A Classic Northern Italian Combo
There is no better fall treat than this amazingly insane pumpkin gnocchi. I dare you to eat just one bowl.
Pumpkin Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Sage & Almonds
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
- 2 pounds cubed pumpkin
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 head garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 4 cups all purpose flour, plus a little more on hand
- 4 portions cooked gnocchi
- 5 tablespoons butter
- Several pinches nutmeg
- 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
- 16 fresh sage leaves
- 1/3 cup finely diced tomato
Preheat the oven to 375º. Place racks in the lower and middle thirds of the oven. Drizzle the garlic with olive oil, wrap it tightly in foil and roast on the bottom rack of the oven for 50 minutes. Lightly rub the potatoes with olive oil, prick them all over with a fork and bake for 45 minutes, until fork-tender.
Meanwhile, steam the pumpkin over a medium boil until tender, pass through a food mill and reserve.
Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins into a small bowl and mash to a paste. Peel the hot potatoes and pass them through a ricer into a large bowl.
Add the squash to the bowl with the potatoes. Let cool slightly. Add the egg, yolks, ricotta, parsley, 1 tablespoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of the mashed roasted garlic. Stir until combined. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix quickly using 2 or 3 forks held in you hand, letting the fork tines ‘pull’ the dough into a pile of small clumps. Add flour a little at a time until dough holds together when pinched. You may not use all the flour.
Gather dough into a ball and let rest for 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. After the dough has rested, roll out onto a floured work surface and cut into fifths, roll each piece into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut the ropes into 1/2-inch pieces and transfer the gnocchi to the baking sheet.
Lightly oil another baking sheet. In a large, deep skillet of simmering salted water, cook the gnocchi in batches until they rise to the surface, then simmer them for 1 to 2 minutes longer, until cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
NOTE: After you cut the ropes of dough into gnocchi pieces, you can freeze on a baking sheet, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Boil without defrosting.
In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the sage and stir, adding the almonds and nutmeg. Quickly add the cooked and drained gnocchi and tomatoes, tossing well.
Season with sea salt and freshly ground white pepper. Serve immediately passing plenty of grated Reggiano parmesan.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill.