Butternut squash gnocchi recipe

Butternut squash gnocchi recipe

Butternut squash gnocchi recipe
nutritional information (per serving)
81 years oldcarbohydrates

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nutritional information
Servings: 4
amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 16g79%
117 mg39%
596 mg26%
81 years old29%
dietary fiber 11g39%
total sugar 6g
Vitamin C 44 mg220%
Calcium 286 mg22%
iron 5 mg29%
Potassium 965 mg21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) indicates how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories per day is used for general nutritional advice.

(Nutritional information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Gnocchi are essentially bite-sized dumplings with the characteristic ridged texture. They have been part of Italian cuisine since at least Roman times, offering affordable and filling food made with locally accessible ingredients that have changed and diversified over time. The first ingredients were probably semolina, breadcrumbs and eggs, later potatoes were added.

Types of gnocchi

Potatoes are perhaps the most popular and well-known type of gnocchi. Perfectly cooked soft potatoes are mixed with egg, salt, and just enough flour to bind the ingredients together. Their unique light and airy texture brings out and celebrates the full flavor of potatoes.

These days, you'll find pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach and a delicious array of cheeses in this once-humble staple. Gnocchi are always served with one of a myriad of lovely and filling sauces, such as pesto, tomato sauce, or light cream-based sauces. The ridged edges of the gnocchi provide more surface area to bind with the sauce.

Why Make Homemade Gnocchi?

Making gnocchi is a true labor of love that requires patience, dedication and an appreciation for the skills of preparing food from scratch. While there is no shortage of artisanal or mass-produced gnocchi products, nothing can replicate the superb flavor and tender texture of truly fresh homemade gnocchi.

Big fall flavor, little dumplings

This recipe eschews the traditional potato and instead uses the popular fall butternut squash to give the resulting gnocchi a bright color and slightly sweet flavor. The squash is mixed with egg and ricotta to give it more creaminess and bind the dough. Complex and rich parmesan cheese and freshly grated nutmeg finish off these gnocchi and bring them to life.

The gnocchi are beautifully complemented by the deep flavors of sage leaves and slowly browned butter, hitting all the flavor notes for a filling meal. The dish can also be rounded off with lightly roasted nuts to give the otherwise soft and tender dumplings that special bite.

“This was my first time making gnocchi from scratch and I really enjoyed it! The dough is easy to work with and making the gnocchi one at a time is fun and relaxing. This recipe tastes earthy and delicious, the ultimate fall comfort food.” –Bahareh Niati

For the gnocchi

  • 2 1/2 Pound butternut squash (1 small pumpkin)

  • 2 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine Saltshared, more as needed

  • 2/3 cup (145 grams) Whole milk ricotta

  • 1/2 cup (30 grams) fresh grated parmesanmore to serve

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 2 cups (240 grams) all purpose flour

For the brown butter and sage sauce

  • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh sage leaves

  • 4 cloves Garlicchopped

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine Salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Prepare the pumpkin

  1. Gather the ingredients. Place a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 425 F.

    The spruce eats/Bahareh Niati

  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a spoon.

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  3. Place the squash halves, cut-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet, brush with olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

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  4. Roast until squash halves are fully cooked and tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before scooping out the flesh.

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  5. Using a food processor or hand blender, puree the squash until completely smooth and creamy.

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  6. Place the pumpkin puree in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to remove some of the moisture. The squash should be about the consistency of heavy whipping cream.

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  7. Place 1 cup pumpkin puree in a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. The remaining squash can be reserved for other uses, such as soups or lasagna.

    The spruce eats/Bahareh Niati

Make the gnocchi batter

  1. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, ricotta, parmesan, egg, and nutmeg to the bowl with the pureed squash and mix well with a rubber spatula.

    The spruce eats/Bahareh Niati

  2. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix gently until mixture begins to combine into a soft, smooth dough. If the dough is still sticky, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time to mix.

    The spruce eats/Bahareh Niati

  3. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a clean and lightly floured surface. Gently knead the dough for 2 to 4 minutes until smooth and no flour is visible. It's important to keep kneading to a minimum to avoid creating gluten and making the gnocchi tough.

    The spruce eats/Bahareh Niati

  4. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with a clean towel and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight to firm up.

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Shape the gnocchi

  1. Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it into 8 equal pieces on a lightly floured surface.

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  2. Lightly flour a work surface. Roll out each piece of dough into a rope about 12 inches long and 1/2 inch thick.

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  3. Cut each rope into 1 inch segments. Lightly roll each gnocchi along the side of a lightly floured gnocchi board or against the floured tines of a fork to create a ridged texture.

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  4. Place the gnocchi on floured baking sheets, leaving enough space between them so they don't stick to each other.

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Cook gnocchi

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

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  2. Add the gnocchi pieces to the saucepan in three batches and cook until springy and soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Gnocchi are ready 1 to 2 minutes after they float to the top.

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  3. Remove the gnocchi from the pot with a slotted spoon and place on a large plate. Continue until all the gnocchi are done.

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Prepare the brown butter and sage sauce and finish the gnocchi

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    The spruce eats/Bahareh Niati

  2. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The butter will begin to foam and then turn golden and fragrant.

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  3. Add the sage and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes.

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  4. Add the cooked gnocchi to the pan, add salt and pepper and continue stirring gently until heated through (about 5 minutes).

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  5. Place the gnocchi in a large serving bowl and serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

    The spruce eats/Bahareh Niati

recipe tips

  • When a dish consists of so few ingredients, the quality of the ingredients chosen is particularly important. So be sure to check the use-by date of your all-purpose flour, use freshly grated nutmeg and parmesan cheese, and choose a ricotta that will give it sweet and creamy flavors.
  • Pumpkin can be mashed with a fork or potato masher if you don't have a food processor or hand blender.
  • The gnocchi batter should be soft and pillowy, and the amount of flour added may vary depending on the moisture level of the squash. It is important to gradually add the flour and mix until a dough is formed. Adding too much flour and/or mixing too much will result in a heavy and dense consistency.

Go on

  • Gnocchi batter can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days or in the freezer for up to a month.
  • To freeze the uncooked gnocchi, dust them with flour and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cover with parchment paper and add more layers of gnocchi as needed. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 2 hours or until set. Once the gnocchi pieces are set, place them in an airtight container and place them back in the freezer. Frozen gnocchi can be transferred straight from the freezer to a pot of boiling water and cooked for an additional minute.
  • Cooked gnocchi can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. After cooking, drain the gnocchi and rinse with cold water until completely cool. Alternatively, they can be immersed in an ice bath. Drain off excess liquid and toss with a little olive oil to keep the pieces from sticking together. Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge. Gnocchi can be reheated in a pan with your favorite sauce.

recipe variations

  • Pumpkin can be substituted for butternut squash.
  • Gnocchi can be topped with a variety of easy-to-make sauces, such as classic pesto, creamy tomato sauce, four-cheese sauce, or walnut sauce.
  • Lightly toasted chunks of walnuts, slivers of almonds or pine nuts can be sprinkled over the gnocchi to give them a nice crunch.
  • Roasted vegetables go great with gnocchi.

How to store it

Cooked gnocchi in sauce may not be the best choice for storage as they tend to soak up the sauce and become sticky and mushy. However, if needed, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To warm up, place the gnocchi in a pan over medium heat with a little water, cover and cook until warm.

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