This is comfort food at its best. Making homemade gnocchi may seem daunting, but make it once and you'll be a pro in no time! Besides, one bite of Chef Joshna's dreamy little pillows and you'll be hooked like we are.
2lb butternut squash
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 ½ tsp salt
1 1/3-1 2/3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¾ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup walnuts, toasted & finely chopped
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
½ tsp salt, or to taste
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut squash in half lengthwise and place on prepared baking sheet, cut side down. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes . Allow to cool, then discard seeds and scrape squash pulp into a bowl lined with a thin cotton napkin. Wrap the cloth around the squash pulp and squeeze out about ¾ cup of water.
2. Place squeezed squash in a large bowl, add egg, ricotta & salt and mix well. Add 1 1/3 cups flour and mix until thoroughly blended together. Turn mixture out onto a floured surface and knead gently, adding extra flour as needed if mixture is sticking to your hands (dough should form a smooth ball). Dust dough lightly with flour, place in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
3. To form gnocchi, divide dough into four. Flour your hands, and working with one piece, roll out dough with a back-and-forth motion into a rope that is about as thick as your thumb. Cut the rope of gnocchi into 1-inch pieces.
4. Holding a fork down, with the back side up, press a piece of dough firmly upward along the tines of the fork, then let the gnocchi roll back along the tines to the work surface. Repeat with remaining dough. Transfer gnocchi to lightly floured baking sheet.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat butter over medium in a sauté pan beside the gnocchi pot, cooking so that little brown bits form. Add gnocchi to boiling water and cook until gnocchi rise to the surface, about 2 minutes. Let them cook for another 30 seconds, then remove from water using a slotted spoon or spider, directly into the warmed butter.
6. Add walnuts, vinegar, sage & salt to butter, gently tossing to cover gnocchi. Taste, adjust seasoning as necessary and serve immediately.