• Gnocchi di Patate con Zucca al Forno e Noci •
Gnocchi with Roasted Pumpkin and Walnuts is a hearty pasta entrée with Fall flavors and a fluffy texture.
Gnocchi, a variety of dumpling, make a very filling and satisfying meal. Many traditional gnocchi recipes call for an egg or two to be added to the dough, but, with this recipe, you will see that it is unnecessary. My recipe follows the basic techniques and ratios of gnocchi, but only simply cooked potatoes, flour, water, and a drop of olive oil are all you need to make these light-as-a-feather pillows.
Gnocchi pair well with many sauces, too! The recipe below features a simple herbed olive oil and garlic sauce, but gnocchi are delicious when paired with pesto or even a basic tomato sauce. Make these as is, then use the base gnocchi recipe to make new dishes with different sauces of your choice. Because this dish includes pumpkin, herbs, and toasted walnuts to provide that comforting Fall flavor, you may want to consider making it a part of a holiday meal. I used kabocha this time, but you can use any type of pumpkin, squash, or even sweet potato and have a delicious result.
- 1kg of potatoes (a little over 2 lbs)
- 1 cup flour
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 500g (a little over 1 lb) pumpkin, sliced thin
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large clove of garlic, smashed
- 1-2 sprigs each of rosemary, thyme, and oregano/marjoram
- 1½ Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- two pinches of nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- minced parsley
- Boil your whole potatoes in a large pot until they are tender enough for a knife to meet little resistance going into them. (Around 40 minutes) Alternatively, you can bake the potatoes until tender.
- While the potatoes are cooking, peel and slice the pumpkin into ¼ inch slices. Put them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake at 450°F for 20 minutes until lightly browned and tender.
- When the potatoes are cooked, remove from the pot and let cool for around 10 minutes so you can peel them. Once peeled, use a potato ricer or food mill to finely mash them. They'll still be hot so let them sit again for a few minutes until they are cool enough to handle. Either on a countertop or in a large boil, combine the cooled, mashed potatoes with the flour, water, and olive oil. Knead the mixture lightly until a cohesive ball of dough forms. If you notice that it is too crumbly, add more water 1 Tablespoon at a time. If it feels to sticky, add more flour 1 Tablespoon at a time. Let the dough rest for a few minutes.
- Take the pumpkin out of the oven and set aside. Make the sauce by combining the the olive oil, garlic, and fresh herbs in a small saucepan. Put this mixture over medium heat until you just start to see it bubble. Immediately turn the heat to low and let it very gently simmer for 5-7 minutes to infuse the oil. When its done, set it aside.
- Put a pot of lightly salted water on the stove and bring to a boil. Flour your work surface. Take chunks of dough and roll out pieces of the dough into a ropes. Use a knife to chop little, bite-sized gnocchi. Take each one and roll it gently over the tines on the back side of a fork to form the distinctive ridges. Put these finished gnocchi on a floured surface until you finish them all. When done, boil them, in batches, until they float to the surface. They will sink and bob around in the boiling water but they are not done until they float and stay afloat. When they do that, remove immediately.
- When they're all cooked, rinse out the pot with the boiling water and add the cooked gnocchi back to it. With the heat on low, add the roasted pumpkin, herbed olive oil (without the garlic and herbs), nutritional yeast, nutmeg, salt, black pepper, walnuts, and parsley. Just toss gently to incorporate and heat until warmed. Serve immediately.
-For the Olive Oil Sauce, you can use any fresh herbs you have on hand. Instead of or in addition to the ones in the recipe above, you can use parsley, basil, sage, or bay leaf. As long as you use around 3 different ones, it'll be great--whatever the combination.
-Make sure to toast your walnuts! They add a rich complexity that really does complete the dish.