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House-made Ricotta Gnocchi with Butternut Squash & Sage-Brown Butter Sauce

At John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant, we make ricotta from scratch using local milk and cream. We also substitute rice flour for wheat flour for this  gluten-free entrée on our menu. Home chefs can substitute store-bought ricotta and wheat flour for a slightly different, yet still delicious version.

Recipe serves 6

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Butternut Squash Preparation

?      1 medium Butternut Squash

?      Kosher Salt

?      2 Tbs. Olive Oil

?      2 cloves Garlic, minced

?      2 Shallots, minced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take one medium-sized butternut squash, peel it, remove seeds and cut into small, diced pieces. Season the diced butternut squash with a pinch of kosher salt and olive oil and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. You can also sauté the squash with the olive oil and a small amount of water in a sauté pan until the squash is tender.  Set aside.


Sage-Brown Butter Sauce

?      8 oz. sweet butter

?      24 sage leaves


Heat a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium-high heat and melt butter. Cook until the butter browns and the sage is fried to a crisp. Reserve in a warm place by the stove. Pour over gnocchi when they are cooked.


House-made Ricotta Gnocchi

?      1 lb. fresh ricotta, drained (see recipe below for housemade ricotta or use store-bought)

?      1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmesan, plus additional for serving

?      ½ cup rice flour, plus additional for forming gnocchi, (may substitute with 1 cup all-purpose flour)

?      3 egg yolks

?      1 tbsp. Kosher salt

?      Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

?      ¼ bunch parsley, washed and chopped

?      ½ bunch chives, washed and snipped

In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan cheese and flour with a wooden spoon, mixing well. Add the egg yolks, kosher salt and pepper to taste, plus chopped herbs, and mix until all ingredients are well combined and form a ball-shape.

Remove from mixing bowl and place ball of dough on a floured surface and slightly knead for about a minute. Divide the dough into 6 to 8 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, shape dough into a long rope by rolling the dough between the palm of your hands and the work surface. Ideally, the gnocchi dough ‘ropes’ should be no thicker than ½ to ¾ inches in diameter. Once you have the proper-sized ropes, cut the dough into ½-inch pieces and place the gnocchi pieces on a floured sheet pan. At this point, you can cook the gnocchi immediately, refrigerate for up to 24 hours or freeze for later use.

To cook, in a large pot bring 4 to 5 quarts of salted water to a rolling boil. Drop the gnocchi, a few at a time, into the boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then remove with a spider or slotted spoon, and transfer to a serving platter. Spread some of the sauce will be using over them to keep them from drying out. Drop several more gnocchi into the pot and repeat the process until all gnocchi are cooked. When all gnocchi are done, pour the remainder of the sauce over them and turn them to coat well.

In a sauté pan, combine Butternut Squash and Gnocchi tossed with Sage-Brown Butter Sauce, add two cloves of minced garlic and two minced shallots and heat for a few minutes. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan cheese.


House-made Ricotta

?      2 quarts High Lawn Farm whole milk

?      ½ cup High Lawn Farm heavy cream

?      2 Tbs. red wine vinegar


Combine all ingredients in a 4-quart stainless steel saucepan and set over low heat. Place a thermometer in the liquid, without allowing it to touch the bottom of the pan, and continue to heat the liquid until it reaches 175 degrees F. Regulate the heat to hold the liquid at 175 degrees F for about 5 minutes.

While the liquid is heating, rinse a cheesecloth or coffee filter and use it to line a strainer placed over a bowl to collect liquid. When the ricotta begins to form, remove it with a skimmer or slotted spoon and place it in the cheesecloth over the strainer. Allow the ricotta to drain and cool in refrigeration for 4 hours or overnight. This ricotta can be used for the Ricotta Gnocchi recipe above.

Recipe courtesy John Andrews Restaurant and Berkshire Farm & Table

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