This is the kind of meal that seems like it takes a whole lot of work, time and expertise to make, but it doesn’t at all! You will, however, give yourself a major pat on the back for making such a ridiculously flavorful dish and may consider pursuing a career as a chef after you taste how good it is. That’s how big of a confidence booster this recipe is! Seriously!
This beautiful dish brings together the sweetness of the squash and the savory, rich flavors of sweet Italian sausage with buttery, crispy sage; fresh, leafy spinach; and fluffy little pillows of heaven. Er, I mean gnocchi. The same thing right? It’s Italian comfort food at it’s finest!
For this recipe, I used Niman Ranch Sweet Italian Sausage which is already fully cooked making it perfect for this supremely easy recipe. These delicious links are made with whole muscle cuts of Niman Ranch’s heritage pork ground with traditional Italian spices (think toasted fennel, black pepper, garlic, oregano… etc.) and finished without a casing. So no need to take the casing off, as is the case with uncooked sausages.
Other main ingredients include chopped butternut squash, fresh sage, garlic, spinach, white wine, chicken stock, seasonings and a dash of nutmeg to enhance all the delightful flavors. Top it off with parmesan cheese and it’s ready to be devoured. Also good to know? The flavors intensify after a night in the fridge. In other words, the leftovers are even yummier (in my opinion)!
The dish takes under thirty minutes to make and requires just one skillet. Bonus: clean up is a breeze.
Savory Butternut Squash, Sweet Sausage, Sage Gnocchi
- 1 Butternut Squash (1 1/2 lbs)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 6 links Niman Ranch Sweet Italian Sausage
- 4 tbsp Butter
- 16 leaves Fresh Sage
- 1 bag Fresh Spinach
- 4 cloves Garlic, crushed
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 pinch Nutmeg
- 1 cup White Wine
- 1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock Can use more if you want it more soupy
- 1 1/2 lbs Gnocchi I used a store bought one
- Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high.
- Cut the neck off the squash; peel and cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes.
- Add the olive oil to the skillet and heat up the sausage, stirring occasionally and breaking it up into bite-size pieces, until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl.
- Add the butter to the skillet and melt then add the sage; fry until crispy and the butter browns, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sage to a paper towel.
- Add the garlic to the skillet; stir until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the squash; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Add the wine and cook, stirring often, until reduced a bit, about 1 minute.
- Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups stock, depending on how saucy you want the dish to be, and bring to a bubble.
- Add the sausage then transfer skillet to the oven. Roast until the squash is tender, 12-15 minutes.
- Toss in a bag of spinach during the last minute the dish is in the oven.
- Add the gnocchi to the salted boiling water and cook until they float to the surface, about 3 minutes.
- Drain and toss with the squash and sausage sauce; season. Top with the sage leaves. Serve with the grated cheese.
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