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Butternut Squash Gnocchi

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Serves 6 to 8

  • by Melissa Pellegrino, Matthew Scialabba from The Italian Farmer’s Table

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.

  • 1-1/2 lb. butternut squash
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. chopped sage
  • 1/4 cup shredded smoked mozzarella

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

Very good. I could not find smoked mozzerella, so I just used loads of good quality parmesan in it's place. I loved the butter sage sauce. My children loved this gnocchi too. Usually they won't eat butternut squash. This recipe is a keeper.

I made this recipe immediately after viewing the video and many times thereafter. As someone else mentioned, this is a crowd pleaser. I usually serve it as a "primo" before the "secondo" meat dish. It never fails to amaze my guests, as they refuse to believe how simple this is, assuming I was just being modest. The instructions are easy to follow.

a fun and really quite easy gnocchi recipe, though my batch was a bit fragile and prone to falling apart (i admit i made some small changes to the recipe given what i had on hand). it's quite rich but very crowd-pleasing and the smoked cheese really adds a different flavor profile. i've tried it with sage, thyme, and various mushrooms. actually quite versatile. the gnocchi 'dough' doesn't keep well after a day or so in my experience.

This was delicious and simple to make. Just roast your butternut squash ahead of time, and the dish will come together quickly. The smoked mozzarella was a very nice touch. We also liked the gnocchi with a mushroom butter sauce.

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