Pan-Seared Gnocchi and Caramelized Butternut Squash with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce!

Today’s delicious vegan recipe comes from Executive Chef Daniel Holloway of  Urban Acorn Catering. A Toronto-based flexitarian catering company run with partner Marie Fitrion. Holloway & Fitrion believe food should unite, not divide people.


Pan-Seared Gnocchi and Caramelized Butternut Squash with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.


-2 lbs of Russet Potatoes
-2 tsp salt
-1 cup All-Purpose Flour or Bob Redmill 1 for 1 gluten-free flour
-Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
-4 tbsp Olive Oil
-2 garlic cloves
-2 small or 1 large Red Onion
-4- 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
-2 Red Peppers
-1/3 cup Red Wine
-1 cup Coconut Milk
-2 tbsp Coconut Oil
-1 tsp Black Pepper
-1 Small (or half) Butternut Squash
-1/4 cup of Brown Sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 425F. With a fork, poke holes in the potatoes, so they cook evenly and place on a baking sheet with parchment. Bake for 45 mins

2. Place roasted red pepper in the oven and bake for 25 mins. Once fully toasted and soft, peel the skin off, take seeds out and cut into medium dice. Place aside in a small bowl.

3. Cut and peel butternut squash, diced into medium dice. Place in a bowl with three sprigs of thyme, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Bake for 20 mins.

4. Cut the onion into medium dice and mince garlic. In a medium saucepot, sauté onions until translucent on medium heat. Once cooked, place garlic into the pot and stir.

5. Deglaze pan with red wine (add liquid to loosen and dissolve the flavourful food particles stuck to the bottom of the pan) and reduce by half. Add all of the coconut milk and the remaining fresh thyme. Reduce sauce by half and stir in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to finish the sauce—season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Once potatoes are fully cooked, and are easy to mash with a fork. Place into a stand mixer with paddle attachment and whip until mashed, or use a large fork to mash potatoes in a bowl. Add 2 tsp of salt and one tablespoon of olive oil to the mash and incorporate. Add in flour and kneed until the mixture forms a soft ball.

7. Cut dough into finger-sized strips and then cut strips into three. Once you cut the strips, slice them into thumbnail-sized gnocchi.

8. In a large saucepan, fill 3/4 of water and bring two tablespoons of salt to a simmer. Place gnocchi into the simmering pot and gently stir the water to stick to the bottom. Once the gnocchi floats to the top, take the pieces out using a slotted spoon. Place aside.

9. In a medium frying pan, heat at medium-high heat with one tablespoon of vegetable oil and sear the gnocchi. Toss once the gnocchi is golden brown and lifts easily off the pan.

10. Add the diced roasted red peppers and sauce to the pan with the gnocchi and toss gently. To finish, carefully fold in the butternut squash and serve.