Squash Gnocchi Recipe | How to Make Autumn Gnocchi Pasta
These squash gnocchi are perfect for autumn, with a deeply savory and seasonal flavor. Normally, potato gnocchi are paired with a very mild sauce so as not to overpower the delicate flavor of the pasta. In this case the squash can handle a stronger sauce, such as the butter and pecorino cheese preparation we’ve shared below. Trust us, this is a must-try recipe!
In general, squash gnocchi is made exactly the same way as potato gnocchi. Perhaps the only difference is that squash will naturally be more moist than potato, so the dough will inevitably end up a little stickier (and that’s ok). If you want to learn more about how to make perfect gnocchi, check out our full guide here!
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GNOCCHI DI ZUCCA AL BURRO E PECORINO RECIPE
Makes: 4-6 servings
Cook Time: About 2 hours
For this recipe, you will need:
½ large kabocha squash (about 1 pound or 450 g), seeds removed
1 russet potato (about 6 ounces or 170 g)
All-purpose flour as needed (there’s no right amount, but have plenty on hand)
4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter
3.5 ounces (100 g) grated pecorino cheese, plus extra for topping
Fresh black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) and bring a medium pot of water to boil. Use a paring knife to pierce the skin of the squash half in multiple places.
Boil the potato, skin on, until fork tender—about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, bake the squash skin side up until fork tender—also about 45 minutes. Let both the potato and the squash cool until you can comfortably handle them.
Peel the squash and potato, then mash them using a potato ricer directly onto a clean work surface. If you want to make your gnocchi extra cheesy, feel free to dust the mashed squash/potato with a few spoonfuls of grated pecorino. Dust the mash generously with a few handfuls of flour and begin kneading the dough together. As you knead, continue to dust the potatoes with more flour until the dough is no longer too wet or sticky. It should still be soft and moist, but shouldn’t stick to your fingers. At this point, stop kneading or adding flour and form the dough into a ball.
As you make the gnocchi, dust the dough, pasta, work surface and tools often and liberally with more flour. It’s very important to prevent sticking, and dusting will keep everything dry without incorporating more flour directly into the dough. When in doubt, dust!
It’s easiest to work in batches, so cut a manageable chunk of dough off from the rest and roll it under your palms into a long snake, about the width of a finger. Make sure the diameter of the strand is even and consistent. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut the strand into small pieces about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length. Arrange the cut gnocchi on a baking tray that has been generously dusted with flour.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it generously. Melt the butter in a large pan over low heat.
Carefully drop the gnocchi into the pot of boiling water. A bench scraper is a great tool for scooping them up. Gently stir the pasta a little bit to prevent sticking. When all of the gnocchi have floated up to the surface of the water (it doesn’t take long), they’re done cooking. Skim them out of the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer into the melted butter. Add a ladleful of hot pasta water into the pan as well.
Stir the gnocchi over low heat until the pasta is evenly coated in butter. Turn off the heat and gradually add the grated pecorino cheese while continuing to stir. If the cheese clumps up, adding some more pasta water to thin the sauce can help to melt it.
Serve immediately, topped with some extra pecorino and a generous sprinkle of fresh black pepper. Buon appetito!