Okay, if this sage squash gnocchi isn’t the perfect meal for your next date night or dinner party, then I don’t know what is. Especially for the fall season when all you want to do is be cozy with big bowls of comforting food. I suggest this as a date night dish not only because it is a cozy and romantic meal but because this dish is best made with two sets of hands (i.e., half the work and time). And you know, it’s fun to cook with your partner. Sometimes. I also recommend this gnocchi as great dish to make for company because the gnocchi can be made ahead of time and will just need to be quickly sautéed before serving. The kale and mushrooms can also be prepped and/or cooked ahead. Yay!
This time of year my kitchen tends to overflow with all the different varieties of squash. Currently, I have a collection of squash strewn across my countertop like decorative pieces of art. While I have a few recipes using squash in the works right now (spoiler alert), I couldn’t wait to share this kabocha squash gnocchi with sage butter, kale and mushrooms first. Kabocha squash is a Japanese variety of winter squash. The flesh has a nice sweet and nutty flavour. Also, it is on the drier side, which works really well for gnocchi. If you don’t know what kabocha squash looks like, do a quick Google search before heading to the store so you know what you’re looking for.
The gnocchi itself is fluffy on the inside with a lightly browned and crisp outside due to a quick sauté with sage butter before serving. *Yum*. This gnocchi definitely feels indulgent with butter and parmesan cheese being key ingredients. However, the kale and mushrooms balance it all out perfectly. You can serve this as a main dish or as a side. Because it is so delicious, I predict you will want this as your main dish.
Don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of wine during step 5. Enjoy!
- 1 kabocha squash (or squash of choice)
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
- 1 large russet potato, peeled, quartered
- ½ cup (125 ml) parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tsp (5 ml) ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) sage, finely diced
- 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
- 1 ½ cups (375 ml) all purpose flour
- Note: add 3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil to cooking water
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 1 lb (450 gr) mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bunch kale, chopped
- ½ cup (125 ml) dry white wine
- ½ cup (125 ml) butter
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) sage, roughly chopped
- Parmesan shavings
- Chili flakes (optional)
- Prepare the Gnocchi: Preheat oven to 375℉ (190 ℃). Quarter squash, discard seeds. Place squash on lined baking sheet, flesh side up. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until squash is very tender, about 30 minutes. Once squash has cooled slightly, scoop flesh and transfer to food processor; puree until smooth. Measure 1 cup packed squash, reserving any leftovers for another use.
- Meanwhile, add potato to boiling salted water in a medium pot. Cook until very tender; about 20 minutes. Press warm potato through ricer into a medium bowl. Alternatively, grate potato over the large holes of a box grater. Measure 2 cups (500 ml) loosely packed riced potato, reserving any leftovers for another use.
- Combine squash, potato, parmesan, egg, nutmeg, 1 tbsp (15 ml) minced sage and salt in large bowl. Gradually add 1 ½ cups flour, kneading gently into mixture in bowl until dough holds together and is almost smooth. If dough is very sticky, add more flour a spoonful at a time. Place dough on floured surface; gently knead just until smooth. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.
- Sprinkle 2 large parchment lined cookie sheets generously with flour. Roll each ball of dough out on floured surface to about ½ (1 cm) inch thick rope. Cut rope into ¾ (2 cm) inch pieces crosswise. Lightly press each piece with a fork creating ridges on one side (or use gnocchi board if you have one). Transfer gnocchi to baking sheets and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Store in fridge while the topping is prepared.
- Topping: Add oil to pan. Sauté onion and mushrooms on medium high heat. Once mushrooms have released most of their liquid add garlic. Saute for another few minutes. Add wine and reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add kale, stir into mixture. Set aside while the gnocchi is finished.
- Finish the Gnocchi: Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil, adding a few generous spoonfuls of salt and 3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil.
- Add half of the prepared gnocchi to the rapidly boiling water and stir immediately. Allow the gnocchi to continue cooking until tender, stirring occasionally. The gnocchi will quickly rise to the surface, but continue cooking for a few minutes longer, about 4 minutes in total. When fully cooked remove from water using a slotted spoon and set aside on the same cookie sheet. Repeat the process with the other half.
- Meanwhile, place butter in large non-stick pan, letting it brown slightly. Quickly add remaining sage and sauté briefly. At this point add the boiled gnocchi to the pan and fry until slightly browned (you may have to do this in 2 batches, depending on the size of your pan).
- Transfer browned gnocchi from pan directly into 4 serving plates and top with mushroom/kale mixture.
- Garnish with shaves parmesan and chill flakes (if desired).
Special Equipment: A gnocchi board is optional, but nice to have.
Make ahead and timing: This recipe works well for entertaining. The gnocchi can be prepared to the point where it is boiled. It can be cooled for several hours in the fridge and sautéed just before serving. The topping can be prepared ahead of time and reheated.
Variations and Substitutions: You can omit the step of sautéing in sage butter and serve the freshly boiled gnocchi with a light marinara sauce.
Dietary Considerations: Vegetarian