When I first moved to San Francisco, I was flabbergasted by the sight of Californians in puffy coats, scarves, and gloves in 50-60 degree weather. I joked how entertaining it would be to create a reality television show that dropped Californians in New York City in the middle of winter. My Californian friends didn’t find this idea very amusing.
Fast forward four plus years later and I am officially a soft Californian you will spot bundled up any time it dips below 60 degrees. The past month, it has been especially cold and wet in San Francisco with lows in the 40s some weeks. This has equated to my space heater going nonstop, walking around our apartment wrapped in my faux fur blanket, and comfort foods have dominated our weekly menu. (East Coasters, I know, I know…I’m a total joke. And Fath, I can feel you shaking your head in Philly from here.)
One of my favorite cold weather comfort foods, gnocchi with squash and kale, is a recipe our friends Amanda and Jeremy shared with us. I love making this recipe because it reminds me of them, which is one of my favorite parts of cooking— the people you think of and/or the memories food can invoke— and the meal is healthyish. Well, you know, minus the butter and cheese. But hey, cold weather calls for YOLO moments every once in awhile. The recipe is also easy to make, so it’s perfect for the busy work week.
Hope this meal brings some warmth to your kitchen as we make our way through the end of winter!
P.S. Ditch your kitchen table and snuggle up on your couch with a heaping bowl of this gnocchi. You won’t regret it!
Gnocchi with Squash and Kale
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Ovenproof skillet (I prefer cast iron for this recipe)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
½ medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch pieces (buy precut to save you time during the work week)
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh sage
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 ¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
1 bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 17.5 oz. package potato gnocchi (buy fresh from the local section at your grocery store, if possible)
¾ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
1. Over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter in a large ovenproof skillet
2. Add the squash and cook, stirring, until slightly soft and golden, about 8 minutes
3. Add the garlic, sage, red pepper flakes, and 1 tsp salt; cook until the garlic is soft, about 2 minutes
4. Preheat the broiler*
5. Add the chicken broth to the skillet; when it starts to simmer, stir in the kale and cook until it wilts slightly, about 2 minutes
6. Add the gnocchi, stirring gently to coat
7. Cover and cook until the gnocchi are just tender, about 5 minutes
8. Uncover and stir in ¼ cup of cheese and the remaining 1 tbsp of butter; sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of cheese
9. Transfer to the broiler and cook until golden and bubbly, about 3 minutes**
*If you don’t have a broiler, heat the oven to 350 degrees
**If you don’t have a broiler, cook the gnocchi until crispy, about 20-25 minutes
In need of inspiration for quick and healthy meals during the work week? Check out this 20 minute salmon recipe!