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Squash Gnocchi with Butter, Sage, and Parmesan Sauce

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Cooking time

Prep: 1 hour and 10 minutes Cook: 45 minutes

Skill level

A challenge


Serves 6

Squash Gnocchi with Butter, Sage, and Parmesan Sauce - an Italian specialty for Halloween!

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  • 500 g Green Winter Squash, called Marina di Chioggia
  • 500 g of Russet or Yukon Potatoes
  • 250 g of Flour 00, plus more for dusting
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt to taste

Ingredients for the sauce

  • 80 g unsalted butter
  • 15 fresh sage leaves
  • 80 g of Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese, freshly grated


  1. TECHNIQUE: Squash dough is made by combining winter squash cooked, boiled potato, wheat flour 00 for absorbing moisture and providing gluten (and gluten is so important), 1 egg and a teaspoon of nutmeg, freshly grated, to add richness and help bind the squash gnocchi dough together. Wash the Squash, cut in cubes, and peel them. Then put in a large porcelain bowl and cook in microwave at maximum temperature, about 8-10 minutes. Immediately pass squash with a potato ricer. Let cool completely.

  2. In a large pot, bring potatoes (not unpeeled) to a boil in salted water and cook until potatoes are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander and peel while still hot, but use a dry kitchen towel to hold them. Immediately pass potatoes through a potato ricer (in Italy we have a special potato ricer for making gnocchi and the name is "passapatate") onto a big bowl. Let cool completely.

  3. In a large bowl add potatoes and squash. Then sprinkle potatoes-squash mixture with flour 00, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg, and salt to taste, about 2 teaspoons salt. With a fork mix and then with your hands, work the mixture into a dough. Knead squash gnocchi dough until smooth, dusting with flour 00 if it becomes sticky. Please don't overwork the squash gnocchi dough a lot, because it means having to add more flour 00 (so at the end the squash gnocchi are not fluffly and tender, but heavy).

  4. Divide dough into 10 portions. Roll each portion into a rope (2 cm thick and 20 centimeters long). Cut each rope into 2-3 cm pieces. Gently roll each squash gnocchi dough piece against the back of a parmesan grater to make ridges. Many famous chefs like to shape their squash gnocchi dumplings using a fork, but in the Veneto region (Italy) the traditional way to shape the squash gnocchi is using a parmesan grater. The proper texture of a squash gnocchi is to roll every squash gnocchi on the back of a hand parmesan grater sprinkled with flour 00 and indent it a little with your thumb: this way is hard and difficult, but funny. And the squash gnocchi will be better, not only for the presentation but for the sauce! Place the squash gnocchi onto a tray or onto a wooden board floured with semolina flour, leaving a space between each piece to prevent them from sticking together. Bring a pasta pot of salted water to a boil. In batches, add a few handfuls squash gnocchi and cook until most have floated to top, about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi immediately to a colander. Continue until the squash gnocchi are cooked.

  5. FOR THE SAUCE: While your squash gnocchi cooks, melt unsalted butter in a 20 to 22-cm saute pan and continue cooking until golden color appears in the thinnest liquid of the butter (maximum in about 2-3 minutes). Add fresh sage leaves, stir and remove from heat. Drain the squash gnocchi, but leaving some cooking water, and gently pour into saute pan and return to heat. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese freshly grated, toss to coat and serve immediately (if the squash gnocchi is to thick, add a tablespoon (or more) of cooking water. Sprinkle again with Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese.

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