Butternut squash is so lovely. So sweet, so beautiful, and that texture!! It's almost a shame to do anything with butternut squash other than eat it straight from the oven, but I was craving gnocchi, so here we are. Quite honestly, this recipe is a to-do! But the end result are wonderful, pillowy little bits that are divine when smothered in a brown butter and sage sauce. Oh, and then topped with a little cheese! mmm.
Butternut Squash Gnocchi
1 medium sized butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
1 tsp canola oil
2 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for sauce
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups of all purpose flour, approximately
2 tbsp unsalted butter (per serving)
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped (per serving)
Start by preheating over oven to 425 degrees. Take a knife and make score marks into the flesh of the squash, about 1/2 inch down. Rub the skin with the canola oil, and place the squash onto a baking sheet, skin side up. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes.
During this time, fill a pot with the potatoes, and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer on the stove, and cook until fork tender.
Once the potatoes are tender, drain, and return the potatoes back onto the stove on medium-low heat until the excess moisture is removed, just a couple of minutes. Remove and let cool.
Remove the tender squash from the oven and let that cool.
Once the potatoes have cooled, put them through a ricer if you have one, if not, mash them into a mixing bowl.
Remove the squash from the skin and add them into a food processor. Process until you have a nice puree. Add this puree into a pot on the stove, and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes to remove any excess moisture. Let cool, then add into the mixing bowl with the potatoes.
To the mixing bowl add the egg, salt, and the parmesan cheese. Start your mixer, and gradually add in the flour. You do not want to dump in all of the flour, but just enough to that it forms a dough, a non sticky dough. IF you have a KitchenAid stand mixer this is the time to use it - try the dough hook.
Once the dough is kneaded, lightly flour your work surface, and add the dough onto it. Divide the dough into equal pieces, about 8 will work.
Lightly flour a large baking tray as well.
Take each small ball of dough and gently roll into a rope shape, about one inch thick.
Once you have your rope, cut into one inch pieces. Using the back of a fork, roll into a gnocchi shape, then place onto the baking sheet. Repeat until all of the gnocchi have formed.
Lightly cover with plastic wrap and place into your refrigerator to set up, about 2 hours.
Once you are ready to make the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
During this time, slowly melt the butter in a skillet. You are going to go for a browned butter on this sauce, so keep that in mind. We will raise the heat a bit as the gnocchi gets closer to finishing cooking.
Once the water is rapidly boiling, add in about 15-20 of the gnocchi. Give a gentle stir, and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the gnocchi are floating to the top. As soon as they begin to float to the top, raise the heat of your butter to a medium-high heat, and let the butter begin to brown.
Once the butter begins to brown, toss in the sage. It will crack and sizzle, and smell really, really good. If you have never had browned butter sage sauce, well, you will love it. Two of my kids really love it, and that is saying something.
Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and add into the butter sauce. Give a gentle toss, and let this cook for a couple of minutes.
Add more grated parmesan to your liking, and serve.