Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Recreating a Favorite

One of my favorite parts of Davis is all of the cute places to eat…not surprising that my favorite part of my city has to do with food, huh? There’s this one restaurant that I like to frequent, called Bistro 33, which serves Pacific-Northwest inspired cuisine. It’s inside the old City Hall building and has a great outdoor seating area and often has live music. Whenever I go, I make sure to get their Sweet Potato Fries with three choices of dipping sauce: House-Made Peach Ketchup, Malt Vinegar, and Creamy Bleu Cheese. One weekend, a while back, Alyssa visited me and we decided to go to Bistro 33 for lunch and to split the Sweet Potato Fries and an entrée. After asking if it was made freshly in their kitchen, we decided on the Potato Gnocchi with Roasted Butternut Squash in a Gorgonzola Cream Sauce. Oh wow, I can’t even tell you how good it was. The Gnocchi were so light and had the perfect consistency and taste, the Butternut Squash was cooked to perfection and the sauce was so creamy and had just the right bite. A while after I had that dish, I decided to make Gnocchi on my own. What an experience! I wanted to make enough so that I could freeze a lot of it to use later (an easy and tasty meal for a college student, and still home-made!), so I spent around 5 hours one night with my roommate, Melissa, mixing the Gnocchi dough and shaping it into little pillows of deliciousness. It was well worth it though — the result was fantastic. I’d share my recipe with you, but I kind of just mixed two recipes together and played it by ear and thankfully it came out well, but I’m really not sure what I did. Plus, I think you’ll fare better following a real Italian cookbook than anything I could write up. But I do suggest giving it a go. Since I had the home-made gnocchi, I decided that I wanted to try the Bistro 33 entrée. I changed it a bit so it was a parmesan cream sauce instead of a gorgonzola cream sauce, but that is easy to change back…just add in a bit of gorgonzola and there you go!

Gnocchi with Butternut Squash in Parmesan Cream Sauce

1/2 Pound Gnocchi
For the Butternut Squash:
1 Butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch squares
1/4 Cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the Cream Sauce:
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon flour
1 Cup milk
1/4 Cup parmesan cheese plus more for topping
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the diced butternut squash with the oil and salt and pepper. Spread it out on a baking sheet and bake until the squash is cooked all the way through but not until is starts to fall apart easily, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan. Mix in the flour and whisk together. Add the milk, salt and pepper and continue whisking until the sauce begins to thicken. Once the sauce thickens, add the parmesan and continue stirring.
When the butternut squash is ready, put it in a large skillet on medium-heat. If you don’t have a large enough skillet, use a pot. Then add the sauce and let them cook together.
Cook the Gnocchi according to the package instructions and then add it to the sauce and butternut squash and let cook for a few minutes.
Top with some parmesan cheese before serving.

I was very happy with the result! It tasted very similar to the dish from Bistro 33 but with a little less of a bite, due to my lack of gorgonzola cheese. All of the flavors blended together so well, as did the textures of the creamy sauce, light and smooth gnocchi and the tough butternut squash.


  1. That just looks stupid good.

  2. Ok,this is a must...I sooo need you to make this for me next time you are home. :)

  3. Looks fabulous! I will try it.