Winter Squash Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage
On my first visit to Italy, I stopped in Milan for a few nights. On my second night there, one of my family friends piled my friend Clark and me into his Ferrari, and we took off for Bergamo, a town higher up in the hills about a 45-minute drive away. We had to park a distance out of the old town and walk a few blocks, to a restaurant with a dining room overlooking the valley. It was ancient, with huge candles in wall sconces and a menu that reeked of the classics. I tried quail with roasted grapes for the first time, and we ate gnocchi two ways that night: first with Gorgonzola and cream; then with squash (cut to resemble smaller gnocchi), brown butter and sage. We couldn't fit into the car for the ride home.
Thanks to that trip, my carbo-meter goes "ding" every time the weather turns cool. If you can relate to this at all, I suggest you make this recipe right away. There is no better autumnal treat than this amazingly insane gnocchi classic. I dare you to eat just one bowl. I started making a lot of gnocchi about 26 years ago at a restaurant called A La Colonna, which a man named John Schumacher owned in NYC. I worked there one summer and got schooled on the gnocchi and risotto stations. This classic northern-Italian combo of sage-Parmesan-gnocchi-brown-butter is one of my top five desert-island dishes.--Andrew Zimmern
Slideshow: More Gnocchi Recipes