Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

butternut squash gnocchi

Having made a big fuss about pumpkin in the last post, here I am with another pumpkiny dish. I really don’t mind butternut squash or butternut pumpkin as it’s known in other places. I think my issue is with the rather flavourless, orange rind ones. But, I’m going to give it a try, and then maybe move on to giving seafood a try too 🙂

Now, reading all the comments from the last post, I’m glad to say there are quite a few people who don’t jump on the pumpkin band wagon as soon as autumn rears its head. I also realise that in the UK and Australia, pumpkin is a term for most winter squash. Here, the pumpkin we consider a “pumpkin” is the big orange, Jack O Lantern type one. All other pumpkiny squash are known, collectively, as winter squash or by their individual names, like butternut squash, delicata squash, kuri squash, acorn squash and so on. Did you know that a pumpkin/squash is a fruit? Or rather a berry, to be more precise. 

butternut squash

It was also nice to discover that I wasn’t off my rocker when I thought back to the fact that I had never seen a pumpkin in my childhood. I really hadn’t. Pumpkins, apparently, weren’t common back then and are not so popular in the UK still and that could be because they are native to North America. I guess we love our British marrows too much to let American pumpkins into our life 🙂

Anyway, I love gnocchi. Even though it is time consuming to make and involves a mess and many steps, I still make them every few months and solicit my children as gnocchi cutters and shapers. I am not very particular about the shape and mine don’t ever look very authentic or professional, but as long as they taste authentic, I don’t really care. Having the children help me cuts my time down to half and since they love them too, it’s a great way to guilt them into chipping in. I also taught them to roll grape leaves, BIG time saver 🙂

butternut squash gnocchi

These Butternut Squash Gnocchi turned out beautifully and tasted amazing. I did use some potatoes also, because I was a bit doubtful about the ability of the squash to hold the gnocchi together. The potatoes tend to be glutinous and I figured they would help. They did help and also added a lovely potatoey sweetness and chewiness too. The butternut squash added a beautiful colour and a hint of sweetness. Since the squash was roasted, that helped bring out the natural sweetness of the butternut squash. I didn’t overdo the spices since that’s probably the thing I can’t stand about pumpkin recipes. 

After cooking the gnocchi in boiling water, I sautéed them in a drop of oil to get them brown and crispy. The sauce was some brown butter with garlic and sage leaves fried until crispy. They were so good that I only got to eat them once at dinner because the leftovers were done by the next day.

butternut squash gnocchi

I also used some of the sautéed gnocchi in a garlic cream sauce with broccoli; this was a great way to enjoy them too. In all, these butternut squash/pumpkin gnocchi are to die for; a wonderful way to eat seasonally.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Crispy Sage Leaves

Calories: 5818

Fat: 296g

Crispy gnocchi made with butternut squash and tossed in a brown butter with crispy sage leaves.
  • 2Lbs/900g butternut squash, a small sized one
  • 1 Lb/450g potatoes, I used large russet baking potatoes
  • 3 cups/420g all purpose/plain organic flour
  • 3 eggs, organic large
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tbs butter, softened
Brown Butter Sauce
  • 1 stick/113g unsalted butter
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • Handful of sage leaves
  • a few tablespoons of olive oil, to brown the gnocchi
Garlic Cream Sauce
  • 1 cup/235mL heavy whipping cream
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups broccoli crowns, blanched in hot water or sautéed.
  • Parmesan, optional
  1. Preheat the oven 400℉/200℃.
  2. Peel and chop the butternut squash into cubes.
  3. Add a drop of olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes until the squash is tender.
  4. Alternatively, you can cut the squash in half and place in a pan, add a drizzle of oil and bake the whole thing until tender.
  5. It will take about 30-45 minutes.
  6. Boil the potatoes until tender, or use your microwave and "bake".
  7. It takes about 8-10 minutes in the microwave and it's really quite convenient.
  8. The potatoes from the microwave are also drier so better to make gnocchi where you don't want water logged potatoes.
  9. I used a ricer to get the squash and potatoes nice and smooth before mixing in the flour.
  10. Once the squash and potatoes are nice and smooth, add the flour, salt, the spices, butter and eggs and mix into a sticky dough.
  11. The dough will be quite sticky, but when you start rolling the rope, use flour on the counter top and roll the rope in the flour.
  12. Take a small, lemon size piece of dough and start rolling into a rope.
  13. Add flour to the counter if dough is too sticky.
  14. Don't over work or over flour the rope.
  15. Cut out the size of gnocchi desired.
  16. I cut about 1½ inches/4 cm pieces, they expand a bit when cooked.
  17. I cut them a big bigger than traditional gnocchi since I was going to sauté them crispy.
  18. Continue rolling and cutting until all the dough is used up.
  19. Place the cut pieces on a baking sheet dusted with flour.
  20. Bring a big pot of water to the boil, add some salt.
  21. Drop a few pieces of gnocchi into the boiling water and allow the gnocchi to cook and float to the top.
  22. Remove the cooked gnocchi into a greased pan.
  23. Once all the gnocchi is cooked, you can use them however you like: tomato sauce, garlic cream sauce or sautéed till lightly crispy with browned butter and crispy sage leaves.
Brown Butter Sauce and Crispy Sage Leaves
  1. Sauté about 4 cups/servings of gnocchi until crispy in a drop of olive oil.
  2. Keep aside.
  3. Melt a stick of butter on low heat until beginning to brown.
  4. Add the garlic slivers and sage leaves.
  5. Brown the butter and allow the garlic and sage to get crispy.
  6. Toss the gnocchi in the sauce, add pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Garlic Cream Sauce
  1. Heat the whipped cream on low with the garlic
  2. Toss the sautéed gnocchi and broccoli with the cream sauce
  3. Sprinkle with Parmesan if desired.
These amounts make a nice bit of gnocchi, you can easily halve it. It's enough for the 6 of us with leftovers, and when you go through all this trouble, you want leftovers. The amount of brown butter sauce is up to you. It's nice to have enough to coat but you don't want the gnocchi swimming in it, as good as it is. I guess you could sprinkle some Parmesan, but I didn't and no one missed it.


butternut squash with broccoli and garlic cream sauce

Hope you are having a great week. Just out of curiosity, did anyone hear about that Martha Stewart interview where she claims that food bloggers are “not experts” and how we don’t test recipes and may even steal recipes? I know there are those bloggers who steal content and photos and don’t credit the right sources, but to lump everyone into that category is a bit unfair. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I do speak from experience, from many years of cooking, isn’t that an expert to some extent? I have to say, that I really liked Martha when I first started getting into seriously cooking and baking. After a while, I used to watch her and realised she really is very egotistical and self centred. There is no humility there and the way she treats some of her guests is quite despicable. I began to see more and more of this and then quit watching her shows. 

What do you guys think of her comments? Are food bloggers unreliable? Are we really “not experts”?

  1. Nazneen – I am not sure if you found Cocoa & Lavender through Back Roads Journal or My Inner Chick – but whichever way, I am glad you did because now I have found your gorgeous blog! These gnocchi look amazing and it is funny, as I plan to make pumpkin gnocchi this weekend! Great coincidence! Your photos are just amazing! Thanks!
    David recently posted..Green… the New RedMy Profile

  2. I really would love to try and make gnocchi… I am still procrastinating…
    As for Martha, she is obviously losing ground against the new technology and social media and is lashing out. I give her comments no credence at all, she has come off sounding like a whinging spoilt child.

    She had better learn how to play nicely, and move with the times or she will be a dinosaur… and we know what happened to them 😉
    GourmetGetaways recently posted..Little Arab Town -SingaporeMy Profile

  3. I just love the look of this dish, Nazneen, it’s very yummy. I love pumpkin gnocchi and it’s at its absolute finest when served with a sage brown butter. Sensational! Yes, I put dear Martha’s comments on my FB page. She’s welcome to her opinion however I don’t appreciate that on the one hand she can turn up to a blogging conference and be a guest speaker while on the other hand, publicly rubbishing the hand that feeds her. If her opinion of bloggers is so low, she shouldn’t be accepting invitations to speak at their events xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Boronia Tea Room, Mosman – High Tea HorrorsMy Profile

    • Thanks Charlie, I do love brown butter with pasta, especially gnocchi and ravioli. AS for Martha, she’s just a business woman, wonder if she really cares about her readers and fans.

  4. I’ll never forget when I hit ‘publish’ on my first few recipes. I double and triple checked and cooked them, and was petrified that I might have stuffed up somewhere and someone would make a recipe that didn’t work. I’m no expert either, but I have a good palate, enough technique under my belt to come up with recipes, and most importantly (and unlike Martha Stewart) I care about the people reading my blog and cooking my recipes.

    I also I have a shelf full of cookbooks, written by ‘experts’ that all contain at least one (and some many) recipe that refuses to work. Expertise is not everything when it comes to creating a good recipe. Experience, intuition and being able to match flavours is much more important imho.

    I was going to write a post about Martha and her ridiculous remarks. Until I realised that I couldn’t describe her without using very unbecoming and unladylike words, words that have no place on my blog 😉
    Jas@AbsolutelyJas recently posted..Nude Food!My Profile

    • I didn’t want to waste a whole post on Martha! She’s not worth my time. I just wanted to know what the reaction was with all of you guys. Nice to know it was the same as mine!I think bloggers set themselves apart because many do it because they love it and they do it for free. For most of us, it’s not a job and we don’t get paid for it. Of course, we’re going to take our time and make sure it’s all correct! I am sure there are those who don’t and those who steal recipes, but the majority of us are hard working. Its unfair for her to lump us all together. But I don’t care about Martha, she’s an obsolete old woman looking for attention.

  5. I don’t want to give any more attention to MS — its unfair what she claims in the interview. She has others doing all the recipe testing for her, so doesn’t that jeopardize her claims that “we” don’t test our recipes? I know she doesn’t 😉

    I would love to gawk over this delicious gnocchi instead! MS is history. Never liked her from the get go, anyways.
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com recently posted..Spiced Turmeric MilkMy Profile

    • Aren’t they just lovely?! Now, these aren’t so soft because I made them crispy, but they are soft and slightly chewy inside. I don’t mind the chewiness but I also like the fluffy ones. I just plain love them 🙂

  6. My daughter is a fan of gnocchi and she makes for herself with sweet potato. I will pass on the recipe to her. I did read about Martha’s interview on someone’s blog. Whatever she said was not nice after all food bloggers are the ones who do all the hard work of shopping, cooking, styling, photographing, publishing even make their family to do the taste testing. What is wrong in adapting recipes?
    Balvinder recently posted..Spicy Mushroom SoupMy Profile

    • There is nothing wrong with adapting recipes, that’s how new ones and sometimes better ones are created. Martha just wanted attention and she got it. She knows her time is done and she’s pretty obsolete now. She makes money for what she does, we do it for free.

  7. Now this, Nazneen, is how you cook with squash. I am very much a squash fan. In fact, I had some tonight with my dinner. This is such a tasty dish and a great way to enjoy squash in a way that is still somewhat unique. I wish I had seen your post before tonight’s dinner. Things would have been deliciously different. 🙂
    ChgoJohn recently posted..This Recipe has Legs: Strangozzi Pasta with OctopusMy Profile

    • You are right, John! These were so tasty! I do like squash, and I make other kinds often but it’s that orange pumpkin that I can’t seem to wrap my head around. I think I get overwhelmed at some. Of the ridiculous recipes that come out in pumpkin season. I mean, you can’t add pumpkin to EVERYTHING!! I saw one yesterday, for pumpkin rice crispies bars??!! Really?! I have to draw the line somewhere, that doesn’t even sound good!!

  8. Your gnocchi looks and sounds just wonderful. Those sauces make my mouth water! And I love how you let your kids help. You’ve definitely got me wanting to try making gnocchi one day!

    • Thank you Monica! It’s actually quite easy, just a bit messy that’s all. The result is worth it though!

    • You are right, I don’t think she’s an expert either, like the rest of us, she has experience. Oh well. She’s old news already!!

  9. I love the look of these gnocchi, very, very yummy. I’m not a fan of Gnocchi but I think that’s because I’ve only had bad ones, heavy and sticky. It’s only recently that I discovered they’re not meant to be like that! These would be great to try.

    As for the Martha Stewart thing, you can imagine she doesn’t make much of a headline here. Like yo I used to really admire her and I loved all her publications, what I wasn’t keen on was her arrogance. I find myself looking less and less at her recipes or her web page. I think bloggers have a place, obviously, and many have amazing sites. Things move on and I’ve moved on from Martha. GG xxx
    Glamorous Glutton recently posted..Briouats – Lamb And Chorizo Filo Pastry TapasMy Profile

    • Thanks GG. I’ve had beautifully cooked pillowy gnocchi and I’ve had mine! I’ll eat any kind 🙂 I have to say, a way to “fix” stodgy gnocchi, is to brown them! They become totally different when they are crispy. Then it’s a crisp shell outside and soft and chewy inside. I like this way even more than traditional.
      I figured Martha wasn’t that big in the UK. We have our own stars we can follow that are less arrogant and pretentious. I also believe, she isn’t an expert herself, I don’t think she has professional chef training. She’s a bit obsolete and that’s why she’s worried.

  10. First of all Nazneen, the gnocchi looks amazing, light and buttery. Love that your little ones get to help, so sweet. As I was reading through, I was wondering, how it all bound together, then realized you used a bit of potatoes too, love the texture. Hey, I am not big on pumpkin thing too, so hi-fi to that.
    Now, to the subject which did bother me. I believe Martha herself is no expert, she has so many people testing for her. She is controversial, I believe that’s what she wanted ‘attention’, and she got it.
    I am no expert, but I know a thing or two.. I don’t believe all bloggers put out recipes without testing it atleast 3 times. Imagine if we didn’t try it few times, we would be bombarded with crappy emails..:). Generalizing anytime is not good, hey let’s ignore just like many do. LOVE YOU and your blog..let’s keep doing what we do best.
    Ash-foodfashionparty recently posted..KOFTA CURRY – MEATBALLS IN TOMATO GRAVYMy Profile

    • Thanks Ash. I put in potato for 2 reasons, one for the binding thing and two, I wasn’t sure of my kids would eat a straight up squash one. I’ve made butternut squash before and they don’t always enjoy the sweetness of it. It was a way to cut that sweetness a bit.
      As for Martha, I agree with you, I think it was totally an attention thing since she’s pretty obsolete now and she knows it. Bloggers put in a lot of work and effort and unlike her, most of us aren’t paid! We do it because we love it. That has to count for some thing.

  11. absolutely love your take on gnocchi. I have been thinking to use pumpkin in gnocchi but your butternut squash looks beautiful..I was really disappointing by Martha’s disrespectful comment. Even though food bloggers may not have all the expertise like pro-chefs out there but years of experience, passion and time we devote to cook, take picture, and share our home tested recipes are brilliant and I am proud to be a foodblogger (whatever Martha says I dont care).
    dixya| food, pleasure, and health recently posted..Celebrating DasainMy Profile

    • Thanks Dixya! I thought about pumpkin too, but I like butternut more so I went that way. Turned out great. Let me know if you try the pumpkin version. As for Martha, I honestly don’t care, but I was disappointed with her comments and her generalisation. At one time, I looked up to her but more and more I began to dislike her. Oh well, I think she’s just seeking attention.

  12. Oh, my gosh, gnocchi! I love it! I don’t think this will be tried for a while in my house though. Maybe in a year or two. (just saying if it takes some good work, it might not happen.) looks delish, though. especially these days when we haven’t had North American food for over a month… Anyways, I feel the same about Martha Stewart – used to be fun to watch, but she is not friendly. I totally disagree that you aren’t an expert. You are! I totally wish you had a bakery and coffee shop, I’d be there daily. Most everything you’ve made tastes better than a restaurant and your baked goods are way better than the local bakeries and you know it. (: Blogs aren’t all equal. Sure there are bad ones out there, but how many people read them? And even if there are bad blogs, they help the woman or man that is writing to have an outlet, and it’s not always about the recipes or food. It’s about so much more than that. However, I’m really impressed with your blog and I love your tastes so much that I’ve switched my primary method of finding something to make from allrecipes.com to your website, and I’m happier. can’t wait to get home. hugs.

    • Thank you so much Mariyam, you are too sweet and you totally made my day. I appreciate that I am your go to website but I’d also like to direct you to my friends, you can find them all commenting and their websites are included. These ladies and gentleman are all awesome and have such inspired dishes on their sites. If ever there isn’t what you’re looking for in my site, I hope you check out theirs. I miss you guys, come home soon xx

      • Yes, I need to branch out and try them too, these guys all sound like awesome people. I am so anti-social, though that being a blog browser without knowing the person scares me. It’s crazy. Anyways, I’m going to do it, because it seems you can be friends without meeting online and these commenters on your website all seem like your good friends even though they live all around the world. You know for my kids growing up with internet to begin with, this won’t even be a problem. (: i’m such an old woman. sorry.

        • I can’t tell you how many new friends I have made and such good ones since I started this blog. I have not met but one of them, but we email, we chat and we read about each others lives on the blogs. Many of them are my friends on Facebook! So, I can confidently tell you that you can visit their web sites and try their recipes because they will be awesome!

  13. Pumpkin has taken over our lives:-( Can you believe it, all along I waited for berry season to showcase them in every possible way but instead of reds, I am doing yellows(that too without the ready canned puree)! Since this is my first year, I am soaking up all the valuable lessons. Gnocchi is my absolute favourite and I love that you have fried it! Brown butter and sage is my go-to for gnocchi and ravioli too but I love love love the idea of the garlic cream sauce with broccoli. Looks smashing!
    I am shocked to read about the interview! How does one define an ‘expert’! We all know how much hard work goes into putting up a single post…there are multiple tasks bundled into one. I think it requires enormous drive and passion to go on doing it for years. And like in any profession, we gain proficiency over time…so is the case with bloggers. I think, it is extremely unfair to generalise and make such comments.
    Sugar et al recently posted..Turkish Delight Doughnuts with Rosewater GlazeMy Profile

    • Oh you must do berry season! What wonderful about having friends all over the world is our different landscapes and seasons. I look forward to the Australian bloggers posting something totally different to us northern hemi people. I look forward to your Spring and Summer recipes.
      You are also right about Martha. I think she realises she’s passé now, and people have moved on from her books and websites to bloggers. We are strong in the social media front and we get noticed. she’s an old dog and probably can’t learn new tricks!

  14. These look wonderful Nazneen. I eat any type of gnocchi but my wife is very fussy about them not being too stodgy. I did a little research and made some squash ricotta gnocchi. Equal amounts ricotta, pureed squash and flour. Mix together and shape with a spoon, not your hands. They were still fiddly and messy, they are a lot wetter until you boil them. The results though, were astounding, very light pillows of squashiness.

    These are my favourite type to make now a lot less cooking potatoes and flour all over the place. In fact I’m going to make some tonight.
    David Crichton recently posted..Roast Partridge, Squash Puree with Wild Mushroom Essence.My Profile

    • Thanks Dave, and I think that’s the main complaint of gnocchi, that they can be a bit stodgy. I actually eat them all, like you, I love them that much. But I can see where they can be heavy and sticky. These turned out quite nice actually so I was happy. I do like the sound of your ricotta and squash ones, they sound very light and fluffy.

  15. Nanzeen, I am licking my lips even as I just read the title to your recipe. I just know it is going to be good. I can tell by the delicious list of ingredients. I mean this looks REALLY good! Does the butternut squash make it a little lighter in weight or similar to a potato gnocchi? Martha Stewart I am sure was fine, back in the day. However, there are so many other experienced ,well traveled and experienced culinary people around the world that many people have simply just lost interest in her. In Asia, she does not exist. However, everyone remembers and loves Julia Child. Have a super day! BAM
    Bam’s Kitchen recently posted..Sizzling Chicken Lettuce WrapsMy Profile

    • Thank you Bam! And I agree with you, she had her time and now it’s done with and she must realise that. I guess this is her attempt at getting noticed. I just don’t understand why she was even worthy of an interview! There are so many better qualified experts than her. She just made money and built her empire.