Pumpkin gnocchi

“Pumpkin gnocchi” recipe – Gnocchi di zucca

    • Prep Time
    • Minutes
    • Cook Time
    • Minutes

Pumpkin gnocchi - Gnocchi di zucca: the ingredients

Total Cost: UK/£ 5,18*

Cost/portion: UK/£ 1,03*

Pumpkin, butter and sage: simplicity in itself

This dish goes together well with cold weather: it’s like a fluffy hug. Its buttery sweetness is the first sensation that pervades the palate, then the spices make these delicate flavours last longer stimulating the sense of smell. All ingredients are very simple so they must be good for a successful result.

There is no salt into the gnocchi dough, so it is important to season the boiling water abundantly. I suggest almost 10gr per litre of cooking water. It can seem a lot, but the gnocchi will cook in much less then a minute and no cooking liquor will be added to the sauce.

Resting the dough and lots of water

Resting the dough will allow the flour to produce all the gluten possible, so you will need a minimum amount of it. The gnocchi will gain in flavour and consistency (they need to be fluffy) and they will need a every short cooking time: as soon as they come up to the surface they will be ready.

Also, you will need to cook only a few gnocchi at a time and in a deep saucepan with lots of water: the temperature will never drop and the gnocchi will come to the surface only at the end. If the saucepan is too small and the water is too low, the turbulence of the hot water will push them up too early and you will pick them up still raw: when they are cook, they never fall down again.

Grilled or not grilled

I have eaten these gnocchi in both ways and I can’t say which way is better: they are both so good! If you grill them, keep some extra butter and sage sauce to moist them again before serving, and some extra cheese as well.

Cheese VS Cheese

Yes: the traditional recipe wants the smoked ricotta cheese instead of Parmigiano cheese. The problem is that good smoked ricotta cheese is not so easily available here in UK. But after all, I must say that I do not love the match: sometimes it can be so aggressive that it kills the flavour of the pumpkin, especially if you grill the gnocchi at the end.

So… it’s up to you which of the two to choose.

Even better: try them both!

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Baking a pumpkin: the best way for keeping all its good flavours

Note for the users: please click on the label “HOW TO” to watch the slide-show of each cooking step.

* Please note that both total cost and cost per portion are approximate and that can vary according to seasons and to different conditions.

Recipe Rating

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Ingredients

  • Whole pumpkin or butternut squash - about 800gr to obtain 500gr of pulp

  • Potatoes (preferably old) - 250gr

  • One egg - 50gr to 60gr

  • Cinnamon powder - to taste

  • Plain flour - 70gr to 100gr

  • depending on how watery the pumpkin is and on the resting time
  • Butter - 80gr

  • Sage large leaves - 10

  • Parmigiano cheese - 70gr

  • Black pepper corn - 3gr

  • Cinnamon powder - to taste

  • Water - 5lt

  • Salt - 40gr

  • Utensils for baking the pumpkin

  • Kitchen paper or a towel

  • Olive oil

  • One baking tray

  • One backing paper sheet

  • One spit or skewer or similar

  • One chopping board

  • One chef knife or paring knife

  • Utensils for gnocchi

  • One peeler

  • Cling film (suitable for microwave)

  • One pestle and mortar

  • One potato ricer (manual or electric)

  • One small bowl

  • One large bowl

  • One rigid whisk or a fork

  • One 4-6lt saucepan

  • One zester

  • One large frying pan

  • Two spoons

  • One skimmer

  • One baking trey

Instructions

  • 1.
    Baking, cleaning and peeling the pumpkin

    • Whole pumpkin or butternut squash - about 800gr to obtain 500gr of pulp
    • Kitchen paper or a towel
    • Olive oil
    • One baking tray
    • One backing paper sheet
    • One spit or skewer or similar
    • One chopping board
    • One chef knife or paring knife

      Set the oven to 180°C and start heating it. Roughly wash the pumpkin and dry it. Pour some olive oil on the top and spread it al over Pierce the pumpkin's top in several points with a spit or a skewer - or similar - running it through the meat and reaching the hollow centre: this will allow the steam to exit gradually without expanding and cracking the pumpkin (it would literally explode otherwise!). Bake the pumpkin for about 60-70 minutes, according to how big it is. Take the pumpkin out if the oven and cut it in quarters. Let it cool down completely. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and the stringy core. Then cut it in smaller wedges and and peel them using a chef knife or paring knife.

  • 2.
    Making the potato and pumpkin mixture

    • Potatoes (preferably old) - 250gr
    • Pumpkin pulp - 500gr
    • Black pepper corn - 3gr
    • Cinnamon powder - to taste
    • One chopping board
    • Cling film (suitable for microwave)
    • One small bowl
    • One large bowl
    • One pestle and mortar
    • One potato ricer (manual or electric)
    • One rigid whisk or a fork

      Peel the potatoes, wash them under running water and wrap them in cling film. Place them in a small bowl and cook them in the microwave at maximum power for 4 to 5 minutes of until completely done (step 2 - pic. A). Meanwhile, finely crush the black pepper corns into the mortar (step 2 - pic. B). Process the pumpkin through a manual potato ricer directly into a large bowl or, in alternative, use an electric hand blender, then season it with black pepper (step 2 - pic. C). Squeeze the potatoes through the ricer into the bowl with the pumpkin, add a sprinkle of cinnamon powder and the egg (step 2 - pic. D). Thoroughly mix them together into a smooth mixture using a rigid whisk or a fork without incorporating any air.

  • 3.
    Adding the flour and resting the dough

    • The pumpkin and potato mixture
    • Plain flour - 70gr to 100gr (depending on how watery the pumpkin is and on the resting time)
    • One rigid whisk or a fork

      Gradually add the 70gr of flour to the mixture incorporating it with the rigid whisk or a fork (step 3 - pic. A). While stirring, do not incorporate any air and the final dough must be perfectly smooth and uniform. If possible, the dough should rest for 30 - 40 minute, so the gluten can be formed properly and help to hold the shape of the gnocchi while boiling (step 3 - pic. B). If not possible, add the all 100gr of flour. Be aware that the total amount of flour depends on how wet the pumpkin is.

  • 4.
    Salting the boiling water and melting the butter with sage

    • One 4-6lt saucepan
    • Water - 5lt
    • Salt - 40gr
    • Butter - 80gr
    • Sage large leaves - 10
    • Parmigiano cheese - 70gr
    • One zester
    • One large frying pan

      While the dough is resting, put the water to boil. When it comes to a stable boiling, add the salt. Meanwhile, grate the cheese with a zester and set aside (step 4 - pic. A). Five minutes before starting boiling the gnocchi, put the frying pan on a medium heat and slowly melt the butter with the sage in it (step 4 - pic. B). Set the oven at 180ºC and preheat it.

  • 5.
    Shaping and cooking the pumpkin gnocchi

    • The boiling water
    • The gnocchi dough
    • The butter and sage sauce
    • Black pepper - to taste
    • Cinnamon - to taste
    • Two spoons
    • One skimmer

      Move the bowl with the dough close to the saucepan with the boiling water (step 5 - pic. A). Season the sauce with black pepper and cinnamon to taste, stir and take it away from the direct heat. Set aside. Start shaping the gnocchi with the two spoons and drop them one by one directly into the boiling water (step 5 - pic. B). The smaller the gnocchi the quicker they will cook. The raw dough will fall on the bottom of the saucepan. Gnocchi are ready as soon as they come to the surface. Collect each one of them with the skimmer (step 5 - pic. C).

  • 6.
    Grilling the gnocchi with parmigiana cheese and melted butter

    • The boiled gnocchi
    • The butter sauce with sage, black pepper and cinnamon
    • One backing tray
    • The grated Parmigiano cheese

      As soon as the gnocchi are ready, drain them thoroughly with the skimmer and arrange them into the backing tray (step 6 - pic. A). Bring the butter sauce back on maximum heat and make it foam slightly, then drizzle half of the sauce on top of the gnocchi (step 6 - pic. B). Cover them with a generous sprinkle of parmigiano cheese and place the tray in the oven (step 6 - pic. C). Let the cheese melt slightly, then turn on the top grill and let them slightly crisp for a couple of minutes (step 6 - pic. D). Serve immediately with some more butter sauce on top. Binding the gnocchi and the sauce directly into the frying pan is another option: just drain them with the skimmer and add them to the frying pan. Cover with a sprinkle of cheese and toss them for no longer than a minute. Serve with cheese on top.

Instructions

  • 1.
    Baking, cleaning and peeling the pumpkin

    • Whole pumpkin or butternut squash - about 800gr to obtain 500gr of pulp
    • Kitchen paper or a towel
    • Olive oil
    • One baking tray
    • One backing paper sheet
    • One spit or skewer or similar
    • One chopping board
    • One chef knife or paring knife

      Set the oven to 180°C and start heating it. Roughly wash the pumpkin and dry it. Pour some olive oil on the top and spread it al over Pierce the pumpkin's top in several points with a spit or a skewer - or similar - running it through the meat and reaching the hollow centre: this will allow the steam to exit gradually without expanding and cracking the pumpkin (it would literally explode otherwise!). Bake the pumpkin for about 60-70 minutes, according to how big it is. Take the pumpkin out if the oven and cut it in quarters. Let it cool down completely. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and the stringy core. Then cut it in smaller wedges and and peel them using a chef knife or paring knife.

  • 2.
    Making the potato and pumpkin mixture

    • Potatoes (preferably old) - 250gr
    • Pumpkin pulp - 500gr
    • Black pepper corn - 3gr
    • Cinnamon powder - to taste
    • One chopping board
    • Cling film (suitable for microwave)
    • One small bowl
    • One large bowl
    • One pestle and mortar
    • One potato ricer (manual or electric)
    • One rigid whisk or a fork

      Peel the potatoes, wash them under running water and wrap them in cling film. Place them in a small bowl and cook them in the microwave at maximum power for 4 to 5 minutes of until completely done (step 2 - pic. A). Meanwhile, finely crush the black pepper corns into the mortar (step 2 - pic. B). Process the pumpkin through a manual potato ricer directly into a large bowl or, in alternative, use an electric hand blender, then season it with black pepper (step 2 - pic. C). Squeeze the potatoes through the ricer into the bowl with the pumpkin, add a sprinkle of cinnamon powder and the egg (step 2 - pic. D). Thoroughly mix them together into a smooth mixture using a rigid whisk or a fork without incorporating any air.

  • 3.
    Adding the flour and resting the dough

    • The pumpkin and potato mixture
    • Plain flour - 70gr to 100gr (depending on how watery the pumpkin is and on the resting time)
    • One rigid whisk or a fork

      Gradually add the 70gr of flour to the mixture incorporating it with the rigid whisk or a fork (step 3 - pic. A). While stirring, do not incorporate any air and the final dough must be perfectly smooth and uniform. If possible, the dough should rest for 30 - 40 minute, so the gluten can be formed properly and help to hold the shape of the gnocchi while boiling (step 3 - pic. B). If not possible, add the all 100gr of flour. Be aware that the total amount of flour depends on how wet the pumpkin is.

  • 4.
    Salting the boiling water and melting the butter with sage

    • One 4-6lt saucepan
    • Water - 5lt
    • Salt - 40gr
    • Butter - 80gr
    • Sage large leaves - 10
    • Parmigiano cheese - 70gr
    • One zester
    • One large frying pan

      While the dough is resting, put the water to boil. When it comes to a stable boiling, add the salt. Meanwhile, grate the cheese with a zester and set aside (step 4 - pic. A). Five minutes before starting boiling the gnocchi, put the frying pan on a medium heat and slowly melt the butter with the sage in it (step 4 - pic. B). Set the oven at 180ºC and preheat it.

  • 5.
    Shaping and cooking the pumpkin gnocchi

    • The boiling water
    • The gnocchi dough
    • The butter and sage sauce
    • Black pepper - to taste
    • Cinnamon - to taste
    • Two spoons
    • One skimmer

      Move the bowl with the dough close to the saucepan with the boiling water (step 5 - pic. A). Season the sauce with black pepper and cinnamon to taste, stir and take it away from the direct heat. Set aside. Start shaping the gnocchi with the two spoons and drop them one by one directly into the boiling water (step 5 - pic. B). The smaller the gnocchi the quicker they will cook. The raw dough will fall on the bottom of the saucepan. Gnocchi are ready as soon as they come to the surface. Collect each one of them with the skimmer (step 5 - pic. C).

  • 6.
    Grilling the gnocchi with parmigiana cheese and melted butter

    • The boiled gnocchi
    • The butter sauce with sage, black pepper and cinnamon
    • One backing tray
    • The grated Parmigiano cheese

      As soon as the gnocchi are ready, drain them thoroughly with the skimmer and arrange them into the backing tray (step 6 - pic. A). Bring the butter sauce back on maximum heat and make it foam slightly, then drizzle half of the sauce on top of the gnocchi (step 6 - pic. B). Cover them with a generous sprinkle of parmigiano cheese and place the tray in the oven (step 6 - pic. C). Let the cheese melt slightly, then turn on the top grill and let them slightly crisp for a couple of minutes (step 6 - pic. D). Serve immediately with some more butter sauce on top. Binding the gnocchi and the sauce directly into the frying pan is another option: just drain them with the skimmer and add them to the frying pan. Cover with a sprinkle of cheese and toss them for no longer than a minute. Serve with cheese on top.

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