Recipe by Becky and Jake Sorensen | Photography by Greg Lindstrom

Butternut Squash Parisienne Gnocchi in Hazelnut Cream Sauce 10 Servings

Gnocchi
1 cup water
12 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tsp. Kosher salt
1 cup roasted squash, puréed
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 Tbsp. chopped thyme
7 to 8 large eggs

Hazelnut Cream Sauce (one serving; multiply as needed)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons hazelnuts, crushed
Pinch of salt

To make gnocchi, add water, butter, and 1 teaspoon of salt to a medium saucepan and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add squash and mix to combine. Bring back to a simmer and add flour all at once; stir rapidly to combine. Continue cooking the dough for approximately 5 minutes, stirring constantly over medium heat. Remove the dough from heat and transfer to a mixer with a paddle attachment. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and turn the mixer on low. Add eggs one at a time, not adding another egg until the previous egg is completely incorporated into the dough. Mix in the thyme and transfer to a large pastry bag with a 3/4-inch tip. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Using a piping bag and scissors, drop 1-inch long pieces of dough into boiling water and simmer for 3 minutes. Then remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon onto a sheet pan lined with paper towels.

To serve, add seven gnocchi to a preheated sauté pan with 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Cook on one side until browned, and then flip each gnocchi over. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and continue cooking until the butter turns brown. Move the gnocchi into a serving dish and return pan with brown butter to heat. Add crushed hazelnuts, a pinch of salt and heavy cream to the sauté pan, stirring constantly until the sauce comes together and thickens. Pour the sauce over the gnocchi in a serving dish and enjoy.

 

Roasted Squash Salad 10-12 servings

Squash
Peel and cube, 1/2 by 1/2 inch, and toss with salt and pepper and 2 Tbsp. of canola oil. Roast in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes or until tender. Cool and reserve.

Pesto
Combine in a food processor:
1 bunch cilantro
1 cup toasted pepitas
8 cloves garlic
½ cup Parmesan cheese
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. lime juice
½ cup orange juice
1 cup oil

Quinoa
Cook according to package directions, adding 1 Tbsp. of red pepper flakes per 2 cups of quinoa. Cool and reserve.
Salad (one serving; multiply as needed)
1 cup cold cooked quinoa
1 cup arugula
3 Tbsp. pesto
1/8 cup black olives
½ cup cold roasted squash
2 Tbsp. toasted pepitas
Gently mix together, plate and top with feta.

Candied pecans
1 egg white, whipped to stiff peaks
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 cups pecans

Whip the egg white and fold in brown sugar and vanilla. After mixed, fold in pecans. Bake on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

 

Butternut Squash Soup with Candied Pecans and Apple Pickle 8-10 servings

Squash
Cut squash in half, remove seeds and lightly coat flesh with oil salt and pepper. Roast flesh side up at 400 degrees until soft, about 1.5 hours. Remove flesh from skin and reserve.

Apple pickle Brine
3 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp. black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 cup honey,
1 cup cider vinegar
Simmer ingredients for 5 minutes and pour through a strainer over the apple mix.

Apple Mix
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1 medium red onion, diced small
2 green apples, diced small
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
Cool in the refrigerator.

Candied pecans
1 egg white, whipped to stiff peaks
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 cups pecans

Whip the egg white and fold in brown sugar and vanilla. After mixed, fold in pecans. Bake on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Soup
4 cups roasted squash
3 white onions, diced medium
8 celery stalks, diced medium
10 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup butter
2 quarts chicken or veggie stock
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. fresh rosemary
1 tsp. fresh sage
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 cup heavy cream

In butter, sauté onions, celery and garlic until lightly browned. Add squash, spices and stock, simmer for one hour, and buzz in batches in blender. Return to pot and finish with heavy cream; season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish the soup with apple pickle and pumpkin seeds before serving.

Becky and Jake Sorensen spent time in restaurants in Maine, Oregon and Ireland before returning to Montana to open their own business in Columbia Falls in 2011. The positive response to their restaurant led to plans for expansion, and they joined the team at Backslope Brewing. The brewery opened in March 2016, with the kitchen offering Becky and Jake’s creative twist on pub fare.