Updated: Nov 11, 2021
Today’s recipe is a classic, Italian pasta dish. This recipe is great for beginners. If you are looking to elevate your meals, and want to impress your friends, gnocchi is your dish.
For making pasta it can be overwhelming when you have to figure out the correct flour ratios, then navigate the pasta machine. Have no fear; gnocchi is that one pasta dish you do not need fancy equipment or baker's tools. It is actually referred to as a dumpling.
During the Roman Empire, gnocchi was simply made from semolina, wheat flour and eggs. That's it! The Romans would experiment with different grains, breadcrumbs, eggs and flours. However they never seemed to achieve the pillow like, fluffy texture gnocchi has today.
The gnocchi you eat today originated from the 16th century in Northern Italy. Northern Italy had cooler temperatures and the agriculture had an abundance of potatoes. From that point on gnocchi was made from starchy potatoes and evolved to the pasta dish that we know today.
Today chefs put their own spin to the classic dish with different sauces; for example butter sage sauce, creamy gorgonzola, creamy, tomato rose, and even fresh, seasonal, basil pesto. Chefs are constantly elevating the classic dish. They create varieties of gnocchi dough using different flours, starches, root vegetables, and different wet components. Did you know you can make gnocchi simply with ricotta and all purpose flour? Trust me, it's that simple!
Butternut squash gnocchi is the recipe we chose to create. The gnocchi is made with Yukon Gold potatoes, eggs and all purpose flour. We chose to make the gnocchi with Yukon gold potatoes because these potatoes can boil easily without falling apart. The waxy flesh of this potato has a sweet flavor with a moist interior. Eggs are added in the dough to hold the pasta’s shape without falling apart when the dumpling boils. We choose all-purpose flour because the protein content is between 11% and 13% which is ideal to achieve the soft, pillow like texture. Bonus: all-purpose flour is readily available and you can find it everywhere. It is that one ingredient everyone always has in their cupboard.
For the gnocchi sauce we created a creamy, butternut squash sauce infused with fresh sage. If you do not have fresh butternut squash, frozen squash is fine to use. You just have to make sure it defrosts completely before roasting, to withdraw all the moisture.
To start the recipe you need a 10 L large pot, two cookie sheets, and a quarter sheet tray that can withstand temperatures above 450F. The stock pot needs to be deep enough to boil the gnocchi. The pot filled with water must boil quickly without sacrificing the structure of the gnocchi. If the gnocchi takes too long to float to the top, the dumpling will fall apart. We have chosen Crown Cookware’s famous 10L Stock Pot. The pot is made from food-grade aluminum, a great heat conductor to do the job!
We used a Crown Cookware 9” X13” sheet pan. This food-grade aluminum pan can withstand temperatures higher than 400F as long as the vegetables are in the pan before cooking. It caramelizes the butternut squash evenly without warping the pan. You need two flat cookie sheets to hold the gnocchi as you form each dumpling. The Cookie Magic Sheet is perfect because it is flat and can easily slide off the pan because there are only two tapered sides.
900g Yukon Potatoes, peeled
2cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp salt
¼ cup parmesan cheese
Butternut Squash Ingredients
2 (lb.) Butternut Squash
1cup Olive oil
1 Bartlett pear
5 Fresh sage leaves
1/2 onion peeled
1 Roma Tomato
1 tsp Black pepper
3 cloves peeled garlic
Cut butternut squash in half, remove seeds. Then cut into quarters. Place on a Crown Cookware Quarter Sheet Tray.
Season squash with salt, pepper, and paprika
Drizzle ½ cup olive oil on top.
Cook in a preheated oven at 425F for 40minutes.
After 40 minutes, add onion, garlic, tomato and peeled & cored pear.
Cook for an additional 20 minutes.
Cool for 20 minutes. Remove flesh from butternut squash. Discard the skin.
Puree all vegetables in a blender until smooth and creamy.
Add ½ cup olive oil and puree for an additional 3 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper according to your taste. Add freshly chopped sage.
Boil your Yukon potatoes in a 10L Crown Cookware pot. Cook until tender. ***Quick tip, if you pierce the potatoes with a fork, it's ready. ***
Remove the potatoes from the water.
Rice your potatoes through a potato ricer and cool for 20 minutes.
Add flour, salt and cheese to the potatoes and mix.
Add 1 egg to the potato mix and knead until a smooth dough forms. Do not overwork.
Roll dough into ½” cylindrical rectangles and cut into ½” pieces. *** If you like more sauce on your pasta use a gnocchi board to press rigid lines into your dough. Each line will act as a mini vehicle to hold the sauce in the pasta to your mouth.
Place each dumpling pasta on a lined Cookie Magic Sheet.
Boil water in a 10L Crown Stock Pot with 3 tbsp. salt.
Once boiled, add fresh gnocchi to water. Once gnocchi floats to the top, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon.
Toss fresh, cooked gnocchi in butternut squash sauce. Serve immediately.
Fresh, homemade, butternut squash gnocchi. Creamy, pillow like pasta that's perfect to entertain guests. What is great about this dish, you can make the gnocchi in advance. You can freeze the raw gnocchi on a Cookie Magic Tray. Cook it when you are ready to use and serve. Boil from frozen!
Gnocchi is a quick beginners pasta dish. Get creative with different sauces. This butternut squash is creamy, seasonal and quick to whip up. The butternut squash adds a roasted, nutty flavor to the gnocchi. If you are running out of time you can always sauce up these gnocchi with a quick pesto sauce. To make a quick pesto sauce just puree fresh basil, garlic cloves, roasted pine nuts, and parmesan cheese in a blender until smooth. Slowly pour olive oil into the blender until creamy, smooth and wonderfully bright green.
If you to love to cook and bake; check out Baker Mary's recipes. Recipes that are tested by the professionals so you do not have to worry!