Butternut Squash Gnocchi are simple to make and has a rich flavor from the ricotta and butternut squash. The flecks of orange throughout the gnocchi make these perfect for a fall dinner.
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I am a total gnocchi lover. For me it’s not just the flavor but also the textures. Those pillows of potato-y pasta are completely irresistible to me. And you don’t need a heavy sauce for them either. Yes, this is a cream sauce, but it was quick and easy.
What are gnocchi?
Gnocchi are basically little dumplings. They’re made with a myriad of ingredients depending on region. Some parts make them with semolina, whole wheat, or other flours. There’s usually egg, potato, and cheese in there. But sometimes there’s breadcrumbs or cornmeal in there, too.
Gnocchi are a traditional type of pasta dating back to the Roman era. The Roman legions made gnocchi during the expansion into Europe. One recipe cites a semolina porridge mixed with eggs and baked. Of course, once they hit Europe proper, they found potatoes. That’s how potato gnocchi came into being.
Gnocchi usually start the meal. Or they replace the soup of a multi-course meals. Sometimes they can be a side dish to other meals. And the potato gnocchi that we are familiar with are in Abruzzo, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto, and Lazio.
How many types of gnocchi are there?
First and foremost, there’s potato gnocchi. Served mainly in the north of Italy, gnocchi are with the fresh pastas because they contain flour and egg. The dough gets kneaded and then shaped into ropes that are then sliced into 1-inch pieces. Finally, they’re rolled across a paddle or a fork to create those traditional ridges. Those ridges capture the sauce making them perfectly delicious.
What is gnudi? They’re made with ricotta, egg, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, and sheep’s cheese. No. There’s not potato in there. Gnudi get rolled into balls and then boiled until they float. After drying for a little bit, they’re then fried until golden brown.
Of course, the French have their take on gnocchi. It’s made with choux pastry. Sort of like spaetzle, they’re piped and cut into boiling water to cook. They’re sauteed for a few minutes before tossing with herbs and lemon. It sounds really interesting.
Malloreddus is another form of gnocchi. Mallo- what? Malloreddus. They’re also knowns as gnochetti Sardi. This version is more dense due to the simple ingredients of flour and water with a little saffron for color. Because of their shape they’re perfect to hold heartier sauces like a Bolognese.
Malfatti is similar to gnudi but they’re made with ricotta, spinach, and Parmesan. The addition of semolina and egg help form the dough into balls. Malfatti are boiled and not fried. This keeps the light and fluffly texture they’re famous for.
Finally, there’s gnocchi alla Romana. This is different than any other type of gnocchi. The dough is full of cheese, butter, and milk. The dough cooks in a pan before and is spread onto a pan to cool. Cut into circles, the gnocchi are layered in a pan with sauce and cheese, and then baked. This sounds divine!
What sauce do you top gnocchi with?
Since the gnocchi themselves are delicious, you don’t really want to slather them with something heavy. You want to taste those pillows of potato goodness. One of my fave ways to top gnocchi is with a simple sage and butter sauce. I tossed my pumpkin gnocchi with this sauce. So good.
Another great way to serve them is tossed with a fresh tomato sauce with basil. A traditional pesto is also a great way to serve gnocchi. The bright herbs and pine nuts pair well with the Parmesan in the gnocchi. I also like a simple tomato cream sauce. Yes, it’s cream, but with the tomato it makes for a light sauce to serve with gnocchi.
What does butternut squash gnocchi taste like?
If you know anything about butternut squash, you know it can be kind of stringy. Well, this one was rather stringy. So, I couldn’t put it through the ricer like I had hoped. I put it in the food processor. So, these butternut squash gnocchi have flecks of butternut squash throughout the potato mixture.
Looking at them, you can’t really tell there’s squash in there. But once you take a bite you will taste the butternut squash flavor in there. The first batch I served them with sausage and spinach. And they were good. But the sausage was super salty. But after tasting them without the sausage and spinach, I knew a light cream sauce would be perfect.
And that’s exactly what I did! I boiled them up and tossed them in a non-stick pan with some butter and rosemary olive oil to crisp up a bit. Because I love that little crispy bite on the outside of these pillows of goodness. Then I poured in a little heavy cream to simmer until slightly thickened. Finally, I sprinkled in some Asiago cheese. But you could use Roman or Parmesan if you want. They salty and richness pairs well with the tender gnocchi and richness of the cream.
This recipe makes a couple of meals worth of gnocchi. If you’re not going to cook and serve them all the same day, you can form them and then freeze them. I have half the batch in the freezer right now. Once they’re frozen, I’m going to put them in a vacuum sealed bag to stay in the freezer until I’m ready to have them again. Which I’m sure will be soon because gnocchi are so delicious and these butternut squash gnocchi are super delicious!
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups riced potatoes (about 1 potato 4 to 5 inches long)
- 1 cups butternut squash puree
- 3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon rosemary infused olive oil
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup Asiago cheese
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Place the flour on a clean work surface and form a large circle. Spread the potatoes and squash on top of the flour.
- Make a well in the center and add the egg. Lightly beat with a fork before adding the ricotta, and Parmesan cheese.
- Get ready to get dirty! Using your hands, combine the ingredients until the dough begins to form.
- Knead lightly before shaping into a rectangle.
- Cut the dough into 6 to 8 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a rope that’s the same width. For shorter gnocchi, make a thicker rope. For thinner gnocchi, make a longer rope.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the gnocchi into 1-inch pieces. Lightly toss them with flour to keep them from sticking together.
- It’s not necessary to indent the gnocchi, but it does make for a prettier dish. I purchase a gnocchi board, but you could easily use a fork to gently make indents in the gnocchi.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop 8 to 10 gnocchi into the boiling water and stir. The gnocchi will start to float when cooked.
- While the gnocchi are cooking heat a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil and swirl to coat.
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop the gnocchi out of the boiling water and carefully put them into the skillet to brown.
- Continue cooking the gnocchi in batches and adding them to the skillet. This makes a lot of gnocchi, see notes for freezing instructions.\
- Once all the gnocchi are cooked, add the heavy cream to the pan. Simmer until the cream thickens.
- Remove from heat and stir in the Asiago cheese, white pepper, and nutmeg before serving.
If you do not plan on cooking all the gnocchi right away, place them on a baking sheet. Make sure they’re separated before sticking them in the freezer. After about an hour, you can move them a zip top freezer back. Do not thaw before cooking. Cook the frozen gnocchi in boiling water and then sauté.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 1045Total Fat 34gSaturated Fat 19gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 113mgSodium 282mgCarbohydrates 154gFiber 7gSugar 3gProtein 29g
Wow. Not sure about that. Eat at your own risk.
More #FallFlavors Recipes Below:
Appetizers and Snacks
- Crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower from Simple and Savory
- Pumpkin Pie Smoothie from House of Nash Eats
- Roasted Grapes Crostini With Rosemary And Pecans from Eat Move Make
- Rosemary Roasted Cashews from SueBee Homemaker
Breakfast and Baked Goods
- Apple Coffee Cake from Devour Dinner
- Apple Pecan Loaf from Palatable Pastime
- Eggless Pear Almond Mini Loaves from Magical Ingredients
- Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts And Sweet Potatoes from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Chestnut Pesto Brussels Sprouts from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Butternut Squash Gnocchi from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- No Marinade Lamb Kabobs from Art of Natural Living
- Chestnut Chocolate Mousse from The Spiffy Cookie
- Chocolate Pumpkin Mini Cheesecakes from Jen around the world
- Graham Cracker Crumble from The Fresh Cooky
- Pear Crisp Recipe from Hostess At Heart
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