For the longest time I thought – and truly believed – I didn’t like gnocchi. I think it was partly because my mom ate it all the time when we were kids – but ordered us (plain) pasta – so by the time she finally offered some my way, I was pretty suspicious of the little potato pillows. They looked so foreign and bizarre. I was skeptic.
Buuuuuut then last year I was peer pressured into taking “just one bite”, and whoa (!!!), gnocchi totally has it going on. I love it! So much making up to do…
So, since we’re celebrating pumpkin this week (yay!) , I decided to ditch the potatoes this round and pump these darling little dumplings with p-u-m-p-k-i-n AND manchego cheese. Manchego cheese doesn’t really have anything to do with pumpkin week, it’s just delicious and blends really well with our bright orange friend. Hooray!
Now, about dressing these little guys! You have a lot of options in that department. As you can see from these photos, I originally chose a very light (but awesome!) buttery sage cheese sauce. It took about 4 minutes to cook, and really let the pumpkin flavor in the gnocchi shine. That being said, this gnocchi can certainly hold its own with a heartier sauce. I cooked the second half of our batch (this recipe makes a hefty amount of dumplings) with a rich chorizo marinara and wow – divine!
No matter what sauce you choose, these petite pumpkin pillows are sure to make you a believer.
Pumpkin Manchego Gnocchi… Do it.
Pumpkin Manchego Gnocchi – Baker by Nature
(1) 15 oz can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix; it won’t work this time)
1 cup manchego cheese, grated
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour + additional for dusting as needed; the dough will be very sticky
Place the pumpkin, cheese, egg yolks, and spices in a large bowl and mix well.
Add the flour to the wet mixture and gently fold – using a rubber spatula – the ingredients together until just combined. The mixture will be very shaggy.
Generously flour a smooth counter top (or whatever work space you have) and turn the shaggy gnocchi mixture out; knead until smooth, but don’t over work the dough!
Divide the dough into 4, then roll out each piece into a long rope about 1/2″ – 3/4″ in diameter. Cut the rope into 3/4-inch pieces. Continue with all 4 ropes. At this point you can either cook the gnocchi or place the dumplings on a sheet of wax paper and freeze until firm, then transfer to an air tight freezer bag.
Bring a large, salted pot of water to a rapid boil. Add the gnocchi and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they all float to the top of the pot. Once they come to the top, let them cook for another minute or so, then drain.
Toss with sauce of choice and serve at once!