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One Skillet Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Italian Sausage

This recipe is from Well Plated by Erin, who started her blog as a hobby in 2012. She began creating lighter, healthier versions of the dishes her grandmothers used to make. Her focus is on creating recipes that are easy to make, affordable, and taste incredible. The recipe was shared with us by Steve Wells of Time & Direction wines who we met in Walla Walla in July. He loves this recipe with his white Rhône blend, 1.21 gigawatts.

Prep time: 15 minutes      Cook time: 25 minutes

 Total time: 40 minutes

Serves 6


  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 lb ground sweet Italian turkey sausage, removed from casings if needed
  • 1 small butternut squash, about 1-1/4 lbs, cut into ½" cubes, about 3-1/2 cups total
  • 1 small yellow onion diced, about 1 cup
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt, plus additional to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp rubbed sage, or 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lb potato gnocchi*
  • 5 cups loosely-packed baby spinach, about 5 oz or 5 generous handfuls
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, optional


  1. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a very large skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium high. Once the butter is melted, add the sausage. Cook, breaking apart the meat, until it is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate.
  2. Reduce the skillet heat to medium. Add the remaining 4 tbsp butter. Once melted, add the squash and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender and golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, rubbed sage (if using fresh sage, wait to add it until the end), and nutmeg. Continue cooking until the garlic is softened and fragrant, about 1 additional minute.
  3. Add 1-1/2 cups chicken broth and gnocchi to the skillet. Increase the heat to medium high. Stir to coat the gnocchi, then cover the pan. Cook, covered, until the gnocchi is just tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in the sausage. Stir in the spinach a few handfuls at a time, allowing it to wilt. If you'd like a looser sauce, add a bit more chicken broth. Sprinkle with Parmesan and season to taste with additional salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Enjoy hot.


  1. To Store: Refrigerate gnocchi in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  2. To Reheat: Rewarm gently in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of extra chicken broth or water to keep it from drying out.
  3. To Freeze: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  4. You can find packaged gnocchi near the pasta in your grocery store.

Time & Direction Wines
Owner/Winemaker Steve Wells began learning about wines while waiting tables in New York City. His interest led him to restaurant management, then specifically to the beverage program, eventually earning his sommelier certification. While visiting the major viticultural areas of Washington wine country courtesy of the Washington Wine Commission, he got the winemaking bug. He convinced his wife to move west with their three children. He worked at wineries and enrolled in the WWCC winemaking program. More opportunities, more hard work and now there is Time & Direction.

September 2022

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