavour and a natural sweetness you often don’t find in the traditional version of this dish. This recipe is also completely gluten-free, there is no white flour here; rather a delightful mix of brown rice flour and buckwheat flour. Pairing it with a garlic sage cream sauce makes this meal complete!
For the gnocchi, peel the kabocha squash (you can use a sharp knife, as a peeler mostly likely won’t do the trick). Once peeled, cut into large pieces, steam it until it’s soft and a fork can easily puncture through the squash pieces. Mash it by hand or in the food processor and allow it to cool. Once cooled, mixed the squash mash with brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, an egg, cheese and salt. Use your hands to combine and form a dough. Flour a clean surface with extra brown rice flour and divide the dough into 3 separate balls. Roll each ball out into long, thin logs and add extra flour if the dough becomes too sticky. Cut into ½ inch cubes and then roll the gnocchi down the fork tines to make indentations. When the gnocchi is ready, boil a large pot of water and salt it. Add the gnocchi to the water. When it floats to the surface, it’s cooked. Remove it with a slotted spoon. Don’t overcrowd the gnocchi in the pot, work in batches if you need to.
For the cream sauce, whisk together the tapioca and the milk until it’s smooth. Place a saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, then drop in the garlic for a few seconds before adding the sage. Once the sage crackles slightly in the butter, add the milk and tapioca mixture. Take this down to a simmer to allow ingredients to infuse together and for the sauce to thicken. Once thicker, add the lemon juice. Take off the heat and drizzle the sauce over the gnocchi. Top with extra cheese, if you please!