You may have heard of miso butter onions ... well, this is miso butter butternut, in which butternut squash gets roasted with miso, butter and water, then blitzed into a luxurious sauce to go with gnocchi or pasta. You could even pair the sauce with butter beans – ’nature’s gnocchi’ – in which case you could call it ’miso butter butternut butter beans’ (please don’t ever call it that). If you want to make the gnocchi from scratch, there’s a great recipe on page 94 of Ottolenghi Flavour.
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main
This recipe was extracted from 'Mezcla: Recipes To Excite' by Ixta Belfrage (published by Ebury Press; photography by Yuki Sugiura)
Ingredients Serves: 2
- 450g good-quality gnocchi (I use Dell'ugo pumpkin gnocchi)
- flaked salt
- 2 ripe tomatoes (230g)
- ¼ teaspoon Calabrian chilli paste or hot sauce (optional)
- ½ clove of garlic, finely grated/crushed
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon fine salt
- 40g unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 tablespoon za’atar
- 1 small clove of garlic, very finely chopped
- good pinch of fine salt
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/240°C.For the roasted butternut, place the butter, oil, miso, maple syrup, rose harissa, butternut and salt into a high-sided baking tray just big enough to fit everything in a single layer (but not too large that everything is really spread out). Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, stir and bake for another 10 minutes, until soft, golden-brown and bubbling. Place the contents of the tray in a blender and blitz until completely smooth. It should all be soft enough to blend, but add a splash of water if needed.
- For the salsa, halve the tomatoes and grate the flesh sides into a bowl using the large holes of a box grater – you should have 140g. Discard the tomato skins and stir in the chilli paste (if using), garlic, lemon juice and salt.
- For the za’atar butter, place the butter and oil in a medium frying pan on a medium heat and cook for 2–3 minutes until the butter melts and begins to brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the za’atar, garlic and a good pinch of salt.
- Cook the gnocchi per packet instructions in salted boiling water. Transfer the cooked gnocchi to a sauté pan with the butternut sauce and 2–3 tablespoons of the gnocchi cooking water. Place on a medium heat and cook for 2 minutes, tossing, until combined.
- Transfer the gnocchi to a platter and top with the salsa, followed by the za’atar butter. Finish with flaked salt and serve.
Ixta Belfrage spent her youth dipping her fingers into mixing bowls in places as far-flung as Italy, Mexico and Brazil and so became an expert without a title. She began her formal culinary career at Ottolenghi’s NOPI restaurant, before moving to the Test Kitchen, where she worked for Yotam Ottolenghi for five years. She has since co-authored an award-winning cookbook 'Flavour' with Yotam Ottolenghi. And now released her first cookbook Mezcla in 2022.