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Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

Don’t be daunted by the thought of making your own gnocchi – it’s easy, loads of fun, and so, so delicious! You can make the gnocchi ahead of time and keep them in the fridge, and then they only take minutes to cook and be table-ready. And, this recipe serves six, so we often use a third immediately, then joyously look forward to two future dinners that we stow in the freezer — making the ‘effort’ even more worthwhile. Most importantly here, the brown butter sauce with it’s fresh ‘frizzled’ sage leaves is the perfect companion to these yummy morsels:  this is simply the ideal autumn supper, and one which we heartily encourage you to try!

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

For the gnocchi:

1 medium Russet potato, cut in half
1 1/4 lbs. butternut squash, cut in half
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 yolks from large eggs
scant 2 cups all-purpose flour

For the sauce:

10 tbs. butter
1 clove garlic, peeled
20 fresh sage leaves
pinch crushed red pepper
1 tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tbs. lemon zest

To make the gnocchi, heat the oven to 375°F. Put the potato and squash pieces cut-side down on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Peel away the skins and press both through a potato ricer (or mash) and cool completely.

Put the potato and squash into a large bowl and add the Parmesan, nutmeg, egg yolks, and some salt. Add the flour and mix well. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a minute or two, just to bring the ingredients together. Cut into 8 pieces.

Sprinkle flour onto two large parchment-lined baking sheets. Using a floured working surface, roll each piece out into a 1″ thick log. Use a knife to cut 1″ lengths from the log, and place on prepared sheets. Take the tines of a fork and press lightly to make grooves in each piece. Continue with remaining 7 pieces of dough. (At this point, the gnocchi may be stored, covered, in the fridge, or frozen for 1 hour on sheets and transferred to freezer bags for longer storage.)

To make the sauce, heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes until lightly browned. Remove the garlic and add the sage leaves. Cook until crisp and golden, about 1-2 minutes. Take off the heat and add the red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and zest.

Bring one large pot of salted water to a boil and slip the gnocchi into the water (in batches, if need be, so as not to crowd them). After a few minutes the gnocchi will float to the top; let them boil for a minute, then remove with a slotted spoon. Divide between warm serving bowls, dust with Parmesan, and serve.

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