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A Squash Gnocchi Recipe That Tastes Like A Roman Autumn

This Squash Gnocchi recipe will bring you a little closer to a Roman autumn, but these gnocchi also freeze well and can be ready for any time you would like.

squash gnocchi recipe - Butter and Sage

Squash Gnocchi with Butter and Sage

Some translations of Zucca specifically refer to pumpkins, but it more generally refers to squash, which is how I am approaching this dish. Squash is rich in nutrients, like minerals, vitamins and carotene, and it is a vegetable that is harvested in autumn and can be kept throughout the winter, but in reality we don’t have the space to store them so I will cook them as soon as I buy them. It is used when it is completely ripe and the pulp is sweeter. There is an almost endless list of squash recipes, so for me, gnocchi is a good place to start. However, I may add ravioli, pies or breads in the future and I’m very excited about that.

Kitchen Tools And Cookware

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A Homemade Squash Gnocchi Recipe

As we transitioned from the fantastic summer selection of fruits and vegetables available at our farmers markets in Rome I was trying to figure out what would make a delicious fall meal with the seasonal vegetables available. Until now, I haven’t tried to eat so seasonally. Enjoying local vegetables, only when in season, that haven’t been shipped from all corners of the world is a new and fun experience for us. It is also a big change from how I used to plan my meals. Strawberries in December? You Bet!

squash gnocchi recipe - Seasonal

Seasonal Squash Available In Rome

To prepare good squash gnocchi, which is usually soft but not falling apart, it is important to roast the squash to make it drier and improve the dough. The addition of potatoes adds starch, which allows for better binding, making it easier to form the gnocchi. Some recipes do not include the addition of potatoes but we recommend it to make preparation easier.

Preparing Italian Squash Dumplings

Another recommendation is to use a potato ricer for this type of recipe. Because uniformity is important, a potato ricer gives you that little bit extra level of consistency that a masher or food processor can’t provide.

Squash Gnocchi Recipe Ingredients

When I went to my local vegetable stand I wasn’t sure exactly what types of squash I wanted to try, but I knew I didn’t really want pumpkin because I’ve eaten that for most of my life and I wanted to try something new. Admittedly, I chose two different squash varieties based mostly on how they looked and if they seemed fresh.

squash gnocchi recipe - Oven Roasted Squash

Oven Roasted Squash

The first squash I chose is called: Delica because it seemed familiar to me. It has a round and flattened shape, with dark green skin and brown grooves. It is a good source of fiber, vitamins, beta-carotene and minerals like: magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. The stem was trimmed and coated in a layer of ornamental red or gold glittered wax. The rind is not very thin. The squashes are traditionally used for its rich, sweet, and nutty flavor with concentrated caramelized sugar notes. Delica squashes are harvested in the late summer through fall. Once cured, the squashes can be stored through the winter.

Santoku Knife

The Santoku style knife is my favorite when I’m cooking and Victorinox makes a great one!

The second squash I chose seems to go by many names, like Hokkaido, Red Hokkaido, Red Kuri and the somewhat disturbing Sweet Meat. It is a thin skinned, orange colored winter squash, which looks like a small pumpkin without the ridges. This squash is a good source of fiber, and also provides vitamin A and vitamin C, some of the B vitamins, calcium, potassium, iron, riboflavin and thiamine.

Variations For Squash Gnocchi

I mentioned above the two types of squash varieties that I chose to work with this time, but really any squash that can be cooked to a soft consistency can be used, like a pumpkin or acorn squash, but avoid those squash that are stringy like spaghetti squash. I doubt these will respond to the potato ricer or masher well. Maybe a food processor could work, but I would recommend that you just stick with the other varieties.

squash gnocchi recipe - Butter and Sage

Sage Frying In Butter

Frying Pan – 12 Inch

This All-Clad pan is waiting for anyone who wants to check out professional gear at home.

The other variation you can consider is the type of potato you use. Red potatoes worked well, but they aren’t a requirement. You want to use a potato that is starchy so that the dumplings will bind together well. Avoid waxy potatoes like: New Potatoes, Fingerlings and Red Bliss.

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Italian Squash Gnocchi Recipe

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook: 1 Hour, 10 Minutes
  • Servings: 4


  • 1 lb. (500 g) of Cooked Squash Pulp (1 squash of about 1 kg)
  • 12 oz.(350 g) of Red Potatoes
  • 6 oz. (150 g) of All Purpose Flour
  • Nutmeg
  • 1 Egg
  • Butter
  • Sage
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt to taste

Cooking Instructions

  1. Wash the squash well .
  2. Cut it in half and remove seeds and stringy bits.
  3. Cut it into slices and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes at 400F (200C).
  4. At the same time, boil the cleaned potatoes, whole and with the skin on, until soft (around 30-40 minutes depending on their size).
  5. Drain and peel the potatoes, let them cool and pass them to a “ricer” or mash them by hand.
  6. Once the squash has been cooked, dig the pulp from the peel and pass it through a potato masher (ricer).
  7. On your work surface, combine the mashed potatoes and the squash.
  8. Add an egg to the mixture.
  9. Add a pinch of salt and start mixing with a fork.
  10. Add the sifted flour and starch flavored with nutmeg.
  11. Work the dough with your hands until it is homogeneous.
  12. Flour the dough lightly, cover with a clean cloth and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  13. Sprinkle the work surface with flour.
  14. Take a small piece of dough and knead it into the shape of a stick and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
  15. Repeat until all the dough is finished.
  16. Cook the gnocchi in boiling water and remove them with a wire skimmer as they rise to the surface.
  17. Transfer them to serving dishes and toss with the sage seasoned butter.
  18. Add Parmesan cheese to taste.
  19. Serve the gnocchi immediately.

Serving Suggestions

My recommendation is to try these squash gnocchi with a lightly flavored dressing. This way you won’t overpower the delicate taste. Our example flavored them with butter, sage and grated Parmesan.

Previous Recipes That Might Interest You

If you enjoyed this traditional Squash Gnocchi Recipe, then here are some of my previous recipes that you might want to try:

Squash Gnocchi Recipe - Cheese, Butter and Sage

Cheese, Butter and Sage on Squash Gnocchi

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