Baked gnocchi with butternut squash, bacon and goats cheese
There are certain flavour combinations that work just wonderfully together. Very little needs to be done to them to make them sing, just throw them together and watch the magic happen!
One such combination is beautifully sweet and caramelised butternut squash, salty and flavoursome bacon and the earthy savouriness of goats cheese. Throw in some gorgeous gnocchi for some texture and bite and you have a party in your mouth that all the neighbours will be inviting themselves round to. This was just wonderful, and had both me and the boy rubbing our tummies in delight and making all sorts of ooohing and ahhhing sounds.
1 medium butternut squash, skin removed and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp dried thyme
400g diced smokey bacon lardons
500g shop bought gnocchi
200g goats cheese
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin from your butternut squash. Using a very sharp knife cut the squash into cubes roughly 1 inch square. Toss these with the vegetable oil in a large baking dish and season well with salt, pepper and dried thyme. Place in the centre of the oven and cook for 30 minutes at 180˚C.
After 30 minutes, remove the butternut squash from the oven and mix the raw bacon lardons through the mixture, return to the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes.
While the bacon is in the oven, boil a large pot of water and cook the gnocchi according to pack instructions (this should take no more than 10 minutes). Once cooked, drain and set aside.
Take out the butternut squash and bacon mixture, then carefully toss through the cooked gnocchi. Break the goats cheese into small chunks and dot around, allowing to melt into the mixture for just a minutes before serving up on individual plates.