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Step 1: Read the recipe

January 14, 2011


Here’s a little tip……….read the whole recipe, completely, before starting.  It will save a lot of stress and heartburn and last minute running around.  I read scanned this recipe and failed to notice all of the “extra” prep time needed, like 1 hour of cooling after rolling and cutting, and additional cooling time needed between boiling and the final saute.  It all worked out in the end, but believe me, unless it’s a very good friend that you’re having over for dinner,  you don’t want your guests running up and down the stairs with you taking gnocchi out to the garage to cool. 

In the end, it all worked out.  Yes, these are a labor of love but, if you like gnocchi, these are terrific.  As I was making these, the thought that kept running through my head was this: “The restaurant down the street that has two kinds of hand rolled gnocchi on the menu every night, isn’t charging me enough.” 

You’ll notice that my little gnocchi aren’t all shaped the same or even each the same size and, you’ll notice that I struggled with the little fork tine lines.  None of that effected the taste though.  You won’t regret spending the time making these.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi
adapted slightly from Bon Appetit


1 1-pound butternut squash
1 tbsp olive oil
1 12- to 14-ounce russet potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese 
1 large egg, beaten slightly
1/4 tsp nutmeg (I used nutmeg from the jar)
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 to  2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage

Preheat oven to 400°F.  

Cut squash lengthwise in half and discard seeds.  Place squash halves, cut side up, on baking sheet and brush with oil.  Roast until squash is very tender and browned in spots, about 1 1/2 hours.  Cool slightly then scoop the cook squash out of the skin and put into the food processor; puree until smooth.  Transfer to medium saucepan and, stiring constantly over medium heat, cook until juices evaporate and puree thickens, about 5 minutes.  Cool completely.  Measure 1 cup (packed) squash puree, reserveing the remaining squash for another use.

While the squash is roasting, cook potato in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until very tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain.  While potato is warm, press through a potato ricer into medium bowl then cool completely.  Measure 2 cups of loosely packed riced potato, reserving any remaining potato for another use.

Mix squash, potato, 1/2 cup Parmesan, egg, nutmeg, and salt in large bowl.  Gradually add 1 3/4 cups flour, kneading gently into mixture in bowl until dough holds together and is almost smooth.  If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls.  Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead gently but briefly just until smooth.  Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.

Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment and sprinkle lightly with flour.  Working with 1 dough piece at a time, roll dough out on floured surface to about 1/2-inch-thick rope.  Cut rope crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces.  Working with 1 piece at a time, roll gnocchi along back of fork tines dipped in flour, making ridges on 1 side then transfer gnocchi to prepared baking sheets.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour. 
DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead.  Keep chilled.

Working in 2 batches, cook gnocchi in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, 15 to 17 minutes (gnocchi will float to surface but may come to surface before being fully cooked).  Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi back to the parchment-lined baking sheets.  Cool completely. 
DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead.  Cover loosely and chill.

Cook butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat just until golden, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add sage and stir 1 minute.  Add gnocchi and cook until heated through and coated with butter, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, transfer to bowl.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 16, 2011 1:41 pm

    Almost like a dessert. The butternut squash lent it a sweet taste and with the browned butter it was just delicious. I had some the next day and warmed them up with a little water- they were almost just as good (although nothing compared to them just out of the pan, maybe it was the aroma in the house!). Well worth a try!

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