Meryl Feinstein's Ossola-Style Gnocchi with Sage-Butter Sauce are hearty cold-weather dumplings from the Ossola Valley in northern Piedmont, only a few miles from the Swiss border. In addition to potatoes, these gnocchi include winter squash, chestnut flour, and nutmeg. The chestnut flour provides nuttiness and warmth: "It makes me want to put on a sweater and sit by the fire," Feinstein says. The chestnut flour is optional (you can replace the chestnut flour with equal weight of the "00" flour) but it's worth using—both for amplified flavor and the caramel color it will bring to the gnocchi. Feinstein pairs her gnocchi with butter and herbs, but instead of just tossing the blanched gnocchi in the sauce, Feinstein first crisps them in oil and then tosses them in the sage-infused butter just before serving to intensify their flavor and give them a pleasing crunch. The gnocchi can be made in advance and frozen; Feinstein recommends blanching gnocchi before freezing to prevent cracking and to help the dumplings maintain their integrity during cooking (see Note).

Gallery

Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Micah Morton / Prop Styling by Neville Crawford

Recipe Summary test

active:
1 hr 5 mins
total:
20 mins
Yield:
2 to 4 servings
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Prick potatoes all over with a fork; place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in preheated oven 15 minutes.

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  • Meanwhile, trim top and bottom from unpeeled squash; cut squash in half cross- wise where neck meets base. Place both halves upright on cutting board on widest flat cut side; carefully cut in half from top to bottom. Scoop out and discard seeds. Rub squash all over with 2 teaspoons oil; sprinkle evenly with pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

  • Arrange squash, cut sides down, around potatoes on baking sheet. Return to oven, and roast at 425°F until squash and potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

  • Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out potato flesh, and pass through a ricer into a medium bowl. (Alternatively, mash potato flesh using a potato masher in a medium bowl until smooth.) Spread potatoes on a large plate lined with paper towels. Pat dry with paper towels. Set aside 1 1/2 cups packed mashed potatoes. Reserve remaining potatoes for another use.

  • Scoop flesh from cooled squash into a medium bowl; mash until smooth. Spread squash across a large plate lined with paper towels. Pat dry with paper towels to remove as much excess moisture as possible to yield 1 1/4 cups mashed squash.

  • Whisk together chestnut flour, 00 flour, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; create a large well in center of mixture. Add egg yolks, half of potatoes, half of squash, half of grated cheese, and a pinch of nutmeg to well. Repeat layering with remaining potatoes, squash, cheese, and nutmeg.

  • Gently fold flour mixture into potato mix- ture until a shaggy mass forms. Transfer dough to a work surface. Knead briefly until evenly incorporated.

  • Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, and dust parchment with 00 flour. Place a small bowl of 00 flour near workstation. Cut dough evenly into 8 wedges. Dust wedges with 00 flour. Gently roll 1 dough wedge into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut rope crosswise into 3/4-inch-long gnocchi. Transfer gnocchi to prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough wedges.

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high. While water comes to a boil, heat butter in a large skillet over medium just until butter starts to foam. Add sage and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring often, until foam subsides and sage is sizzling, about 3 minutes. Pour mixture into a small bowl. Set aside until ready to use.

  • Salt boiling water, and gently stir in half of gnocchi. Cook, undisturbed, until gnocchi float to surface, 2 to 3 minutes.

  • While gnocchi cook, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Using a slotted spoon or a spider, transfer gnocchi to skillet. Cook, undisturbed, until gnocchi bottoms are crisp, about 4 minutes. Flip gnocchi, and cook until other side is crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer gnocchi to a plate. Do not wipe skillet clean. Repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and remaining gnocchi.

  • Return all cooked gnocchi to skillet; pour butter mixture over gnocchi, and stir to coat. Season with additional salt to taste. Divide gnocchi, butter sauce, and fried sage evenly among plates. Garnish with additional cheese.

Make Ahead

Gnocchi can be prepared through step 10, drained, and dried for 30 minutes. Freeze on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer 1 hour. Transfer to a freezer bag, and freeze up to 3 months. To cook from frozen, boil in lightly salted water until gnocchi float. Proceed as directed.

Note

Find chestnut flour at specialty grocery stores or online at nuts.com.

Suggested Pairing

Minerally, complex Valle d'Aosta white: Les Cretes Petite Arvine.

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