Recipe: Italian Sausage & Potato Gnocchi

Close-up of a glass of red wine served at Chateaux Deer Valley

If you are stuck on what’s for dinner tonight or tired of cooking the same meals, give this one a shot and let us know what you think! To help satisfy all your Italian cravings this season, Cena Ristorante is open for lunch or dinner all winter long. For reservations, give us a call today.


Butternut Squash:

1 average-sized butternut squash (about 2-3lbs)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and season with salt and pepper.

Place on a cookie sheet, cut side up.

Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until squash is tender.

Let cool before peeling the skin off the squash.

Dice the cooked squash into small cubes.


Italian Sausage:

1lb package Italian sausage


Cook the sausage in the oven at 350 degrees.

Let cool before dicing into small pieces.


Potato Gnocchi:

2lbs of starchy potatoes.

¼ cup egg, lightly beaten.

1 cup all-purpose flour.

Pinch of salt.


Fill a large pot with cold water. Salt the water then cut the potatoes in half and place in the pot. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender throughout. 

Put aside the potato water.

Place potatoes in a mound, drizzle beaten egg and add ¾ cup of flour on top. 

Using a metal spatula or pastry scraper, incorporate the flour and egg into the potatoes, scraping underneath and folding until the mixture is a light crumble. 

Knead the dough gently, adding a sprinkle of the remaining flour at a time, until the dough is moist but not too sticky. 

Cut your gnocchi dough into bite-sized ¾ inch square pieces.

Bring your potato water to a boil, and cook the gnocchi in batches by dropping them into the water in small batches. 

The gnocchi will tell you they are done by making their way to the top of the water.

Remove gnocchi from boiling water about ten seconds after they have surfaced, place in a bowl, and drizzle with olive oil.



2 tablespoons of olive oil.

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced.

4 cups baby spinach.


Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

Sauté garlic until soft, about 2 minutes.

Add spinach and sauté for 1 minute.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Putting the dish together:

In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat, be careful not to brown the butter.

Sauté diced sausage and butternut squash in melted butter.

Add the cooked gnocchi and sauté for 2 minutes.

Place gnocchi mixture on top of spinach.

Top with grated Parmesan cheese.


Wine Pairing

We asked our sommelier about the perfect pairing for this dish. He recommended two different wines that will accentuate different aspects of the dish. The first is the Anterra Chardonnay, a wine that should be fairly easy to find. This Chardonnay is crisp, clean, and lets the citrus flavors really shine without being overpowering. It goes great with the gnocchi as it is able to stand up to the hearty, earthy flavors in the dish. It also works well to cleanse the palate. The second wine recommendation is a bit less common - the  Hecht & Bannier Rosé from the Provence region of France. This wine has a nice little jab of power, yet a beautiful finish that is much lighter as the wine progresses through the palate. Not only will this wine open up the flavors of spinach, gnocchi, and sausage, it also helps bring out the nutty accents from the cheese. Either wine pairing will complement this dish perfectly. For a little more inspiration, our wine list can also be found online. Buon appetito!