Butternut squash & ricotta gnocchi
1 medium butternut squash
1 cup ricotta (drained)
¾ cup Parmesan (grated)
1 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated)
2 tsp Kosher salt (plus 1 tsp for boiling)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cupvegetable oil for brushing squash
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Lightly brush each half with vegetable oil, and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast the squash until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly and scoop out the flesh, discarding the skin. Puree the squash until smooth in a food processor. Measure 2 packed cups squash puree, and chill in the refrigerator.
In a large bowl, mix the squash, ricotta, parmesan, nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Gradually fold in 1 1/3 cups flour, taking care not to overwork the dough.
Dredge the dough with flour then roll our by hand into a rope with a ¾ inch diameter. Cut the rope into 1-inch pieces and place onto a lightly floured tray.
Drop the gnocchi pieces into boiling water and cook until they float to the surface (about 1 minute). Using a slotted spoon transfer the gnocchi onto a lightly oiled tray to keep them from sticking to each other. Allow gnocchi to cool.
To serve, gnocchi can be sautéed with butter, fresh herbs or reheated in a sauce.
Braised lamb shoulder
2 lbs lamb shoulder (cut into approx. 8oz cuts, boneless)
1 carrot (chopped)
1 celery (chopped)
1 large onion (diced)
4 cloves of garlic (peeled, chopped)
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
2 cups dry red wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup beef stock
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 bunch thyme (fresh)
spring rosemary (fresh)
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat, add enough vegetable oil to coat the pan. Season the lamb on all sides with salt and pepper. When the oil is very hot and almost smoking, carefully add the lamb and sear until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes. Set aside on a baking tray.
Add the onions and garlic, carrot and celery to the sauté pan and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the red wine and bring to a boil, scraping any leftover bits of meat from the bottom of the pan, until reduced by half. Stir in canned tomatoes, beef stock, chicken stock, maple syrup and vinegar and bring to a boil. The liquid should almost cover the lamb (add stock or water if it does not). Add the bay leaves and thyme. Cover the braising pan tightly with aluminum foil and braise for about 3 hours, or until the meat is fork tender.
Let cool on counter and place in fridge overnight to let flavours settle and develop.
Next day remove the fat, which has solidified on top. Gently heat up on a low heat until you can easily remove lamb.
Once braising liquid has come to liquid form strain out all of the solids and discard, reserve braising liquid for sauce.