Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Garlic Tomato Sauce: Recipe #112

My Italian grandparents used to be famous for their gnocchi, and one summer they showed me how to make them. This is their gnocchi recipe as I remember it, except I like to make butternut squash gnocchi sometimes instead of potato. If you’re looking for healthy comfort food, look no further!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($5.50 total)

1/2 butternut squash – $1.29
1 egg – $0.29
1 tsp salt – $0.05
3 1/2 cups flour – $0.56

4 tbsp olive oil – $0.40
4 cloves garlic – $0.15
1 tbsp sage – $0.28
1 cup crushed tomatoes – $0.50
4-5 slices turkey (optional), chopped up) – $0.75
2 cups frozen peas – $1.00
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Butternut Squash Gnocchi

1. Make the gnocchi: Poke the butternut squash with a fork all around and roast at 350F for about 1 1/2 hours until you can stick a fork through the neck pretty easily. 

Cool, cut in half, then scoop out and discard the seeds. Next, scoop out the flesh into a medium bowl and discard the skin. You’ll only need half of the squash so you can eat the rest separately.

Add the egg and salt and mix them in, then add the flour, mixing it in 1/2 cup at a time. It will come together into a nice dense dough ball. Knead it a few times to make sure it’s soft and uniformly mixed (no chunks of flour or squash).

Break off a chunk of dough and roll it into a thick rope on a floured board. Cut 1″ slices off the rope and slide them over the back of a fork or spoon to make any little patterns you like. 

Put the gnocchi on a parchment-lined baking sheet – you can cook from here or freeze for later use.

2. Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, then add the garlic and sage (oregano works nicely here too). Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden but not too brown, then add the turkey chunks (if using) and crushed tomatoes. 

Turn the heat down to let the sauce bubble and simmer while the gnocchi cook, then add the peas near the end of the gnocchi cooking time so they defrost in the sauce.

3. Cook and serve: Drop the gnocchi into a large pot of salted, boiling water. They will pop up to the top after a few minutes. After about 10 minutes of boiling, take a large one out and taste it or cut it in half to see if it’s still doughy in the middle. If they’re frozen, they will take longer to cook (up to 25 minutes or so, depending on how big they are). 

Once they’re cooked through, drain the water, toss the gnocchi with the sauce, and serve up yummy plates. Top with pecorino romano cheese and freshly ground pepper if you like.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

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