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Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sausage & Sage Cream Sauce

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sausage and Sage Cream Sauce

This recipe for Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sausage and Sage Cream Sauce is the definition of cozy fall comfort. The gnocchi are easy to make with fresh, roasted butternut squash. Then they’re bathed in a luscious, butter and herb cream sauce, flavored with crumbled sausage and fresh sage. Literally perfect for cold fall nights. You’ll be eating this one all season long.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:30 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
Baking Time:30 mins
Total Time:1 hr 20 mins

Ingredients

For the Butternut Squash Gnocchi

  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 Tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp (each) Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour (Plus more for dusting)

For the Sausage and Sage Cream Sauce

  • 1 Pound Ground Hot Italian Sausage
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 White or Yellow Onion Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Sage (about 4-5 leaves)
  • 1 Tsp All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Half and Half
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

Instructions

To Make the Gnocchi

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  • Cut the butternut squash in half width-wise, right where the base starts to narrow. Use a sharp knife to peel the squash, scoop out the seeds and string in the center, and roughly chop.
  • Spread the squash out on the baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes and then let cool completely.
  • Add the squash to a food processor along with the nutmeg and garlic. Pulse until everything is broken down and smooth.
  • Pour out the squash mixture into a bowl and add the flour and combine as much as possible.
  • Dust a clean, flat work surface with flour and then pour out the gnocchi dough. Use your hands to continue working the the dough and the flour until it’s completely combined with a sticky but firm consistency.
  • Once the dough has come together, break the dough into chunks and then use your hands to roll out the chunks into about 1 1/2-inch thick ropes. You will probably have to re-dust the surface with flour a few times.
  • Use a knife to cut each rope into about 1-inch wide gnocchi pieces. Then, hold each piece between 2 fingers and use the tines of a flour-dusted fork to indent each gnocchi. Spread out all the gnocchi on a flour-dusted baking sheet or platter until you’re ready to cook.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the gnocchi to the water in 2-3 batches (to avoid overcrowding) and let them cook until they rise to the surface and float.

To Make the Cream Sauce

  • In a large cast iron skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat until browned. Remove from pan and add to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Pour or wipe out the excess grease in the skillet. Then add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the thyme leaves, hand tear the sage and sprinkle into the pan. Continue cooking for another another 2-3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the teaspoon of flour into the skillet, and cook while stirring for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Next, remove the skillet from the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Slowly add the heavy cream and stir until combined.
  • Then, slowly pour in the half and half, while constantly stirring, until a smooth and thick sauce forms. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Finally, add the sausage back to the sauce along with the cooked gnocchi and toss to combine. If you want to thin out the sauce a little, add some pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Serve with fresh grated parmesan and more fresh thyme or sage on top.

Notes

Low heat, and slowly adding the cream is the key to make sure this sauce comes together and the dairy doesn’t separate. Don’t skip the small amount of heavy cream, because the added fat helps the creamy sauce form smoothly. 
Course: Main Course, Pasta
Keyword: butternut squash, butternut squash gnocchi, chicken and sausage, dinner recipe, fall recipe, gnocchi, homemade gnocchi, italian sausage
Servings: 6