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Squash Gnocchi with Garlic Sage Brown Butter

Deliciously rich and covered in garlic sage brown butter, these all squash gnocchi are the perfect fall pasta dish.

Squash gnocchi with garlic sage brown butter in a large skillet on a grey counter.
 

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OK everyone, you voted and I answered, here is your SQUASH GNOCCHI recipe!!

For those who are not aware, a couple weeks ago I asked my Instagram and Facebook followers what recipe I should make with my remaining butternut squash. I had bought two at Costco, one became a butternut squash soup, and with the other I had no clue what to do. So between the choices of winter squash pie and squash gnocchi, squash gnocchi won (and when I say won I mean 99% of the audience voted for squash gnocchi)

Interestingly, that extra butternut squash I had did not become squash gnocchi, but rather a winter squash pie (the recipe for that will be coming soon) because I decided to test making both pie and gnocchi.

Collage of four photos: top left, squash gnocchi on a baking sheet, top right, a freezer bag of squash gnocchi, bottom left, a skillet with melting butter, bottom right, a close up of squash gnocchi with garlic sage brown butter in a skillet.

To experiment with the squash gnocchi recipe, my brother came over one weekend to help me cook. Before starting we decided to pick up a few more ingredients, which included some potatoes because I originally thought I would have to do a mixture of squash and potato for the gnocchi and we also bought some more squash. Interestingly we decided to be adventurous and bought a brightly orange-fleshed squash (that wasn’t a pumpkin) that we later thought was a Hubbard squash based off of this image

Squash gnocchi with garlic sage brown butter in two pasta bowls beside the skillet it was cooked in.

Experimenting with squash gnocchi

To start out, we roasted both the Hubbard and butternut squashes facedown in a 400F oven, the Hubbard took about 1 hour to get all nice and tender, whereas the butternut squash took about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then we tasted both and decided that the Hubbard would be fantastic (and maybe even better than butternut squash) as gnocchi. Its consistency is less watery than butternut and was more potato-like. It also was less sweet and had a nutty chestnut-like flavor. Honestly, we could have eaten it as is right then and there but managed to save some for gnocchi.

After roasting, we removed the skin of the Hubbard and mashed the flesh using a potato masher. I know that if we continued mashing we would have eventually removed the large chunks in the mash (from previous gnocchi experience you need the potato mash to be as smooth as possible) but we ultimately turned to my little food processor and processed the squash in batches to get a nice smooth consistency (albeit it was very sticky). The better, and best option would have been to use a potato ricer (and now I have this potato ricer on my Christmas wish list).

Using the processed squash we added a large egg and then started to knead the flour in half-cup increments. Having made regular gnocchi before with my nonna and leftover mashed potato gnocchi, the key is to add enough flour so they don’t fall apart when boiling while still keeping a pillowy texture.

Close up of squash gnocchi in a pasta bowl.

Tips as you make squash gnocchi

To make sure you don’t end up with gnocchi that falls apart I have a small pot of boiling water going as I knead the dough to test the gnocchi. In the end, we had about 800gr of processed squash and added one large egg and three cups of all-purpose flour. This gave enough gnocchi to serve 4-6 people as a meal.

Regardless of the amount of mashed squash you get out of your roasted Hubbard, always add just one egg. Everytime I go ask my nonna how to make gnocchi she can never remember if she actually adds egg(s) or not. So I put in one all the time, just for good measure. As for the flour, the recipe calls for three to four cups, but make sure you knead it in small increments. I’d start testing a couple of gnocchi in a small pot of boiling water once two cups of flour have been added and then every half cup after that. Depending on the squash and the humibity in the room the amount of flour you need to add can vary, so this is the fool proof method to make sure you have great gnocchi after all the work!

Hope you enjoy!

SQUASH GNOCCHI WITH GARLIC SAGE BROWN BUTTER
Prep Time
1 hr 35 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Roasting time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 45 mins
 
INGREDIENTS
Squash gnocchi:
  • 1 Hubbard squash (about 2-2.5 lbs.)
  • 1 tbsp. neutral oil (like canola or vegetable)
  • 3-4 cups flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1 large egg
Garlic sage brown butter:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • starchy water from the gnocchi
  • parmesan cheese (for serving)
INSTRUCTIONS
Making squash gnocchi:
  1. Heat oven to 400F. Cut the squash in half and lightly brush the cut side with oil. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 1 hour.

  2. Once cooled enough to handle remove the skin and mash (see notes) the flesh until it is nice and smooth with no lumps. 

  3. Place the mashed squash on a clean floured board or countertop. Create a well in the center and add the egg and beat with a fork. Add 1/2 cup of flour over it all and start mixing the dough. Continue adding flour in 1/2 cup portions and kneading the dough until it is firm and slightly sticky (see notes).

  4. Take a workable amount of dough and roll into a log about 1/2-inch thick. Using a knife or dough scraper, cut the rope into bite-sized pieces and roll each piece against the back of a fork (or a gnocchi board) to make ridges and a small dimple for even cooking. Place on a floured baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough has been made into gnocchi.

Cooking the gnocchi:
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the gnocchi (fresh or frozen) carefully to the water. When the gnocchi float to the top of the boiling water, remove them with a slotted spoon directly into the skillet of garlic butter sauce (if ready) or set aside).

Garlic sage brown butter:
  1. Melt butter, sage and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat stirring frequently until the milk solids begin to turn brown, a hout 5 minutes.

Putting it together:
  1. Add gnocchi and 1/2 cup of the gnocchi water to the skillet containing brown butter. Mix to coat everything nicely. Serve with parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

The best way to mash the squash is to use a potato ricer. If you don’t have one, you can mash using a potato masher, food processor or a handheld beater until smooth.
 
To know if enough flour was added to the dough, have a small pot of boil water going and test one or two gnocchi after every 1/2 cup addition after 2 cups of flour has been added.
 
Squash gnocchi is a great recipe to make ahead and then take out for a quick meal. To freeze the gnocchi, place on a floured baking sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes before transferring to a plastic bag. When you want to cook them, toss the frozen gnocchi into salted boiling water and cook until they float!

Did you make this recipe?

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Two bowls of squash gnocchi with garlic sage brown butter, with title overlay for pinterest.

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