Potato Gnocchi With Butternut Squash, Pancetta & Sage

4 servings


2 hours 20 minutes

total time


2 russet potatoes

1 bunch fresh thyme (reserve a few sprigs for sautéing)

3 cups salt (plus more for seasoning)

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup ricotta

1 teaspoon chives, finely sliced

2 egg yolks

1/2 to 1 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 medium-size butternut squash

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided

1/4 cup butter, divided

1 whole cinnamon stick (for grating)

1/4 cup white wine

1/2 cup cooked pancetta, cut into ¼-inch to ½-inch cubes


Roast the potatoes: Start by preheating the oven to 350°F. Prepare potatoes by washing and piercing the skin several times with the tip of a knife to allow steam to escape and pat dry with a paper towel. Place a ½-inch thick layer of kosher salt into a baking sheet, add a handful of thyme sprigs and smashed garlic cloves, then cover with an additional layer of salt. This will be the roasting bed that your potatoes will roast upon. Place potatoes on top of the salt bed, drizzle with oil and roast until fully tender throughout when pierced with a fork, or tip of a knife, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

While the potatoes are roasting, season the ricotta: To prepare the ricotta cheese, place it in between a few folded layers of cheesecloth and squeeze out excess liquids. Add the pressed ricotta to a bowl and whisk in 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and the chives. Set aside.

Next, remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool for 15 minutes. Slice in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon, scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl. Discard skins.

Make the gnocchi dough: Before you begin forming your gnocchi dough, rice all your potatoes through a food mill or potato ricer. Next, place the riced potatoes in a large mixing bowl.

Add your egg yolks directly over the riced potatoes, as well as the parmesan, Dijon mustard, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and mix to combine. Next, starting with 1/2 cup flour, sift the flour through a fine strainer over the potato mixture. Use only as much flour as needed in order to form the mixture into a cohesive dough. Use up to an additional 1/2 cup of flour if needed. Once your dough begins to form, transfer mixture to a lightly floured workbench, countertop or cutting board.

Lightly dust your countertop with flour and begin by taking 1/4 of the dough mass and forming it into a log. Using your bench scraper, slice off a 1- to 2-inch chunk of dough and roll into a long snake-like tube, roughly 1/2-inch thick. Dust with flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to your surface. Once your long gnocchi log is formed, cut it into 1-inch portions using a bench scraper or knife. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Boil the gnocchi: Bring a large pot to boil and season with 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Add gnocchi to the pot, working in batches; the gnocchi will sink to the bottom, then rise once cooked, about 30 seconds. Once the gnocchi floats, remove from the pot using a slotted spoon and place directly onto a towel lined plate and set aside.

Prepare the butternut squash: Once your gnocchi are cooked and ready, begin preparing your butternut squash. Peel the squash entirely, then cut the squash at the point where the wide base begins to meet the narrow neck of the squash. Utilizing the top piece of squash, cut 1/2-inch thick slices longways out of the top portion.

Use a small ring mold or cookie cutter to slice 1- to 2-inch circular pieces of squash. Then place your mold or cutter over the squash circles and press down firmly onto your cutting board in order to produce perfect half moon-shaped pieces of squash.

Cook the butternut squash: Heat a large sauté pan over low-medium heat and add 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil. Once hot, add the cut squash and cook about 3 minutes on each side, or until browned evenly on both sides. Season with salt, to taste. Once browned, add 1 teaspoon of butter, 1 sprig of thyme, and let them cook for 3 more minutes or until just tender. Season with the remaining lemon zest and a pinch of grated cinnamon. Place the cooked squash moons onto a towel-lined plate and set aside.

Using the same pan, make the crispy sage leaves: Heat the pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons butter. Cook butter until it begins to foam, then add the sage leaves and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the butter is nicely browned and sage leaves are crispy. Remove sage from the pan and place on a towel-lined plate to reserve for plating. Strain your brown butter.

Sear the gnocchi: In the same sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, and heat over medium flame. Add your dried gnocchi to the pan and allow to sear for 1 minute on each side or until slightly golden brown. Deglaze the pan with white wine, cook out the alcohol, and add the brown butter. Turn off the heat, add a small handful of grated Parmesan, the pancetta, and stir to combine.

Plate the dish: Spoon the gnocchi, squash, and pancetta evenly into a wide, shallow-rimmed bowl. Be sure to evenly distribute pieces of squash throughout the dish.

Scatter your pressed and seasoned ricotta cheese evenly atop the pasta and allow it to gently coat the entire dish.

Place a few pieces of your crispy sage leaves evenly spaced throughout the dish. Drizzle with the reserved pan sauce. Finish with freshly grated Parmesan.

4 servings


2 hours 20 minutes

total time
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