Pumpkin gnocchi is a very tasty first course. An easy recipe made with few ingredients and a dough (preferably) without potatoes. Taste freshly cooked pumpkin gnocchi with a delicate dressing of butter and sage.
First of all, to get good, soft and compact pumpkin gnocchi, it’s important to cook the pumpkin in the oven so as to make the pulp drier and improve the characteristics of the dough. You can even add a boiled potato that, thanks to its starch, allows the pumpkin dough to better thicken, making it easier to shape gnocchi.
Rich in nutrients, including mineral salts and vitamins, pumpkin is a typically autumnal vegetable that is harvested and used in the kitchen when it’s completely ripe and the pulp is sweeter. This vegetable is excellent for preparing pumpkin soup, pasta dishes, such as pumpkin ravioli, or a semifreddo.
Season pumpkin gnocchi with a light sauce, not to alter the taste. Perfect if flavored with butter, sage and Parmigiano cheese. In addition to the classic potato gnocchi, you can try other easy and fast gnocchi recipes, such as gnocchi with arugula and gorgonzola sauce.
Pumpkin Gnocchi Step by Step Recipe
- 600 g (about 1,3 lbs) of cooked pumpkin pulp (that is, 1 pumpkin of about 1,3 kg /2,8 lbs)
- 300 g ( about 10 oz) of all purpose flour
- 1 medium egg
- fine salt
- black pepper
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 90 g (3 oz) of butter
- 5/6 leaves of sage
- grated Parmigiano Reggiano
TIP: make pumpkin gnocchi the day before and freeze them. How? Keep reading, we’ll explain it at the end of this recipe
Step 1) – First, you need to clean the pumpkin and cook it. Everyone has their own method. We will show you what we think removes water from the pumpkin as quickly as possible. Therefore start cutting a big piece of pumpkin. Then remove seeds, filaments and skin.
Step 2) – Cut the pumpkin into thin slices then place them on a baking sheet pan covered with baking paper. Cook in a static oven preheated to 200°C (390F) for 15-20 minutes or in a ventilated oven at 180°C (350F) for 10-15 minutes, until they start to slightly dry. This way the pumpkin will dry out and will not release the water during the preparation of the pumpkin gnocchi dough.
Step 3) – Place the flour on a work surface(try this non-slip silicone mat that sticks to the table) and, using your hands or a spoon, create the classic fountain shape. Crush the pumpkin still warm with a potato ricer directly on the flour. Work the ingredients still warm to avoid dispersing the starches and to make the mixture sticky and difficult to work. In a little bowl, beat the egg up; give the mixture again a fountain shape and make a well in the center then pour the beaten egg. Incorporate the egg to the dough with a fork and work it until it’s homogeneous. Adjust with salt and pepper and flavor with a pinch of nutmeg.
Now in this step you can add a boiled medium potato. Why you ask? Because sometimes the pumpkin is too rich in water and, if it were the case, it would be very difficult to make the gnocchi. A boiled potato is necessary to make the dough thicker.
Step 4) – Work the dough as little as possible and quickly. Give it the shape of a loaf. Now you can start to make pumpkin gnocchi. So cut a piece of dough and place it on the floured surface. Then with your hands make a long roll of dough as thick as a finger. Slice the roll every 1,5/2 cm (about half inch), so as to obtain small cylinders. Proceed to make pumpkin gnocchi until all the dough is finished. Now slide the gnocchi one by one on the prongs of a fork or on a gnocchi board to give them the classic striped pattern on the surface (only if they are firm enough, otherwise forget it. They will be delicious all the same!).
Step 5) –As you make them, place them on a floured cloth. Be careful: keep the gnocchi well spaced, otherwise they stick to each other. Pumpkin gnocchi are now ready to be cooked but first…FREEZE THEM! Yes, it’s better if you freeze them. It’s a little trick. This way you can make pumpkin gnocchi even some days in advance and, when you want to eat them, you have just to take the gnocchi directly from the freezer and, without defrosting, cook them. Keep reading!
How to Store Pumpkin Gnocchi (Freezing Gnocchi)
Here’s how to store pumpkin gnocchi: place them, well spaced, on a tray covered with a floured cloth. Place the tray into the freezer. Wait for 2/3 hours then transfer them in food plastic bags and put them back into the freezer. Do not put freshly made still soft gnocchi in plastic bags, otherwise they will stick to each other!
Cook gnocchi still frozen in boiling water, directly from the freezer to the pasta pot. This way they will retain the softness and texture of homemade pumpkin gnocchi.
How to Cook Pumpkin Gnocchi
First thing first makthe sauce for the gnocchi: so melt the butter with the sage in a saucepan. Then cook the pumpkin gnocchi a little at a time in plenty of salted boiling water. Be careful because they cook in a few minutes. As soon as they rise to the surface, take them with a skimmer slotted spoon, drain them well and place them in a serving dish. Add butter and sage seasoning, a little grated Parmigiano cheese, stir and serve immediately.