Fall and winter are the perfect time to enjoy winter squash!
It’s that time of the year once again when you’ll find winter squash everywhere. It’s so abundant in the fall and winter, and we love it! It’s not only a very healthy vegetable, full of potassium, calcium and magnesium, but it’s also super flavorful, too. You can use it in so many different kinds of recipes, and one of our favorite ways is to cook it is to make Italian gnocchi. Instead of using the classic potatoes, this Squash Gnocchi with Sage Butter Sauce uses butternut squash instead. It might sound intimidating to make, but never fear. We’ll walk you through our easy method to making them turn out perfectly, every time.
If you’ve never made gnocchi before, this is a great recipe to start with. You’ll find that it’s easier than you expected, which might inspire you to make other kinds of vegetable gnocchi dishes. It’s the perfect way to sneak in a few extra servings of vegetables into your life.
The Secrets To Making Gnocchi
Don’t be put off by the long procedure. In the end, making gnocchi is quite simple! It just takes a little practice, but our method works every single time. It’s a wonderful, comforting Italian recipe that you can make on weekend dinners. You can involve the whole family when making this Squash Gnocchi with Sage Butter Sauce, or just serve it up to impress your guests. They’ll never guess how simple it is and how minimal the ingredients list can be!
The important thing in making gnocchi is to have enough starch to bind the dough together. That’s why most people use potatoes in their gnocchi. But in this Squash Gnocchi with Sage Butter Sauce recipe, we are using squash instead. To make it all work, we chose butternut squash because it has the most compact pulp when cooked.
When you cook butternut squash in the oven, it dries up really well. Steaming, boiling, or sautéing don’t dry out the squash as much. You don’t want a watery squash pulp when making the dough! If you still find that you’re having trouble getting the dough to come together, you could also add one mashed starchy potato to help bind the dough. That’s a little trick we picked up along the way!
Winter Squash Is Best in the Winter
Winter squash tastes the best in the, well, winter because it’s harvested at the perfect time. That makes the pulp taste sweet and have the best texture. It also increases the vitamins and minerals we can get from eating this tasty winter treat. The best way to enjoy squash gnocchi is to use very light sauce (like butter and sage) so that you can enjoy the delicate flavors altogether.
And which kind of wine can best pair this dish? Since squash has a light natural sweetness, the best wine that can go with it is something with good acidity, semi-aromatic and perhaps even effervescence. Try a dry Moscato Bianco, Lambrusco di Sorbara rosè, or Sauvignon Blanc. Really, any fresh white or rosè wine to your liking would pair well.
Squash Gnocchi with Sage Butter Sauce
- 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash sliced big and seeded (when cooked it becomes around 1 pound cooked pulp)
- 10 ounces flour plus more for sprinkling
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 3 ounces butter low-fat
- 10 sage leaves fresh
- 1/2 cup romano cheese grated, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- On a lined baking tray, place the seeded and sliced squash with the skin on then cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the thickness of the slices of the squash.
- When cooked and soft, take away the skin from the pulp, mash then let it cool.
- In a big bowl or on a wooden work surface, mix the squash, flour, egg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and nutmeg.
- Work on it until you have a compact dough. Note: if the dough is still sticky, add more flour if needed. Remember that the more flour you add, the less tender the gnocchi will come out.
- Divide the dough into several equal parts.
- Roll each small part to a make long cylindrical shape then slice to small pieces of about 1 1/2 centimeters in length.
- Slide the pieces of gnocchi on the prongs of a fork or a gnocchi wooden board to form the ridges on the gnocchi.
- Repeat the procedure with the remaining dough.
- Sprinkle with some flour to avoid sticking with each other.
- In a medium-large pot, boil some water to cook the gnocchi.
- While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the sauce. In a medium-large saucepan, melt the butter on low - medium heat with the sage. Keep warm.
- When the water for the gnocchi starts to boil add the remaining salt then add the gnocchi. Cook for about 3 minutes or when they start floating on the surface of the water. Remove them with a slotted spoon then toss them in the saucepan with the melted butter, tossing them gently to coat.
- Serve the gnocchi in separate bowls then add the pecorino cheese if using.
Have you made this recipe?
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