Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Apple-Cranberry Sauce

Butternut Squash Gnocchi Recipe | Five Senses Palate

If I had to put the flavors of Fall on a plate, this dish would be it. I love to make this gnocchi recipe with butternut squash although I have also made it with acorn squash or sweet potato. You could use any squash you prefer or even pumpkin, why not? Be creative, that’s what cooking is all about. Gnocchi is nothing more than a dumpling which makes it really easy to make at home. Traditionally made with semolina or potato but you can explore any flavors you like.

Gnocchi is the star here but the sauce is the perfect complement to it. What says Fall on this dish is the magic combination of butternut squash, sage, apples, dried cranberries, cinnamon, and of course butter. You can totally skip the bacon, I don’t always add it to the sauce but let’s face it: Everything tastes better with bacon! 🙂

I learned how to make this delicious dish from Chef Paul Tseng while taking a class at Madison College. He is so passionate about food and ingredients, it was a delight to learn from him. I couldn’t wait to come home and make the dish for my family and they loved it. Ever since then it has been a staple fall dish in my kitchen. Now, I must warn you that it is a bit time consuming, if you have a couple of hours to spare while doing chores at home on a fall weekend, don’t look no more and let’s get cooking!

Ingredients:
(the gnocchi makes 2 batches – each batch serves 4)

For the Gnocchi Butternut Squash Gnocchi Recipe | Five Senses Palate
1 Large butternut squash
3 or 4 Cups all-purposes flour (you may need more or less flour)
10 leaves fresh sage, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
For the Sauce: Butternut Squash Gnocchi Recipe | Five Senses Palate
2 Thick slices smoked bacon, diced (optional)
3 Tablespoons butter
1 Large onion, diced
2 Large Cortland apples, diced
1/2 Cup dried cranberries
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt & pepper to taste.

 

Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the butternut squash in half and spoon the seeds out. In a cookie sheet pan place the squash cut side down, add about a cup of water to the pan and steam in the oven 25 to 30 minutes, until soft and tender. Check half way through, you may need to add more water to the pan. Let it cool until safe to handle. Scoop out the flesh in a bowl and discard the peel. Mash the squash to make sure there are no lumps, add the sage, a pinch of salt and start incorporating the flour until forming a dough, it should not be sticky.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi Recipe | Five Senses Palate

At this point you can put half the dough aside to freeze later (if cooking for 4 – see cook notes). Portion the other half into even sized balls. Adding flour to your working surface start working with each ball of dough and form into a log, about 1 inch thick. Using a pastry cutter (or butter knife) cut into 1/2 inch pieces, repeat with the rest of the dough, set aside in a floured sheet pan until ready to cook.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi Recipe | Five Senses Palate

Cook Notes: if you are feeding 8 people with this recipe, double the ingredients of the sauce and use all of the dough. If you are only serving 4, you can save half the dough in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month. If you are very ambitious you could also cut up all the gnocchi and place them in the a sheet pan in the freezer, once frozen, place them in the air tight bag or container and keep frozen for up to a month, cook from frozen. I have done both methods and it works.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi Recipe | Five Senses Palate

Bring a big pot of water to a boil and start making the sauce. In a large frying pan over medium heat, add the diced bacon, cook stirring until starting to brown and some of the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes. Spoon out some of the fat leaving about 1 Tablespoon in the pan, add the diced onion and cook until transparent and starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add the butter, apples, cranberries, sugar & cinnamon. Cook until the apples are soft but still have a bite. Season with salt & pepper. Keep warm.
Cook the Gnocchi in the boiling water. You can cook them in batches, don’t overwhelm the pot, they cook in about 4 minutes, once they start floating, scoop them into a plate and spoon the apple-cranberry sauce on top. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Gnocchi Recipe | Five Senses Palate

Butternut Squash Gnocchi Recipe | Five Senses Palate

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