Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Easy Fall Fare

It's been quite sometime since I tried a new recipe and shared it with you.  September has come and gone like a whirlwind.  School, sports, a vacation two weeks into school, back from vacation, back to work, catch a cold and BAM.  It's October.  So, for those of you who embrace fall, love squash, pick up some squash while at the pumpkin patch, or like us, have an abundance of squash from your CSA box, I give to you Chickpea Spinach Squash Gnocchi.  The name is long but the time required to make it is not.  You will find the recipe in the link above, as I took some liberties when I made it.  See what you think, it went over really well in our house.
The first change I made was adding spicy Italian sausage, which made this nice healthy meal slightly less healthy but a little heartier.  We buy our beef and pork from a farm too and every month there are a couple of pounds of organic ground pork or sausage.  I had about a half pound leftover from making pizza's (found it while digging for something in the freezer over the weekend) so I thought I'd throw it in.  Also I thought the red pepper flakes in the sausage would do us some good since three out of four of us have a cold.  I just browned it up and then drained it on paper towels.
Next you get some gnocchi in the pan with a touch of oil and brown them up.  This was refrigerated gnocchi but not frozen.  If you buy frozen you do need to boil them before this browning step.
While those are browning up, get your squash, shallots and garlic chopped up.  This is delicata squash but you can use butternut instead.  This type is nice because you don't have to peel it so it saves a step.
Just cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and thinly slice.  I cut these slices down a little more.
Once your gnocchi has browned up, remove to a bowl and add a little more oil to the pan.
Add the shallots, garlic and squash to the pan along with some fresh or dried sage (I was pretty excited to use about 8 leaves off of my sage plant that is now a bush...).
After that cooks for a couple of minutes you add salt, pepper, currants (which I left out because I am totally opposed to anything raisin-like in my food) and broth.  I used a combo of chicken broth (had some to use up in the fridge) and vegetable broth which is what the recipe calls for.  I'm sure it would be good no matter which one you used.  This simmers for about 8 min or until the squash is cooked through.
While that's simmering, get some spinach rinsed and chopped.
Get some chick peas out.  Always rinse your chick peas because otherwise you will add a ton of sodium to your meal and that's the last thing we need.
Then you're going to add the gnocchi, (in my case) sausage, chick peas and spinach to the pan and mix together until the spinach is wilted.  If you feel like you have way too much spinach and you can't even find all those other ingredients that you worked on, give it 3 min and you'll wonder where all the spinach went and why you didn't add more.  It's tricky like that.  This recipe also calls for a little balsamic vinegar at the end.  I put a couple of tablespoons in there but probably wouldn't have missed it if I didn't (of course I did add spicy sausage...).
This was an easy weeknight dinner, that I would definitely make again.  If it looks good to you, click on this Eating Well link for the full recipe.  Happy October! I hope your weather is as fantastic as ours (and I'm not even being sarcastic)!

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