Butternut Squash and Pancetta on Gnocchi with Sage

I amended this recipe to reflect our family’s preferences for more veggies (double the squash and the addition of red onion) and less cooking time (no roasting). It’s a very flexible recipe. Have fun playing around with it!


4 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced

1 medium red onion, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste

1 pound potato gnocchi

4-6 ounces pancetta or thick cut bacon, diced

4 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup sage leaves, dried are fine if fresh are not available

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper


In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil. Toss in the butternut cubes with a pinch of salt and stir them frequently until they are tender. Add the red onion and cook until it is translucent. Remove squash and onion from the pan once the onion is cooked. Wipe out the pan.

Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi in salted water according to package directions. Drain the gnocchi and return them to the pot. Add the cooked butternut and onion to this pot and keep it warm.

Back in the sauté pan, cook the pancetta until most of the fat has rendered and the pancetta is brown and crisp. Keep the heat to medium to avoid scorching. Remove the pancetta and set is aside. Keep the warm fat in the pan.

Return the pan to medium heat and add in the butter to melt it. Add the sage then continue to cook the butter, swirling it around the pan occasionally, until the butter browns and smells nutty. Immediately remove the brown butter from heat and set the sage aside on a plate.  

Pour the brown butter over the gnocchi and squash, stirring to combine. Add the pancetta, lemon juice and sage, stir lightly to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4.