These pumpkin gnocchi are served with a simple sage butter sauce which enhances the sweet taste of the pumpkin. We used the Delica variety, as it is one of the most versatile winter squash and it takes well to many cooking methods, from roasting to pureeing, and more.
The compact orange – yellow flesh is perfect to be deep fried and to fill the tortelli from Mantova (city in Italy’s Lombardia region) and the cappellacci from Ferrara (a city in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region). Tortelli and cappellacci are two typical filled fresh egg pasta.
INGREDIENTS for 4-6 servings:
300 g pumpkin flesh (from a pumpkin of about 800 g)
500 g all-purpose flour
1 small egg
few leaves of sage
100 g good quality butter
grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese, to season
Start by preparing the pumpkin. With a very sharp knife slice the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds, then slice into wedges.
Toss the wedges with olive oil and salt, roast them in the oven at 180 °C until tender (about 30-40 minutes). Remove from the oven and let cool. You can roast the pumpkin one day in advance, if you don’t have enough time.
Peel the pumpkin and mash it through a potato masher.
In a bowl mix the mashed pumpkin with the egg and the flour, adding it a little at a time.
Check the consistence of the dough, it should be soft but not sticky. Knead until obtaining a smooth dough.
Cut the dough in small portions and roll each into long “snakes” of 1 cm diameter (see the picture below).
On a floured surface, cut the roll into 1,5-2 cm pieces, namely the gnocchi! If they are too tacky, dust them with flour.
To shape the gnocchi use the special tool if you have it, or use a fork, as seen in the picture below. Place one gnocco against the tines of the fork and gently press it in and down the length of the fork, curling slightly the gnocco. Set the gnocchi aside.
Bring a large pot of slightly salt water to a boil. Put a drop of oil in a water (in this way the grnocchi don’t stick), drop in the gnocchi and cook until they come to the surface.
While the gnocchi are cooking, prepare the sauce. In a pan, melt the butter with a few fresh sage leaves. Add a tablespoon of cooking water to the butter and stir to make a sauce.
As soon as the gnocchi comes to the surface, place them into the pan with the butter sage sauce, and toss gently.
Serve immediately with a generous amount of grated Parmigiano cheese.