The extremely wet dough of these bright orange gnocchi is easily managed with the help of a pastry bag. It’s cooked by piping drops of the dough into simmering water. The smokiness of the mozzarella is an important addition to this classic Friulian recipe.
Watch the Fine Cooking Culinary School Video Series, where the authors show you, step-by-step, how to make this dish, as well as eight other handmade pastas.
Heat the oven to 425°F.
Cut the squash in half and rub with olive oil. Place on a sheet pan with 1/2 cup of water and roast in the oven until completely tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
In a large bowl, mash the squash with a fork and then mix in the egg, flour, nutmeg, salt, and Parmigiano Reggiano to form a loose dough. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag and pipe the gnocchi into the water, using a butter knife to cut the dough into individual 1/2-inch dumplings. Cook about 20 gnocchi at a time until they rise to the surface of the boiling water, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer the cooked gnocchi into a bowl of ice water. Continue until all the gnocchi are cooked. Remove the gnocchi from the ice water and place on a kitchen towel to dry.
Melt the butter in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the sage leaves and the gnocchi to the pan and cook until the gnocchi are warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour out into a large serving bowl and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
Photo: Matthew Scialabba and Melissa Pellegrino