Pumpkin Gnocchi (Gnocchi di Zucca)

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I had some leftover pumpkin puree from my first attempt at pumpkin pie, and decided to make some pumpkin gnocchi with it. If you don’t have any pumpkin puree lying around, you can see how to make pumpkin puree there. The key to good gnocchi of any kind is to add as little flour as possible to keep them light and fluffy. If you add to much flour, they will become like rubber. It is important to use a pumpkin or squash with some taste for this, as the recipe is very basic and doesn’t have a lot of other ingredients. The gnocchi will be very delicate in texture and flavor.

Ingredients

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pumpkin puree

1 egg yolk (use more if you have a lot of pumpkin puree, say over 900 grams/2 pounds)

flour (about 1/4 of the weight of the pumpkin puree)

freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

butter

salt

pinch of sugar

Preparation

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Put the pumpkin puree in a bowl. Season with salt and a pinch of sugar. Add egg yolk, flour, and freshly grated parmigiano.

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Stir until homogeneous.

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The dough will still be quite sticky. Put flour in a shallow container. Use two dessert spoons (a size between teaspoons and tablespoons) to form dumplings, as the dough is too sticky and soft to form them in the way you would make potato gnocchi. Such a shape like a rugby ball made with two spoons is called quenelle in French. Put a few of them on the layer of flour.

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When you have gathered about four (depending on the size of the container with the flour), gently shake it so the gnocchi will move around and will be covered with flour on all sides.

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Arrange the gnocchi on a clean dry surface that you dusted with flour. Repeat until you have used up all of the dough.

Melt some butter in a frying pan (preferably non stick) and keep warm over low heat.

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and lower the heat to a gentle boil. Cook the gnocchi until they rise to the surface. Remove them with a slotted spoon as soon as they have risen to the surface.

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Transfer all of the gnocchi to the frying pan with melted butter as soon as they float. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmigiano.

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Toss gently to coat with butter and parmigiano on all sides.

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Serve immediately on warm plates, sprinkled with some more freshly grated parmigiano.

16 thoughts on “Pumpkin Gnocchi (Gnocchi di Zucca)

  1. Within about a month of my family’s arrival in Canada, my mother got sick during pregnancy and well meaning neighbors brought us pumpkin pie… we had never seen it before; all of us could not eat it 😦

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      1. I still find it bland and ‘sickly’…. the spices don’t help. That’s probably heresy to all other North Americans who regard the pie as a holiday season essential.

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  2. You probably know that most Italian recipes containing pumpkin come from Mantova. They have what sounds like a weird addition but it does work: amaretti. Just crush a few amaretti cookies and add them to any pumpkin tortelli filling or gnocchi and I promise they will add to the complexity. I am not a huge pumpkin fan (like sybaritica I find pumpkin pie completely forgettable) but I do like my pumpkin in pasta and primi in general.

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    1. My next post about pumpkin/squash/zucca is going to be tortelli di zucca, with mostarda (from the region of Mantova/Cremona) in the stuffing as well as crushed amaretti. You are absolutely right that crushed amaretti work to make it more interesting. I’ve used it for spaghetti alla zucca (https://stefangourmet.com/2012/11/23/spaghetti-with-butternut-squash-spaghetti-alla-zucca/) as well as lasagne alla zucca (https://stefangourmet.com/2012/10/27/butternut-squash-lasagne-lasagne-alla-zucca/).

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  3. I like the idea of the flour filled container – I have made pumpkin gnocchi before and it was a bit of a mess. However if you have problems with everything sticking into your spoons I can recommend dipping them in oil and they will be pumpkin gnocchi proof!

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  4. A great dish, Stefan! With its orange color, this would make a great dish for our yearly Thanksgiving feast. I’ve not tried to make pumpkin gnocchi, being afraid that the dough would be too moist and require too much flour. As you said, use of as little flour as possible is key. Your solution of coating each with flour before cooking is a great way to get around the moist dough. I bet these were delicious!

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    1. Thanks, John. If the pumpkin puree is too watery, you can remove some of the water by putting the puree in a dish cloth or cheese cloth and squeezing out some of the liquid. If you’d like to catch all the flavor, you can reduce this liquid to a syrup and add it back to the puree.

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