Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader's Digest CanadaMarch 4, 2008
There are numerous versions of gnocchi. Here a flour-based dough of mashed squash and ricotta cheese, flavoured with sage and Parmesan cheese, is used. A colourful roasted red pepper and onion sauce completes the dish.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Spread the pepper and onion halves, cut-side down, on a baking sheet. Place the squash wedges, skin-side up, on another baking sheet. Bake the peppers and onion for 30–35 minutes, and the squash for 45–55 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
Transfer the peppers and onions to a blender or food processor and add the oil. Blend until almost smooth. Season with pepper. Pour into a saucepan and set aside.
Leave the squash until cool enough to handle, then scrape the flesh from the skin into a bowl. Mash until smooth. Beat in the ricotta cheese, egg, chopped sage and Parmesan cheese, then gradually work in the flour to make a soft dough.
Flour a work surface. Divide the dough into quarters and, with floured hands, roll each piece into a long, 2 cm thick rope. Cut into 2 cm lengths. Press the back of a fork into each piece of dough to make a pattern. Leave the squash, ricotta and sage gnocchi at room temperature to dry for 1–2 hours.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Drop in the gnocchi, 10–12 at a time, and poach for 2–3 minutes or until they bob up to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towel. Set aside and keep warm until all the gnocchi are cooked. Meanwhile, gently warm the roasted pepper sauce over low heat. Spoon the sauce over the gnocchi, garnish with sage leaves and serve at once.
Per serving: 386 calories, 19 g protein, 15 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 87 mg cholesterol, 44 g total carbohydrate, 8 g sugars, 5 g fibre, 244 mg sodium
Like other cheeses, ricotta is a good source of calcium. In addition, it offers good quantities of phosphorus, another mineral involved in ensuring that bones and teeth are healthy. Phosphorus is also important in the release of energy from food.