‘Tis the season for comfort food, I say, what with frozen pipes, spin outs, wipe outs, and frost bite. When it’s this cold outside, baby, head thee to the kitchen and boil a pot of water to warm your frozen soul. And to cook these chewy, tender pillows of cheer, bathed in brown butter, topped with crispy sage, and gluten-free to boot.
Instead of wheat flour, the binder here is potato starch. It works beautifully! The recipe includes all sorts of instructions for working ahead, but I cooked the gnocchi pictured right after cutting them and they were fantastic. Then again making a batch on the weekend is a sweet way to come home to a quick dinner of gnocchi on a chilly weeknight.
Winter Squash Gnocchi with Brown Butter & Sage
Recipe adapted from Bon Apetit
1 1-pound butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 12- to 14-ounce russet potato, peeled, quartered
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (or more) potato starch (or 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Additional grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cut squash lengthwise in half; discard seeds. Place squash halves, cut side up, on baking sheet and brush with oil. Roast until squash is very tender when pierced with skewer and browned in spots, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool slightly. Scoop flesh from squash into processor; puree until smooth. Transfer to medium saucepan; stir constantly over medium heat until juices evaporate and puree thickens, about 5 minutes. Cool. Measure 1 cup (packed) squash puree (reserve remaining squash for another use).
Meanwhile, cook potato in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. While potato is warm, press through potato ricer into medium bowl; cool completely. Measure 2 cups (loosely packed) riced potato (reserve remaining potato for another use).
Mix squash, potato, 1/2 cup Parmesan, egg, nutmeg, and salt in large bowl. Gradually add potato starch, kneading gently into mixture in bowl until dough holds together and is almost smooth. If dough is very sticky, add more starch by tablespoonfuls. Turn dough out onto starch-dusted surface; knead gently but briefly just until smooth. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.
Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Sprinkle parchment lightly with starch. Working with 1 dough piece at a time, roll dough out on starch-dusted surface to about 1/2-inch-thick rope. Cut rope crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll gnocchi along back of fork tines, making ridges on 1 side. Transfer gnocchi to baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 6 hours ahead. Keep chilled.
Working in 2 batches, cook gnocchi in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, 10 minutes (gnocchi will float to surface but may come to surface before being fully cooked). Using slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to same parchment-lined baking sheets. Cool. DO AHEAD Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover loosely and chill.
Cook butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat just until golden, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes. Add sage; stir 1 minute. Add gnocchi; cook until heated through and coated with butter, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Serve with additional Parmesan.