Easy Homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi Recipe

July 9, 2012 4:00 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Pumpkin Gnocchie
Easy, homemade pumpkin gnocchi recipe. (Photo: Creative Commons)

We're demystifying the process of making gnocchi by taking out the most complicated ingredient-- getting your potato exactly right-- and replacing it with sweet, delicious pumpkin for an easy homemade pumpkin gnocchi recipe. The end result: a pasta dish that impresses your friends, saves you a ton of time, and gives everyone a non-heatwave-related reason to wish for autumn.

1. Flour your surface.

This is the secret to all gnocchi making, regardless of your starch: lightly flour your surface.

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Full disclosure: gnocchi making is messy. It makes your hands feel gross. If that bothers you, too bad-- you're about to get down-and-dirty with your noodle. Lightly coat a rolling surface in flour. Additionally, depending on if you prefer your gnocchi with grooves rather than a well (more on that, later), coat the back of a fork with flour as well.

2. Prepare your pumpkin.

For this recipe, there's no need to scoop the precious meat out of a pumpkin. For one thing, it's hard to find a good pumpkin right in this season. And even if pumpkins were readily available, the process is much too time-consuming.

How convenient, then, that pumpkin should come in cans. Grab a can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!!) and combine it with just under equal parts flour. Mix it together, creating a lovely dough. If the dough feels too wet, add more flour. If the dough gets too dry, add a lightly-beaten egg.

Note that adding an egg means that you can't taste-test it anymore, so you'll have to skip the next step.

3. Flavor the dough.

Adding flour to dough means drastically cutting the sweetness of the pumpkin. To help bring out the flavor you're forced to smother, add lightly toasted cinnamon and nutmeg to the dough till you can just taste it. The cooking process will bring the flavors out more, we promise.

If you're like me, you also have a sweet-tooth, so feel free to add just a little dark brown sugar during this part of the process as well.

4. Roll into little dumplings.

I just love the phrase "little dumplings," don't you? Lucky for me that the only thing more fun than saying it is making it.

Break pieces from the dough and roll them into balls half-an-inch thick. From there, shape them into oblong pieces. If you're using the work, press your gnocchi against the back of the fork to create grooves in it. If you're not using a fork, press a well into the gnocchi with your thumb. This will help you catch the sauce.

5. Freeze until ready to cook.

Put them in your freezer until you're ready to boil them. When they're ready to be cooked, add them to simmering water and wait until they float to the surface. They're ready at that point.

6. Sauce ideas.

A. If you want to give them a little more love, cook butter in a pan over medium-low heat until the butter starts to brown, approximately three-to-five minutes. When it browns, add six pieces of chopped, fresh sage, a chopped clove of garlic, and cooked gnocchi. Serve.

B. If you're exhausted from making the gnocchi, open a can of alfredo sauce and pour it over the cooked noodles. Tada! That works too!



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