Falling for Fall: Baked Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Kale and Pancetta

Posted by & filed under Quick and Easy.

Brace yourselves. This post is about to take TRB to a new level. For all of you faithful fans who enjoy my posts about decadent sweet treats, get ready for a delectable main course.

It may not be obvious that in addition to my baking prowess, I dabble in cooking *other* types of dishes. I’ll admit, I’m partial to Italian cuisine, mostly due to upbringing. So, when I received the latest issue of Food Network magazine, I was excited to see a relatively easy recipe for Gnocchi with Squash and Kale packed with two star ingredients that not only taste delicious and are reminiscent of all of the wonderful things autumn has to offer, but are totally good for you too.

But, as you’ve come to know, TRB has difficulty following recipes without improvising *just* a little. To that end, I thought some pancetta, which pairs extremely well with kale, would take this dish to the next level. (It did!)

Are you ready to give this one-pot wonder a try?

Baked Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Kale and Pancetta
(Original recipe from Food Network magazine)

1 8 oz. package of pancetta (Italian bacon)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 bag of frozen butternut squash
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
1 bunch of kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 bag of frozen gnocchi
3/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese

1. Chop the pancetta into cubes. Saute in a pan until the pancetta turns golden brown and crispy. Remove from pan and set aside.

2. Saute the butternut squash in the pan with the pancetta drippings and 1 tbsp. of olive oil until slightly soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. Cook until the garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add the chicken broth to the pan. When it starts to simmer, stir in the kale until it wilts slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the gnocchi, stirring to coat. Cover and cook until the gnocchi are just tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Transfer to a lightly buttered baking dish. Top with pancetta and remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

3. Bake for 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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