Pumpkin gnocchi are apparently a simple recipe, but there are some details to take care to obtain a perfect soft gnocchi with a full pumpkin taste.
Many recipes suggest to use also potatoes, but if in one hand it makes the work a bit easier, on the other hand it makes the pumpkin gnocchi heavier and especially the potatoes will cover part of the pumpkin taste. So I’m gonna do a 100% pumpkin gnocchi.
The first thing to take care is the choice of the right pumpkin: we need a pumpkin less watery as possible, so no butternut squash for example. Usually the ones with darker skin are good, in Italy the “mantovana” is a good choice, here in Hungary the “Nagydobosi sütőtök” is good too, for example.
We have to make the pumpkin pulp dry, so the best way to do it it’s in the oven, don’t boil it.
Then, we have to use less flour as possible, otherwise the gnocchi will be hard as a stone 😀 and we will lose also more of the pumpkin taste.
Let’s see what we need.
INGREDIENTS (3 people):
For the gnocchi:
- 600 g of pumpkin pulp (without skin, measure the weight after you baked and squeezed it: the original weight, raw, in my case it was 1,1 kg but it can change for each pumpkin)
- 120-150 g of white flour (count 1/5 or maximum 1/4 of the dry pumpkin weight, start with less and then you’ll see)
- half egg
For the sauce:
- 90 g butter (a good butter, if you can get a mountain butter is perfect)
- 10-12 leaves of sage
- freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- black pepper
- First of all we have to bake the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin into slices or pieces (all of the same size, about) and bake it in the oven at 180 °C for about 30/40 minutes, it depends on how big you cut the pumpkin. You will be able to remove easily the skin after you baked it. Control with a fork, when you see that the pumpkin is soft then you can take it out from the oven.
- After you removed the skin, take a potato ricer, add the pumpkin in it and squeeze just a little bit: you just have to squeeze out the remaining liquids. Repeat the operation a couple of times, and if you see that the pumpkin pulp is still wet then you can spread the pulp on the oven plate and bake it for other 10/15 minutes at 110 °C, until it’s dry. It’s very important to make the pumpkin as dry as possible because this will help us to use less flour.
- Once our pumpkin is ready, reduce it in a cream by using the potato ricer or just a fork, then prepare the flour on your working table, add the pumpkin and start to work them together with your hands. While working add also 2-3 tablespoons of egg, and keep working well everything until you have a not sticky ball 🙂 if you managed to dry well the pumpkin, the suggested amount of flour should be enough, otherwise you need to add some more flour, but remember that more flour it means harder gnocchi in the end, which are not that good if too much hard. The “ball” must have a soft consistency.
- Now cut some smaller portions from the “ball” and roll each of them on the table using your hands. Make rolls of about 1,5-2 cm diameter, then cut small pieces with a knife and make small balls with your hands (or you can give other shapes if you prefer).
- Lay your gnocchi on a tray where you have put flour on the bottom, and let them rest 20/30 minutes before cooking them.
- The most common and traditional sauce is the one made simply with butter and sage, but if you want something else you can try, just remember that the pumkin is a delicate taste so it’s very easy to cover it with heavier sauces.
- Take a pot and boil water, with salt. Then take a pan and melt the butter.
- When the water boils, drop the gnocchi in it: they will be ready in 2-3 minutes, floating on the surface when ready.
- In the same time add the sage inside the hot butter (not too hot, it must not burn or get brown), then when the gnocchi are ready drain them and drop them in the pan with the butter, and mix well together, adding some freshly ground black pepper too.
- Serve it, and sprinkle some freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano on the gnocchi…they are good, right? 🙂
PS: it’s possible to use even less flour and to make even more soft gnocchi, but in that case you will have a very soft “ball” and you will have to shape the gnocchi using two tea spoons for example, because it would be impossible to handle it. Instead in the suggested recipe it’s easier to shape them and it’s a good compromise to have soft gnocchi also in this case.