The fall time is my favorite time of year for cooking. Apples, squash, and pumpkins, and let’s not forget at the end of fall is Thanksgiving. We have certain recipes that are becoming a fall tradition in my household. One of them is Alton Brown’s Butternut Squash Dumplings or Gnocchi. It is a combination of roasted butternut squash and baked potato, cooked up in brown butter with fresh sage. It is a wonderful fall treat, that makes a great side dish for any meal. Below you will find my notes from this recipe. For the full recipe, visit Food Network’s website.
1. I used the butternut squash that I grew in my garden. Mine never got all that big, so I ended up using all four that I had (pictured on the right). I baked up 4 Russet potatoes. The squash was ready first, so I got that ready to go as the potatoes were finishing up.
2. When mashing up the squash and potatoes you need to not overdo it, but don’t underdo (I know that’s not a word, but it should be) do it either. You don’t want big chunk in your dough.
3. The biggest challenge is getting this dough to come together. You must be patient. Slowly keep adding flour until you have a workable dough. It all depends on much moisture you have your in squash. If it looks like your dough isn’t coming together, slowly add more flour. I thought it would never come together but eventually it did. So don’t give up too quickly.
4. Make sure you flour your surface very well when rolling out the dough.
5. I cut the dough into pieces using my trusty bench scraper.
6. I usually freeze half the batch for later use. Putting them on a flour baking sheet into the freezer until frozen and then moving them to a zip top bag.
7. I use fresh sage from my herb garden. The flavor of the sage is perfect for this dish. Sage is one herb that can survive the frost, so I usually have it up until December, when it finally gives up.
This is a fantastic dish, with great flavor. I never been a big squash fan, but the squash flavor is muted by the addition of the potatoes and the other seasonings. Of course the texture is different than just eating the roasted squash. I hope to make these a couple more times when squash is in season and cheap.
Recipe Grade: A