November is coming to an end, which means this pumpkin gnocchi recipe is the last pumpkin recipe of the month. For those of you who haven’t heard of gnocchi before, it is an Italian dumpling made often of flour, potatoes and eggs and some other ingredients varying mostly by region. They are usually eaten as a main course like pasta or as a side dish. You can find gnocchi at a lot of grocery stores in the pasta isle but don’t let all that packaging give you the impression that they are complicated to make. Gnocchi is actually quite simple to make and taste a lot better when they are fresh.
Potato Gnocchi is usually starchy, thick and soft with a slightly chewy texture. The pumpkin in this recipe instead of potatoes gives the gnocchi a bit of a sweet taste, a subtle pumpkin flavor and a beautiful color. It is pretty and delicious. In the past when I have made gnocchi, I have had it with tomato base sauces or creamy sauces. I have also had it in soup, they are just as versatile as pastas. I made this pumpkin gnocchi though in a very simple sage butter sauce which is also a popular way to serve them. If this is too simple for you, you can add some sauteed vegetables to the mix, you can add some sort of protein or you can have it as a side dish. I enjoy the simplicity of this recipe but after a while of having it, my African self begins to wonder where the meat and the veggies are. So go ahead and make it the simple way or spruce it up if you wish, it’s all up to you.
You will have to get a bit dirty for this recipe. You might not guess it from some of the recipes I have posted thus far but I actually hate to get my hands dirty. That’s my least favorite part of cooking. But I’ll get a little dirty for the sake of food. Once you are done cooking and you see the beauty that you made and get to eat, it is all worth it. So give this recipe a try, enjoy the process and think of all the different way you can enjoy gnocchi in the future. 🙂
Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage Butter Sauce
This recipe serves about 3 to 4 people.
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups of flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- Water and salt for boiling
Sage Butter Sauce
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 8 to 10 sage leaves
- 2 cloves garlic (minces or ground)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated Parmesan cheese to taste
In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, salt and nutmeg. Add the egg and pumpkin puree and mix until dough begins to form then transfer unto a flat and floured work surface. If your dough is too sticky, add more flour as you knead the dough. You don’t want the dough to be sticking to your work surface but you don’t want it to have too much flour either. You want it to be soft and easy to work with. The amount of flour you use may vary.
Divide your dough into 4 to 6 portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into ropes that are about half an inch thick then cut them into about 3/4 inch pieces. Lightly press a piece with a fork starting with the inside and roll it to the tip. Do this with all of the pieces. This creates ridges on the gnocchi pieces that help hold sauces.
In a large pot, bring water to boil with some salt. Cook gnocchi in batches. When the gnocchi floats to the top of the water (in about 1 to 2 minutes), this means they are cooked. Take them out and put them in a strainer. Save some of the starchy water for the sauce.
In a large saucepan, melt butter on low to medium heat. Add the sage and garlic and stir until the garlic begins to cook. Add a splash of starch water from boiling the gnocchi then add the gnocchi, salt and pepper to taste. Stir until gnocchi is completely coated in butter sauce. Serve warm and top generously with grated parmesan cheese.