Friday, October 22, 2010

Gnocchi di zucca - pumpkin gnocchi

I am sure you all know what gnocchi are, those soft potato dumplings that are divine with any sauce, from the simplest tomato and basil sauce to a lovely fresh pesto or any fancy combination you can come up with. Gnocchi are Italian comfort food, like most of their cousins all over the world.

Unfortunately, I have boarding school memories of heavy, sticky, hard-to-swallow ones that kept me at a distance for many years. I never really became a convert until I tasted my first gnocchi di zucca.

If you love pumpkin at its simplest, these are for you. Its orange, delicate autumn flavor is the star. They are quick and easy to make. All you need is five ingredients, a pot of boiling water and two spoons and you will make the softest pillows of buttery, cheesy sweetness you could ever imagine. 

Try these and make your family and friends an unexpected pumpkin dish for Halloween or Thanksgiving.

Ingredients (2 to 4 people)
500gr pumpkin
100gr flour
1 egg
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cinnamon

parmesan cheese

The first step is roasting your piece of pumpkin in a hot oven at approx. 180°C until soft. While it is roasting, bring a large pot of hot water to a boil and throw in some salt. When the pumpkin has cooled, get rid of the seeds and skin and mash with a fork or puré in a food processor. If you want to make life even easier, use canned pumpkin. Add in flour, the egg, some salt and some cinnamon and mix. Using two teaspoons, make a little quenelle (not so much for the shape as for the procedure) and drop the mixture into the water. You want the gnocchi to be bite size, but don't worry if they are a little messy. The gnocchi are ready when they float back up to the surface of the water they are cooking in. Use a slotted spoon to drain them and place them directly into individual bowls. Pour over some butter you will previuosly have melted, sprinkle with plenty of parmesan cheese and pepper and serve.


*Of course if you are having guests over for dinner, you may not feel like standing over a pot of boiling water letting your make up slowly melt into a Joker-like mask and your hair go frizzy. In this case I suggest using a potato-based recipe (this one is in Italian but with step by step photos that explain it all) that will allow you to roll out and cut the dough into little neat, nuggets before your guests arrive. You will need 350gr potatoes, 350gr pumpkin, 180gr flour, 1 egg, a pinch of pepper, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Me? I prefer my pumpkin gnocchi messy but straight!


  1. Gnocchi are on my to do list as well with a butter sage sauce. Great job!

  2. Wow., I'm loving this because its not that easy to make a pumpkin gnocchi (well.., that could be because it took me a few goes to get the moisture content right). Going to give your recipe a go this evening, adore Pumpkin Gnocchi.

  3. MMmm delicious! Thanks for posting this. I'd love to try this with a butter, sage and walnut sauce - Yum :)

    By the way, will a plain flour do, or should I use '00' flour as for making pasta?

  4. Ooh, you're right. I don't have fond memories of gnocchi but it seems about time to change that perception with this!

  5. My K in the R - Thanks. Mmmh, love butter and sage. Would be great with these too.
    Anna - I remember the first time I made these for F, I went heavy on the flour as the mixture seemed too wet and those things never floated backup after I threw them in the pot. They were inedible...
    Ladybird - Plain flour here is 00, so I never even thought of specifying. Yes, use 00, although according to the neighborhood baker (who makes bread, pasta and cakes) the two kinds are pretty interchangeable.
    Ribbittrick - You will, I promise!

  6. Gnocchi! Ecco cosa intendevi quando mi hai detto che eravamo coordinate :)
    Magnifici, prima o poi ci provo! :)

  7. pumpkin gnocchi sounds absolutely delish! thanks for sharing this.

  8. This is the gnocchi recipe I've been looking for. Sounds so good. Can't wait to try it.

  9. Kelly - Hi! Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did! Off to discover your blog.


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