Gnocchi with Kabocha Squash and Fresh Tomatoes

Columbus Day Pasta Gnocchi

Serves: 4
Prep time: one hour, thirty minutes for the gnocchi, 15 minutes for the sauce
For the béchamel sauce:


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup milk, heated
  • ½ cup chicken stock, heated
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the gnocchi:


  • 1 pound potatoes
  • 5 ounces all purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 pinch of salt

For the sauce:


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 ounces kabocha squash, diced
  • 2 tablespoons red onion
  • 6 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 ounces bechamel sauce
  • 6 leaves of fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese, grated

For the béchamel sauce:


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Stir in flour and cook until blended.  Add paprika and bay leaf.
  3. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, and add the chicken stock.
  4. Turn heat to low and whisk until sauce is smooth and thickening, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Simmer for several minutes, and discard the bayleaf.Columbus Day Pasta bechamel sauce
    For the gnocchi:
  6. Boil potatoes, unpeeled, until tender.
  7.   Cool for about 30 minutes or until lukewarm.
  8. Remove potato skins and put potatoes in a ricer one at a time, to crush them, and place on a large cutting board.
  9. Using your hands, mix the potatoes with the flour, salt and egg yolk, keeping the board dusted with extra flour so the dough doesn’t stick to the board.
    Columbus Day Pasta Kneading the dough
  10. After dough is made, cut into several pieces, and roll each piece out on the flour-dusted board in the shape of a long snake (about 20 inches by one-inch thick).
    Columbus Day Pasta rolling out the dough
  11. Cut dough in half-inch pieces from the roll, to make the individual gnocchi.
  12. Put gnocchi on a dusted tray and don’t allow them to touch each other.  Put aside while preparing the sauce.
    Columbus Day Pasta cutting the pastaKabocha and Tomato Sauce:
  13. In a medium saucepan, mix together extra virgin olive oil, squash, and onion, and heat on medium heat until onion is transparent and the squash starts to become soft (3 or 4 minutes.)
    Columbus Day Pasta squash
  14. Add the tomatoes, adjust the salt and pepper, and sauté for five minutes until soft.  Add 3 ounces of the béchamel sauce and the fresh basil.
    Columbus Day Pasta making the sauce
  15. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot.  Drop gnocchi in and when they float to the surface (about 4 minutes), remove the gnocchi delicately, using a wire ladle, and put them into the sauce.
    Columbus Day Pasta cooking the gnocchi
  16. Sprinkle with fresh chives and parmesan cheese.

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