Not-again!-dishes or stop whining already: Pumpkin gnocchi
November 14th, 2008

Some of my favorite dishes have – what I’d like to call – an increased raised eyebrow factor. Take homemade pasta or gnocchi for instance, mentioning these may likely give you the one or other odd look and make people wonder: She can’t be that crazy, making all pasta or gnocchi herself, no??
I can see Oliver nodding here, but no, I’m not. Well, it’s not exactly like that, homemade pasta still is a rather infrequent companion at our table, reserved for special occasions or dear guests. However, homemade gnocchi are a whole different story. Huge difference. Because I love potatoes so much, I love (love love!) these little bite-sized pillows, always have, always will!

Pumpkin gnocchi

Making gnocchi is, once you get the hang of it, dead easy. You’ll quickly notice that adding more flour certainly improves the workability of the dough, but consequently makes the gnocchi too dense and firm; can you say rubber ball? I have become so hooked on these little Italian dumplings with the velvet-like texture, that I have to have them every other week. Last week my addiction kicked in at 9.30 pm… and a good hour later I sat in front of a plate of steaming hot gnocchi with browned pine nut butter. I was the happiest person in Munich that night, without a doubt.

Pumpkin gnocchi

And then there is Oliver. He likes gnocchi, he really does. But I guess I must have been pushing it a bit too far, putting his relationship with them in jeopardy. While I’ve heard tales of other boyfriends kissing their girlfriends’ feet for having a simple homemade meal, he just recently started to act allergic to the term homemade gnocchi. So I had to get creative…

Pumpkin gnocchi

Who said, that gnocchi have to consist of potatoes only? Look around, cookbooks and online recipe sources not only offer countless variations (recipes in English/recipes in German) with herbs and such, even for when you crave a potato-less alternative, it’s all there. The options are endless.

Pumpkin gnocchi

Why not try a seasonal inspired variation? Since pumpkins are crowding my grocery’s shelves and my spoiled boyfriend loves them as well, I sniffed my chance for more gnocchi. This time around without potatoes but with a gorgeous, bright orange hue. They were such a big hit, I’ve prepared them the third time in two weeks… and no not again!s to be heard so far. Watch out potato gnocchi, here’s some serious competition sneaking up ;)

Pumpkin gnocchi

Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F). Wash the pumpkin and pad dry. Cut it in halves using your largest knife and discard the stem and seeds. I use my GDS (grapefruit dedicated spoon) with serrated edges (like these), which make it relatively easy to remove all fibers and seeds. Cut into finger-thick slices and scatter on a parchment lined baking tray. Sprinkle with sea salt and roast in the oven (middle) for about 30 minutes or until soft.

Use a potato ricer to mash the hot pumpkin. If you used a Hokkaido, the skin has become soft and can be blended with the puree. Discard bigger skin pieces which resist the shredding process. Let steam off for about 15 minutes.

Add the egg yolk and flour, then season the puree to taste with salt and freshly ground nutmeg. Blend quickly using a fork, the dough will still look quite sticky. Of course you can add more flour at this point, but keep in mind, that the more flour you use, the denser these little dumplings become in the end. And you want them to be light & fluffy, with a velvet-like texture!

Forming these gnocchi is the tricky step, this is the technique that works best for me: I generously flour a wooden board as well as my hands and take a big tablespoon of the dough in my hands, making sure it is covered in flour. Then I carefully form this piece into a finger-thick roll and cut it into little pillows (stick the knife’s blade into the flour to prevent it from sticking to the dough). Then place each gnoccho on a floured parchment paper lined baking tray and quickly continue with the next steps – or they will stick to the paper anyway.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a generous pinch of salt and reduce heat until the water bubbles lightly. Add the gnocchi – stir once, so they don’t stick to the bottom – and let cook until they start floating on top. Depending on their size this may take 4 to 6 minutes. Take out with a skimmer, because pouring them through a pasta strainer could easily damage these fragile gnocchi.

Pumpkin gnocchi

Preparing the browned sage butter: Wash and pat dry the fresh sage leaves, then stack and cut them into thin chiffonade. Meanwhile melt the butter in a pan over low to medium heat, add the sage chiffonade and sauté until the sage has become crisp and the butter has gained a golden brown hue and nutty flavor (but don’t let it burn!). Spoon over the gnocchi and add some freshly ground black pepper, grated parmesan and – optional – roasted and chopped pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin gnocchi

Pumpkin gnocchi with browned sage butter

Recipe source: own creation, inspired by many others

Prep time: ~1-1,5 hour

Ingredients (for 2):

1 smaller Hokkaido pumpkin (~450g puree)

sea salt

1 large eggyolk

100 g all-purpose flour (more as needed), extra for dusting the board

freshly ground nutmeg

50-75 g butter

15-20 mid-sized sage leaves

freshly ground black pepper

parmesan, freshly grated

optional: roasted and coarsely chopped pumpkin seeds

Comments

Nov 14th,
2008

Nov 14th,
2008

Jazzalto

Nov 14th,
2008

Nov 14th,
2008

Anh

Nov 14th,
2008

Mark

Nov 14th,
2008

John

Nov 14th,
2008

Nov 14th,
2008

Nov 14th,
2008

Beate Müller

Nov 14th,
2008

Nov 14th,
2008

Nov 14th,
2008

Nov 14th,
2008

Nov 14th,
2008

Nov 14th,
2008

Kamey

Nov 14th,
2008

Nov 14th,
2008

Nov 15th,
2008

Kati

Nov 16th,
2008

Cara

Nov 16th,
2008

Nov 16th,
2008

Petra

Nov 17th,
2008

Nov 17th,
2008

Nov 17th,
2008

Mireille

Nov 17th,
2008

jayme

Nov 17th,
2008

Nov 17th,
2008

Nov 17th,
2008

Nov 17th,
2008

Adi

Nov 17th,
2008

Nov 17th,
2008

Nov 18th,
2008

Carla

Nov 18th,
2008

Nov 18th,
2008

Iva

Nov 18th,
2008

Nov 19th,
2008

Manu

Nov 20th,
2008

Emilia

Nov 20th,
2008

Jose

Nov 21st,
2008

Mary

Nov 22nd,
2008

Nov 23rd,
2008

Nov 23rd,
2008

maike

Nov 23rd,
2008

Lizzy

Nov 25th,
2008

Nov 26th,
2008

Lizzy

Nov 26th,
2008

Stu

Nov 27th,
2008

Nov 29th,
2008

Anne

Nov 30th,
2008

Anne

Nov 30th,
2008

Deb

Dec 2nd,
2008

Invernomuto from Italy

Dec 4th,
2008

Dec 10th,
2008

Dec 12th,
2008

Anna

Dec 21st,
2008

Dec 28th,
2008

Uta

Dec 31st,
2008

Cassandra

Jan 13th,
2009

Jan 13th,
2009

Jan 19th,
2009

Karen

Feb 2nd,
2009

Uta

Feb 5th,
2009

Jennifer

Feb 19th,
2009

KatieJ

Feb 26th,
2009

Aug 2nd,
2009

Monica

Aug 20th,
2009

Sep 9th,
2009

Abbie

Sep 22nd,
2009

Carly

Jan 29th,
2010

Oct 12th,
2010

Dorothea

Oct 16th,
2010

james sie

Oct 31st,
2010

Jan 25th,
2011

Matt Moore

Mar 9th,
2011

Mar 17th,
2011

Leave a comment

Due to high spam influx we are currently optimizing our platform and have closed the comment area for older posts.

In the meantime, if you want to comment on the above article you can send your feedback via comments [AT] deliciousdays [DOT] com and we will add it rightaway.

Sorry for the inconvenience.