Butternut squash is a quintessentially fall and winter ingredient that can embody the spirit of the seasons with some much-loved, hearty dishes and add a delicious twist to some beloved classics like gnocchi.
A good gnocchi from scratch can be a tedious task but one that is oh so rewarding, with especially tasty results. A lot of fun to make, this recipe is a real crowd pleaser and definitely a seasonal favourite in my house. The addition of ricotta makes the gnocchi even more tender, pillowy, and inviting. Perfect for a chilly evening in.
This recipe is wonderful as well because it can make a very large batch and it’s so easy to freeze any extra dough or individual gnocchi for further meals on another day.
Be sure to check out FreshFind.ca for any produce needs from one of our local farmers!
For the gnocchi you will need:
2 cups butternut squash (approx. 1 whole squash)
1 cup fresh ricotta
4 cups all-purpose flour, as well as extra flour available to work with the dough and prevent sticking as needed
4-6 sage leaves, very finely chopped
2 large eggs
*NOTE: This recipe can easily be halved for a smaller yield.
For the sauce you will need:
2/3 cup of butter
20 sage leaves, whole
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon added to taste (optional)
- Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and place on a baking tray. Cook at 400°F for about one to two hours, or until completely soft and tender.
- Once the squash has cooled, scoop it from the rind and mash it up until it has a consistency similar to mashed potatoes.
- Now for the fun part: in a large bowl mix squash, ricotta, finely chopped sage leaves, and eggs, making sure they are well combined. Work flour into the mixture 1 cup at a time until dough becomes a consistent texture.
- Transfer dough from the bowl onto a well-floured surface, slowly kneading it and forming into a rounded shape. Coat the dough with a thin layer of flour to prevent sticking and then let it rest for about 30 minutes. *If you wish to let it sit longer, cover with a cloth and place in refrigerator.
- Once your dough has rested, cut it into manageable pieces, roughly the size of a tennis ball.
- One piece of dough at a time, roll on floured surface into long rope about ¾ inch wide. Slice the rope into individual gnocchi and set them aside.
- When ready to cook, bring a salted pot of water to a boil. Cook the gnocchi in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pot, for about 3-5 minutes, until they start to float.
- With a slotted spoon, scoop the cooked gnocchi onto a large plate or into a bowl with some olive oil to ensure they don’t stick together.
Now for the sauce:
- Place chopped walnuts in pan on medium heat, moving them around until they are slightly toasted and aromatic.
- Add butter to pan and cook until fully melted, stirring occasionally.
- Once the butter begins to foam up add and stir in the sage leaves.
- Let cook together for about 3-5 minutes, the butter will begin to brown and foam more, do not stir it during this time.
- Once the sage leaves are crispy, remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste, as well as a squeeze of lemon if desired.
- Add desired portions of cooked gnocchi to the pan of sauce, gently tossing and fully coating them.
- They are ready to serve, Bon Appétit!