Baked gnocchi with pumpkin-mascarpone sauce & pecans

Gnocchi Fall is here and the harvest is happening.  You’re sitting at the kitchen table staring at three big pumpkins proudly plunked on a kitchen counter.  October always gets us thinking about those fall recipes that we tend to make every...

Gnocchi
Gnocchi

Fall is here and the harvest is happening.  You’re sitting at the kitchen table staring at three big pumpkins proudly plunked on a kitchen counter.  October always gets us thinking about those fall recipes that we tend to make every harvest season, but maybe this year you’re thinking of surprising the family with something new, bring that fresh breeze of the unknown to your festive table. Here it is: gnocchi accompanied with pumpkin sauce!

I chose a combination of pumpkin & red bell pepper, both having a rather sweet taste and contrasted it with the sourness of dry white wine, and mascarpone for creaminess.Sage is one of the less common herbs in kitchen. It has a very special scent that I connect with tea, as during my childhood my grandma would make me a mug of sage tea after hearing just one sneeze. Making homemade gnocchi seems difficult and time-consuming, and correctly so, if you’re making the nice oval gnocchi with grooves so the sauce will stick to the surface but, in this case it’s perfectly acceptable to cut the dough in little “pillows“ without any nitty-gritty corrections as they will absorb the sauce during the cooking process.

As a garnish and for that “final crispness”, I use pecans for structure or you may also use roasted pumpkin seeds.   I also recommend some grated aged cheese as a topping.  As cheese ages it gets a spectacular nutty flavour that pairs well with pumpkin.  Why not give this “hipster fall dish” a try?

Martina

Baked gnocchi with pumpkin-mascarpone sauce & pecans

This recipe makes 4 portions.

Ingredients
Ingredients

Gnocchi Ingredients:

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 350 g all-purpose flour
  •  1 egg
  • Salt

Pumpkin Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 kg grated pumpkin
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 2 bay
  • leaves
  • 2 T. of mascarpone
  • 100 ml milk
  • Dried sage
  • Pecans or Pumpkin Seeds and your favourite aged cheese

Directions:

  1. Wash unpeeled potatoes and cook for about 20 minutes until tender.
  2. Peel when still warm as water evaporates and not as much flour will be needed later on, resulting in softer gnocchi.
  3. Grate peeled potatoes; mix with egg, flour and salt.The dough formed should be moist but not sticky.
  4. Roll into snake-shaped logs about 2 cm in diameter and cut in what I call small “pillows” about 1cm long.

    Cut Gnocchi
    Cut Gnocchi

  5. Chop the onion and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  6. Cut your red pepper in small cubes; add to the onion and garlic mix and sauté for additional 2 minutes. Add grated pumpkin, season with salt, bay leaves and sage (be careful as dried sage has intensive flavour), brine with wine and cook until both red pepper and pumpkin are tender.

    Sauce preparation
    Sauce preparation

  7. Remove from heat, remove bay leaves. Mix in the mascarpone and dilute with some milk if needed then blend until smooth.
  8. Return to the heat and bring to a boil, gradually in batches add prepared gnocchi stirring constantly so that they do not stick together. Cook for about 5 minutes, transfer to an oven-proof pan and bake for 15 minutes at 200°C.

    Bake for 15 minutes at 200°C
    Bake for 15 minutes at 200°C

  9. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with some grated aged cheese (since eating it this summer, I looove Old Amsterdam, with its’ 2 years of maturing).
  10. Serve immediately with your chopped pecans or pumpkin seeds.

    Baked Gnocchi
    Baked Gnocchi

Pumpkins

  • The name pumpkin originated from "pepon" – the Greek word for "large melon"
  • Pumpkins originated in Central America and Mexico
  • they are actually fruit
  • They are 90 % water and consequently low in calories
  • pumpkins contain potassium, Vitamin A and a significant amount of fiber
  • pumpkin flowers are edible.
  • The seeds should be planted from the end of May to June and pumpkin season starts in September and ends in October with Halloween.
  • 80% of the pumpkin supply in the United States is available in October
  • The so called ancestor of pumpkin pie was first made by colonists who would slice off the pumpkin tops, remove the seeds, fill the inside with milk, honey and spices and then bake in hot ashes
  • Pumpkin butter maybe a low-calorie substitute for Nutella.  Pumpkin purée or butter is combined with spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves or cardamom and you may also add Apple purée or Apple juice and some ginger.
  • Pumpkin seed oil- an interesting oil having a dark green colour seeming almost black when in its’ bottle. A friend of mine once compared it to petrol (by appearance only of course). It has an intense pumpkin flavour,  so be careful when using it.  Great for salads with a brand new dimension to taste!