Butternut Squash Gnocchi

I really enjoy making pastas by hand, and have a fondness in my heart for gnocchi in particular.  Gnocchi isn’t for everyone.  BD hates it and thinks it has the texture of slugs.  Having never eaten slugs, I can’t imagine why he picked this, but… more for me!  Gnocchi are essentially little dumplings, and most typically, they are made with potatoes.  I have also made or eaten gnocchi made with ricotta cheese, red beets, pumpkin, and plums.  I’m sure there are many more varieties that I have yet to try, and I’m always looking out for new gnocchi opportunities.

Last week, I had butternut squash leftover from when I made the winter vegetable soup and one night I started to roast it, thinking I’d just eat it with some sunflower seeds and spices.  But once I started roasting it, I decided I was really in the mood for something a little more substantial.  Luckily, gnocchi comes together very easily.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

  • 1 butternut squash, halved and seeded
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for roasting the squash
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (approximate)
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Peel and cube squash into large pieces, toss squash lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  3. Spread onto a baking sheet, and roast 30-40 minutes, stirring around once or twice during the cook time
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mash the roasted squash with a potato-masher or a fork, and let cool about 15 minutes
  5. Add olive oil, sage, oregano, nutmeg and mix together
  6. Add flour and mix in with your hands until dough is smooth and even.  Don’t over knead the dough.  When it has come together, cover it with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 30-45 minutes
  7. On a floured surface, divide dough into 4 portions, and roll each portion into a rope appx 3/4 inch thick.  If the dough doesn’t stay together, gradually work in more flour until it does.  Cut rope into 3/4 inch pieces.  Roll gnocchi against the tines of a fork (dip the fork in flour to keep it from sticking) to get grooves into the dumplings.
  8. Lay gnocchi on a floured surface and let dry 20-30 minutes before using.  If you are freezing these for future use, freeze for 1 hour on the tray before storing in an airtight container.
  9. Cook gnocchi in a pot of low-boiling/simmering water 2-3 minutes, until the dumplings float.

You could use these gnocchi however you want – with a regular tomato sauce, a red pepper sauce, tossed with olive oil or butter, sweet in an apple cider sauce, or rich in a creamy alfredo-style sauce.  I decided to make them with browned butter and balsamic vinegar and topped with grated parmesan.

Balsamic and Brown Butter Sauce (Per Serving.  Multiply as Needed)

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • splash balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp chopped shallot (appx 1/2 small shallot)
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  As butter starts to brown, it will become nutty and fragrant.  Do not leave it unattended because if it burns you will be sad.
  2. Remove from heat, add shallots and vinegar
  3. Add butternut squash gnocchi and toss to coat
  4. Garnish with chopped sage, oregano, and/or paremsan cheese

5 Responses to “Butternut Squash Gnocchi”

  1. 1 Susan February 2, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    The texture is my favorite thing about gnocchi. I suppose if I ever have the chance to eat a slug I should take it.

  2. 2 Capri Roth February 3, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I don’t think I’ll be eating slugs anytime soon, but I imagine them to be much heavier than a gnocchi… I just find the texture to be very comforting. Light, fluffy, mushy, mmmmm I wish I had some now.

  3. 3 Michael Drabenstott February 5, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Was looking for something different to do with the butternut squash that’s been staring at me in the kitchen for the past three weeks. I think I have my answer. Thanks, Capri. (BTW, love your photography of the food.)

  4. 4 Capri Roth February 5, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Thanks Mike! Let me know how it turns out.

  5. 5 Emily February 5, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    oh. my. goodness. I just picked up my CSA box today (we joined one two weeks ago and I am PSYCHED at all this awesome stuff I’m getting) and one of the items was a butternut squash. Having just made a soup last week, I was hoping to do something different with my squash. I will DEFINITELY be using this recipe, hopefully for dinner on Sunday night! Marc and & loooooove gnocchi. They’re the only thing that get me out of the house for Italian food.

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