These butternut squash gnocchi are my kind of comfort food--light but hearty, sweet gnocchi tossed in a quick brown butter sauce topped with herby sage, nutty walnuts, and a generous shaving of Parmesan cheese. This post has been sponsored by Calphalon. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Beyond Sweet and Savory possible.
For me fall is about comfort food. It’s that time of the year when the weather starts to get much cooler and my body craves for soups, roasts, and pasta. Squash is one of my favorite fall ingredients that gets incorporated into many of these comfort food. I’m so excited to partner with Calphalon to share with you the recipe for these delicious butternut squash gnocchi with brown butter sage and walnuts.
How to Make the Squash Puree
If you’ve made gnocchi before, you know it’s a labor of love and requires a bit of patience. For this recipe I started with roasting the butternut squash in the oven for an hour. The flesh becomes tender and caramelized. Once it’s ready, just scoop out the flesh, puree until smooth, then dry it out over the stove to let the puree thickens. Butternut squash has a high water content so reducing moisture is necessary for achieving that light, pillowy texture.
The dough is a simple mixture of butternut squash puree, all purpose flour, Parmesan cheese, eggs, salt, and a touch of nutmeg. The addition of flour makes the gnocchi easier to handle. If you are vegan, leave out the cheese and replace with squash. For gluten-free alternative, use buckwheat flour or potato start. Simply mix everything together with a spoon.
How Long to Refrigerate the Dough
Once the dough comes together, gently knead it and refrigerate it for 4 hours to firm up.
When you’re ready to cook, remove the dough and divide it into quarters. Roll the dough into a rope about ½ inch diameter and crosswise into ¾ inch pieces.
How to Shape Gnocchi
For traditional gnocchi shape, roll each piece on a lightly floured grooved gnocchi board, pressing one cut side of the dough with your thumb to create a grooved oval shape with a gap in the middle. Let the dough roll around your thumb as your press and roll into the board.
If you don’t have a gnocchi board, you can use the tines of a fork to achieve the same effect. If taste is all that matters to you then place the cut gnocchi on a tray floured with semolina flour until ready to cook.
When ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. In the past whenever I had to boil anything on high heat I had to keep a close eye on it. With my Calphalon Classic™ Nonstick 14-Pc. Cookware Set with No Boil-Over Inserts, cooking soup, pho, pasta, and vegetables has gotten a lot of easier. The innovative BPA-free silicone no boil insert recirculates boiling water back into the pot so no messy spills to clean up. Less mess is a win in my book!
I love how the no boil insert allows me to multitask so I don’t have to babysit my pot of boiling water with vegetables, soups, or whatever I’m cooking. The insert also allows for stirring and seasoning through its center opening and is a breeze to clean with just a light wash and rinse.
How Long to Cook Gnocchi
Cook the gnocchi in batches for 3-5 minutes until they float to the top. To see if they’re ready, look for a somewhat springy texture. As the starch in the gnocchi absorbs water, it swells and softens and bounces back if you squeeze it. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and set them aside on a plate.
How to Make the Sauce
These butternut squash gnocchi require nothing more than a simple brown butter sauce with cheese. Cook butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Add sage leaves and cook until they’re crisp. Add the gnocchi into the pan and toss them to coat with butter.
These butternut squash gnocchi are my kind of comfort food--light but hearty, sweet gnocchi tossed in a quick brown butter sauce topped with herby sage, nutty walnuts, and a generous shaving of Parmesan cheese. They are a labor of love but so delicious and satisfying. I often make a double batch and freeze the extra for when the craving hits.
Butternut squash gnocchi with brown butter sage and walnuts
- 2 pounds butternut squash (1 cup butternut squash puree)
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour and extra for rolling
- 1 medium egg
- 1 medium egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup semolina flour for gnocchi pans
Brown butter sauce
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- ¼ cup sage leaves
- ¼ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra Parmesan cheese for serving
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cut squash lengthwise in half; discard seeds. Place squash halves, cut side up, on baking sheet and brush with oil.
- Roast until squash is very tender when pierced with skewer and browned in spots, about 1 hour.
- Let it cool slightly. Scoop flesh from the squash into a food processor and puree until smooth.
- Transfer the puree to a medium nonstick saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat until juices evaporate and puree thickens, about 15 minutes. When it’s done the squash’s consistency should resemble loose dough and thick enough to cling to an upended spoon.
- Measure 1 cup (packed) squash puree and let it cool. Reserve the remaining squash for another use.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine squash, flour, Parmesan, egg, egg yolk, nutmeg, and salt and mix with a spoon until the dough comes together. If the dough is very sticky, add more flour by one tablespoonful.
- Turn the dough out onto floured surface; knead gently but briefly just until smooth. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to firm up.
- Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment and sprinkle lightly with semolina flour.
- Working with 1 dough piece at a time, roll dough out on floured surface to about ½-inch-thick rope. Cut rope crosswise into ¾-inch pieces.
- Working with 1 piece at a time, roll gnocchi along a gnocchi board.
- Transfer gnocchi to baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and chill at least 1 hour in refrigerator.
- When ready to cook, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
- Working in 4 batches, drop gnocchi in the pot and let them cook for 3-5 minutes until they float to the surface or become springy to touch.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to a large plate.
- Cook butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat just until golden, stirring often, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add sage and cook for 2 minutes until crips. Add gnocchi and cook until heated through and coated with butter, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer gnocchi to warmed plates. Serve with additional Parmesan, toasted walnuts, and garnish with crispy sage.
- Extra squash puree can be frozen up to a month.
- Uncooked gnocchi can be frozen up to a month.