Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage Sausage

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage Sausage

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.

Call to ActionNow, 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.

Gnocchi Ingredients:

(Makes approx. 4 cups of gnocchi)

1 butternut squash
2 medium baking potatoes
1 egg
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.

poke butternut squash scoop out seeds

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.

Mash butternut squash and potatoes

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.

gnocchi doughdivide into 4 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.

roll into long snake

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.

cooked gnocchi

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

(Serves 4)

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.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage Sausage

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.

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About Sylvia Ellie

The Culinary Cucumber hopes to share some easy, quick, and inexpensive recipes. Please share your thoughts and suggestions. You can also join me on GooglePlus! Sylvia On Google+

Comments

  1. I’m never ever heard of a Gnocchi before Sylvia but I tell you, that picture looks good. Yeah, seems like a lot of work and I probably won’t be trying this one but dang that looks good.

    I tell you young lady, this is very impressive. Yummy!

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…Why Branding Matters: Powerful Tips from Brand.comMy Profile

    • Thank you so much Adrienne. I know what you mean about it being a lot of work. I really don’t do stuff like that very often. Most of my meals are very quick. But I saw another recipe for gnocchi and it looked like something I could do. It did turn out really tasty, but I won’t be making it again any time soon.

      You can find already made gnocchi at your grocery store. It’s just a pasta that’s made with mashed potatoes. Maybe in your frozen section or even my the fresh made pastas. This dish could be so easy to use ready made gnocchi, a jar of gravy, and some frozen broccoli. Or with a spaghetti sauce and frozen meatballs. Just nuke it all and it could be ready in 10 min.

  2. I’m so impressed that you gave this a try. I assisted at a cooking class where the chef made gnocchi. It was so much fun, but I haven’t tried it myself. You’ve given me the inspiration to give it a shot. Yours looks amazing.
    Kristi Rimkus recently posted…Recipe: No Bake Cookies with Peanut Butter and JellyMy Profile

    • Hi! Kristi. Thanks for stopping by. I was impressed with myself, too. LOL Although I never really got the technique perfected, the gnocchi was just fine for our family dinner. I wouldn’t try to enter any contests with it, but it was very tasty.

  3. Sylvia, you sure “Gnocchi” the way to my taste buds!
    Ok, I am not going to repeat that sentence again. :)
    I am a sucker for Gnochi and would eat this whole plate (including the plate!) Finally, you have a vegetarian dish (minus the sausage!).

    • Rini, this would be a great dish to make a homemade tomato sauce or even just chop some whole tomatoes and other veggies. These gnocchi were fantastic. I still have some in my freezer. Thanks for reminding me. I may pull them out for tomorrow night’s dinner.

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