About a month ago I had an urge to make gnocchi. Sure, it would have been easier to buy it, but when I get something in my head, I just have to follow through. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. These Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage Sausage tasted fantastic. I was very pleased with myself.
I thought my technique was so lacking that I didn’t think I would write a post about it. Then I decided that I should share my learning experiences and I hope you’ll share yours with me.
I just could not get my fork to roll and form the gnocchi the way it was suppose to. I knew I wanted those fork lines because they really help to hold whatever sauce you use in your completed recipe. So, I ended up cutting my tiny pieces of dough and just pressing with my fork. Mine may not be as pretty, but since the taste was just what I was after (and my husband really liked them), I am going to add my recipe for butternut squash gnocchi with sage sausage to my collection.
Now, I should also add, that after a little more research, I found out that there are many techniques to making gnocchi. Some don’t even have the fork marks. So, it gave me the courage to write up this recipe for all of you. And if there are so many other versions of gnocchi making, then I will post my own.
And, please, if you can share with me something that will help me make these again in the future, I would really appreciate it. You can write me in the comment section below the recipe.
Butternut Squash Gnocchi | Recipe
Note: I only used 1/2 of the gnocchi recipe to make my butternut squash gnocchi with sage sausage. I froze the other half for another meal.
(Makes approx. 4 cups of gnocchi)
1 butternut squash
2 medium baking potatoes
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 c. flour (plus more to use when rolling dough)
(Hint: If you want to cook your squash or potatoes a couple hours or even a day ahead, it will make the preparation of the gnocchi a little quicker. You can also prepare the gnocchi part of this recipe on the weekend and throw together a quick meal of my butternut squash gnocchi with sage sausage on a busy week night.)
Carefully poke a few holes in the bulb part of your squash with a knife so it won’t explode in the microwave. Microwave on high 4-5 minutes. Rotate and microwave another 5 minutes. Depending on the size of your squash, it should be soft and give a little when squeezed. If not, microwave another few minutes. Set aside to cool.
Carefully poke your potatoes with a knife and microwave 5-8 minutes on high until tender when you squeeze it. Or another way to test it would be to stick it with a fork and see if the fork goes into the potato easily. Set aside to cool.
When the squash is cool enough to handle, cut in half, remove the seeds and scoop the meat of the squash into a bowl. Mash. I found that my pastry cutter worked really well. You can also use a potato ricer.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half and scoop the potato out of the skin into a separate bowl. Mash with pasty cutter or ricer.
To the bowl with the squash, add the egg and combing well.
Add Parmesan cheese and flour. Mix well, then add the mashed potatoes. Combine thoroughly. I found it easier to mix with my hand to incorporate all the flour.
Remove dough from bowl and knead a few times on a floured surface.
Divide dough into 4 equal pieces.
Roll, 1 piece of dough at a time, into a long snake about 1/2″ to 1″ in diameter. Then make 1/2″ cuts along the dough roll.
Now here’s the tricky part. Some instructions say to use a floured fork and roll your 1/2″ cut piece. It should look like a “c” shape with the fork tine marks. The shape and fork marks will help hold your sauce and is what I wanted. Since I couldn’t get it to roll correctly, I ended up just pressing my fork into the 1/2″ pieces to make sure I got the marks.
You don’t have to have the fork marks or the “c” shape, you can continue on with making the gnocchi smooth if you like.
Once you’ve decided whether you want the fork marks, “c” shape, or just leave smooth, drop them into a pot of boiling water adding only about 1 cup gnocchi at a time. When they float (about 10-15 minutes depending on size of your gnocchi), remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon into a colander to drain. Depending on the size of pot you use to boil your gnocchi, you may have to do 2-3 batches.
Once the gnocchi is cooked and drained, you can use immediately in any recipe or my butternut squash gnocchi with sage sausage recipe below.
If you are going to freeze it, I recommend laying them out separately on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Put the whole cookie sheet into the freezer. Once frozen, put them in a zip loc baggie and back into the freezer. They should be good for several months.
Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage Sausage | Recipe
2 c. butternut squash gnocchi
1 pkg. Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage
4 T. butter (or grease from sausage)
4 T. flour
2 c. water
salt and pepper
2 c. broccoli florets
- Brown sausage in a frying pan leaving sausage in approximately 1″ chunks.
- Once sausage has browned, removed from pan to drain.
- You can use the grease from the sausage if you choose, but I drained the sausage grease leaving all the beautiful browned bits in the pan and added 4 T. butter.
- On a medium/low heat, stir flour into pan with melted butter/grease until there are no flour lumps.
- Add water and whisk with flour mixture. Bring to a low boil until gravy thickens. Approximately 10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add sausage back to pan with gravy. Keep heat on low to reheat sausage.
- Place broccoli in a microwave safe bowl and sprinkle with water, salt and pepper. Cover and microwave on high approximately 3-4 minutes stirring about half way through cooking time.
- To reheat gnocchi, you can add to a boiling pot of water for a minute or two. Or, you can put in a microwave safe bowl, sprinkle with water, cover, and microwave about a minute or two, stirring half way through cooking time.
- Place hot gnocchi on plate, top with broccoli florets, then spoon sausage gravy mixture over dish.
I hope you enjoy this butternut squash gnocchi with sage sausage as much as we did.
Don’t forget to let me know how you make gnocchi. I’d love to hear all the variations. See my comment section below.