Every culture has its own version of a dumpling; pasta and delicious filling take many forms. Gnocchi, a popular Italian pasta style, makes use of leftover mashed potatoes for a light and filling dough, perfect for cozy winter meals.

Caramelization is the chemical reaction that occurs when natural sugars are introduced to heat, producing a sweet, nutty, rich flavor, and deep brown color. For people living with digestive diseases, caramelization is also way to introduce new flavors when thoroughly cooking vegetables to make them easier to digest.

This month’s recipe was adapted from the Covid-19 pandemic cookbook What We Ate, by Chicago private chef Andrew C. Spear of Crying Onion catering. In addition to full service catering, Chef Andrew specializes in customizing recipes for those living with digestive diseases, including those on low residue, low-fat, gluten-free, or low FOD-MAP diets.



1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, and ½ cup extra flour, for kneading dough

3 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 egg

½ tsp. salt

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 t. salt (for pasta water)


2 white or yellow onions, sliced root to tip

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups of butternut or other winter squash, cubed

4 tsp. olive oil, divided

4 tsp. butter, divided

1-2 balsamic vinegar

½ tsp. dried sage (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste


Since making gnocchi from scratch is enjoyable, but somewhat time-consuming and labor-intensive, make gnocchi and the accompanying vegetables simultaneously.

Prepare gnocchi:

  • Combine potatoes, flour, ½ tsp. salt, and egg in a bowl with a wooden spoon.
  • Bring a pot of four quarts of water to a boil, and generously salt.