Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Throw A Gnocchi Party, Invite Butternut Squash, Gorgonzola

We're bringing Italy to Indiana with this dish cooked in a fresh sage butter sauce. It's guaranteed to be one of those meals you just can't stop eating.

gnocchi and butternut squash

Photo: Eoban Binder/WFIU

Don't forget to garnish with the fried sage leaves! You'll really enjoy the bit of crunch they provide.

I’m convinced that you can cook anything in brown butter and sage and it would turn out delicious, but this is especially true for gnocchi!

Gnocchi are small potato dumplings with a gentle sour flavor. They can be finicky to prepare, so be careful to not overcook them. When they float to the top of your salted water, they should be soft, tender and ready to enjoy. For this dish, cool them down after their dip in the boiling water and set them aside as you prepare the other components — but keep that pot of warm water handy!

I also grabbed a butternut squash from a local farmer to add some Indiana flavor to this dish. Just as you cooked the gnocchi ahead of time, roast the squash before you start preparing this dish as well.

If you’re cooking a squash from your garden or grown by a farmer you trust, you can actually leave the skin on. If you pick up a squash from the grocery store, however, chances are it will be waxed. To remove the wax, plunge it into warm water and then scrub scrub scrub!

One more tip before you’re off and running with this recipe: Never add cheese to pasta still on the heat! Be sure to turn off the burner or remove the pan from the stove altogether and then stir in the Parmesan. Otherwise the fat and the milk solids will separate and it will get greasy. Not tasty!

This was a dish our crew simply could not stop snacking on — the plate was practically licked clean! Let us know how your family enjoys it by writing a comment below.

sauteing roasted butternut squash

Photo: Eoban Binder/WFIU

See the skin still on these roasted butternut squash cubes? It's because we got this from a local farmer we trust. If you buy butternut squash from the grocery store, chances are it will be waxed. You'll either need to melt and then scrub the wax off or remove the skin before roasting.

fried sage leaves

Photo: Eoban Binder/WFIU

Cook whole sage leaves in olive oil until crunchy. Remove them from the pan, soak up the excess oil with a paper towel and then sprinkle with Kosher salt. Easy and tasty!

Gnocchi With Sage, Gorgonzola, Butternut Squash And Walnuts

Yield: Serves 4 Folks

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • handful of shallots, chopped
  • handful of sage, chopped
  • nugget of butter (be generous!)
  • gnocchi (cooked ahead)
  • 1/2 roasted butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • handful toasted walnuts
  • sprinkle lemon juice
  • crumbles Gorgonzola cheese
  • sage leaves, fried (garnish)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Slice butternut squash in half and season with olive oil, salt, pepper and spices of your choice. Roast in a 400 degree oven, sliced side down, for 20-25 minutes or until soft and caramelized.
  2. To cook the gnocchi, poach it in salted water for 2-4 minutes. Cooked gnocchi will float to the top. Remove them and set aside.
  3. In a large pan, add olive oil and nugget of butter. Throw in a handful of chopped shallots and a handful of chopped sage.
  4. Cut the roasted butternut squash into cubes. Add them to the pan to heat them through. (You're not actually cooking the squash here!)
  5. Plunge prepared gnocchi into hot water to heat it through. Shake off extra water and add to pan.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan and turn off the heat.
  7. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Finish the dish with toasted walnuts, a sprinkle of lemon juice and as many crumbles of Gorgonzola cheese as you like.
  9. For a special garnish, fry up some sage leaves. (Cook whole sage leaves in olive oil until crispy. Remove from pan and soak up excess oil with a paper towel. Then sprinkle with Kosher salt.)

Chef Daniel Orr

Chef Daniel Orr is the owner of FARMbloomington and the author of several cookbooks. He draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food’s true essence and flavor. The result is simple, yet sophisticated; the best of American food tempered by classic European training.

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