Gnocchi (pronounced ngo-kee), not to be confused with the pasta shell, are small Italian dumplings. Generally made from potatoes, variations on these pillow-like bites include spinach, ricotta, camote, and tomato. With ingredients easily found in a well-stocked pantry, give this colorful version using our humble kalabasa a try this weekend.

Potato-Squash Gnocchi Carbonara
Takes 30 minutes
Makes four to six servings

Ingredients:

1/2 kilo potatoes, boiled and mashed
1/2 kilo squash (kalabasa), boiled and mashed
1 cup flour
1 egg

Sauce:

1/2 cup chopped bacon
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped onions
1/4 kilo asparagus, cut into 1” lengths
2 cups cream
1 cup milk
dash of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. In a bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, squash, and flour. If too moist, add more flour. Season with salt and pepper. Chill for 15 minutes.
2. In a pot of boiling water, drop gnocchi by tablespoons. Drain out when the gnocchi floats to the surface. Set aside.
3. In a pan, cook the bacon until brown. Remove the excess oil then sauté the garlic, onions, and asparagus. Stir in milk and cream. Cook until slightly thick. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
4. Add in the cooked gnocchi. Before serving, top with cheese and parsley.

(Photograph by Ocs Alvarez. Styling by Cris C. Abiva. Recipe by Chef Alvin Ong of Cardamom Catering at 0917-5371408. Adapted for use on Female Network)

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