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Gnocchi with Walnut and Sage Sauce

Gnocchi with Walnut and Sage Sauce

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Gnocchi

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, as needed, plus more for shaping the gnocchi

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 large fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnuts (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.

To make the gnocchi: Toss the squash with the oil on a large rimmed baking sheet to coat well. Bake, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender but not deeply browned, about 30 minutes. Let the squash cool. Purée the cooled squash in a food processor. Measure 1½ cups squash; reserve the remaining squash for another use.

Whisk the squash purée, egg and egg yolk, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom, if using, together in a large bowl. Gradually stir in enough of the flour to make a soft dough that holds its shape when rolled into a rope. Do not add too much flour or the gnocchi will be tough.

Dust the work surface and a large rimmed baking sheet with flour. Divide the dough into sixths. Working with one portion at a time, place the dough on the work surface. Roll the dough underneath your palms into a rope about ½ inch thick. Cut the rope into 1-inch lengths. Transfer the gnocchi to the baking sheet, being sure they are not touching. (If you wish, pick up the gnocchi, one at a time, and press the tines of a fork into each to make ridges.) Cover the gnocchi loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook (up to 6 hours).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering but not smoking. Add the sage and cook until the leaves are crisp, about 15 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sage leaves to paper towels to drain.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter to the sage-flavored oil. Add the shallots and cook until tender and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the walnuts and maple syrup and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat and cover with the lid ajar.

A handful at a time, add the gnocchi to the boiling water. Cook until the gnocchi have all floated to the top of the water. Continue cooking from this point until the gnocchi are tender and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Scoop out and reserve ½ cup of the cooking water. Drain the gnocchi well, but do not rinse them.

Transfer the gnocchi to the skillet. Heat over medium heat, stirring gently to avoid breaking the gnocchi. Add enough of the reserved cooking water to thin the sauce, and stir until the gnocchi are lightly coated. Divide among serving bowls. Crush the fried sage leaves and sprinkle them over each serving. Serve with the Parmigiano on the side.

Note: To toast the walnuts, spread them on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a preheated

350°F oven, stirring them occasionally, until they are toasted and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes.

Reprinted from THE OZ FAMILY KITCHEN Copyright © 2015 by Lisa Oz. Published by Harmony Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Medically reviewed in March 2019.

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