In the Kitchen: Duck Sugo with Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Discover Newport brought us Chef Scott from the Wharf Pub to show us how to make their Duck Sugo with Butternut Squash Gnocchi.


For The Gnocchi Dough:

  • 5 medium butternut squash, 1/2’d long way and center seeds and flesh scooped/removed
  • teaspoon cumin
  • 2 Teaspoon chili flake
  • 2 Teaspoons white truffle oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons course ground black pepper
  • 3 cups grated Parmigiano- Reggianno
  • 2 Tablespoons fine diced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 4 Teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 Teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 8 whole eggs
  • 8oz unsalted butter room temp
  • 28 cups flour


  1. First lay butternut squash halves in a roasting pan and add 2 tablespoons butter to center.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, cover with foil and roast in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until very soft.
  3. Pull and allow to cool for 15 minutes, then scoop flesh into large mixing bowl and mash if needed with fork to remove any chunks.
  4. Add to bowl all other ingredients other than the flour and eggs and mix thoroughly.
  5. In large Hobart mixer add the flour and set to medium speed slowly whisk in the mixing bowl mixture.
  6. Allow to blend for several minutes while adding one egg at a time until dough is formed and consistent texture.
  7. On a stone or stainless prep table or cutting board with flour dusting take one handful of dough at a time and roll into a long thin tube roughly as thick as a typical cigar.
  8. Using a dough knife trim a small piece off either end and then portion into 1 inch bites.
  9. Store in a container that allows them to be spread out, not piled together
  10. Refrigerate until ready to plate.

For The Duck Sugo:

  • 10 lbs whole duck legs (brine 48 hours prior)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 10 roma tomatoes quartered
  • 10 cloves peeled garlic
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 quart plain tomato sauce
  • 4 small shallots peeled and quartered
  • 10 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary


  1. Season duck legs generously with olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper and chopped parsley.
  2. Sear on hot grill for 2 minutes per side then place in large roasting pan.
  3. Combine all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
  4. Pour over the grilled duck legs and cover with tin foil.
  5. Braise in a pre-heated oven for 3 hours at 350 degrees.
  6. Pull out and allow to cool until legs are ready to handle.
  7. Remove legs from braising liquid and carefully pull all the meat using forks making sure to discard all the bones.
  8. Remove herb sprigs from braising liquid and stir back in all the pulled duck meat.
  9. Bring to a simmer to serve.
  10. Season with Salt and Pepper if needed.

To Plate The Dish:

  1. With finished Sugo ready at a simmer, bring a medium pasta pot of water with 1 tablespoon kosher salt to a boil.
  2. Drop in desired portions of gnocchi (12 or so pieces per plate) and allow to boil for 3 minutes.
  3. Pull and strain gnocchi.
  4. In a mixing bowl toss hot gnocchi with a few ounces of the Sugo braising liquid skimmed from the top of the simmering sauce, then plate them in a shallow bowl or dish with a lip.
  5. Scoop a hearty portion of the Sugo over the gnocchi.
  6. For garnish, spread roughly 1oz of thinly shaved Pecorino Romano around the dish as well as some rough chopped and toasted hazelnuts and fresh chopped parsley. Serve and enjoy!