Nothing says fall like a pumpkin in my first CSA box. I signed back up for Farm Fresh to You last week, after feeling like I needed to go on a bit of a health kick and while my fellow food friends scoffed at my choice to start back up in winter (“Do you know how much butternut squash and kale you’re going to get??” they reminded me) I was delighted to find a pumpkin in the first delivery.
Being Halloween weekend, I figured it was the perfect time to prep and indulge in a little pumpkin. I spent Saturday morning roasting my squash, the afternoon cooking potatoes and the early evening mixing, rolling and chilling my gnocchi. It was quite the project, but I think it was a fun and worthwhile experience that will only get simpler with practice. At the end of it all I was able to feed four and even have some pumpkin puree left over for another special treat.
The dumplings tasted like fall with pumpkin and nutmeg, neither of which was overpowering, and both of which were delightfully distinct. I was a bit nervous about their texture, seeing as that keeping them light and fluffy is the biggest challenge with gnocchi, but for my first go, I was not disappointed! They fluffed right up after a couple of minutes in boiling water and were finished of in a quick saute in sage brown butter. While they may have not been the most perfectly formed gnocchi, I loved the sage and pumpkin combination with the salty, buttery end that made me feel like I was eating the season.
Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter (only slightly adapted from this bon appetit recipe)
- 1 smallish pumpkin (I used a Sugar Pie Pumpkin)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 12- to 14-ounce russet potato, peeled, cut into eighths
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 large egg, beaten to blend
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups (or more) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- Additional grated Parmesan cheese
- Special Equipment
Potato ricer – I used a colander
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut pumpkin into 2-4 pieces; discard insides and seeds. Place pieces, cut side up, on baking sheet and brush with oil. Roast until very tender when pierced with skewer, about 1-1 1/2 hours. Cool slightly. Puree flesh in food processor until smooth (I used my immersion blender attachment). Transfer to medium saucepan; stir constantly over medium heat until juices evaporate and puree thickens, about 5 minutes. Cool. Measure 1 cup (packed) squash puree (reserve remaining squash for another use).
Meanwhile, cook potato in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. While potato is warm, press through potato ricer into medium bowl; cool completely. Measure 2 cups (loosely packed) riced potato (reserve remaining potato for another use).
Mix squash, potato, 1/2 cup Parmesan, egg, nutmeg, and salt in large bowl. Gradually add 1 3/4 cups flour, kneading gently into mixture in bowl until dough holds together and is almost smooth. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls. Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead gently but briefly just until smooth. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.
Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Sprinkle parchment lightly with flour. Working with 1 dough piece at a time, roll dough out on floured surface to about 1/2-inch-thick rope. Cut rope crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll gnocchi along back of fork tines dipped in flour, making ridges on 1 side (fork rolling is optional – they’ll still taste great). Transfer gnocchi to baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 6 hours ahead. Keep chilled.
Working in batches to not overcrowd the pot, cook gnocchi in large pot of boiling salted water until tender 2-3 minutes (bon appetit recommended 15 to 17 minutes so test 1 gnocchi to start). Using slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to same parchment-lined baking sheets. Cool. DO AHEAD Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover loosely and chill.
Cook butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat just until golden, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes. Add sage; stir 1 minute. Add gnocchi; cook until heated through and coated with butter. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with more Parmesan.