Saturday, October 9, 2010

There's No Gnocchi like Pumpkin Gnocchi, Like No Gnocchi I Know!

It's squash season again...  And I have been craving winter squash like crazy lately.  After I whet my whistle on the pumpkin biscuits a few days ago, I decided to revisit something I have been working on for awhile now....  Pumpkin Gnocchi.

I have been struggling with this one.  Mainly because of a lack of pumpkin flavor.  If I lower the potato content and add more flour, then they end up doughy.  If I don't add enough flour, then they disappear in a miasma of water and steam resulting in Potato/Pumpkin soup -- Very Frustrating.  I have finally turned to a somewhat unconventional ingredient that seems to have worked rather well.

I am sure I have broken the Gnocchi rules on this one.  The Gnocchi gods will rage against my machinations and I shall henceforth be labeled as a gnocchi heretic.  

I used.....   Potato Flour.  (you may all raise the back of your hand to your mouth in horror)

The main problem has been moisture content.  Pumpkin puree can be REALLY watery, and the flour can only absorb so much.  So I thought I would help it out by allowing the potato to absorb some of the pumpkin's juicy goodness in the form of flour instead of actual cooked potato....  This drops the overall moisture content, cause cooked potatoes are kind of wet too, and allows me to use a full 2 cups of puree instead of having to regulate myself to only1 cup, and thus diminishing the power of the pumpkin.

Tossed with Saged Brown Butter and a little Parmigiano-Reggiano and you have a succulent dish just brimming with autumnal goodness.

Pumpkin Gnocchi

Printable Recipe
1/2 cup (3.5 oz) (100 g) Semolina
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Nutmeg, freshly grated
2 cups (1 lb) (455 g) Pumpkin Puree
1/3 - 2/3 cup (2 - 4 oz) (57 - 114 g) Potato Flour  (this will depend on the moisture content of your puree)
1/2 cup (4 oz) (114 g) Butter
Sage Leaves
Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

Combine Semolina, Kosher Salt, Black pepper and Nutmeg in a small bowl.

Place Pumpkin Puree in a bowl and add the Semolina mixture, stirring to combine.

Add 1/3 cup of the Potato Flour; Stirring to combine.

If the dough is still too soft and sticky, add another ounce (28 g) of the Potato Flour.

If it's STILL too sticky, add the remaining ounce of Potato Flour.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes, until the dough becomes slightly elastic.

Cover with Plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle your work surface and a baking sheet with more Potato Flour (though you can use AP flour) and divide the  dough in 4 equal portions.

Working with 1 piece at a time, roll into a "snake"

Cut 1 inch chunks with a sharp knife.

Place a chunk in your palm and roll the back side of a fork over it.

Place the gnocchi on a floured baking sheet when finished and continue in this way until all the dough has been used.

Give the gnocchi a final dusting of either Potato flour or AP flour and let rest while you........

Make Browned Butter

I have done this a couple times before, but I am going to cover it again, for it is a subject that is near and dear to my taste buds.

Melt 4 oz of Unsalted Butter in a sauce pan while you roughly chop about 4 Sage leaves.

Add the leaves to the melted butter (it will bubble a little as it cooks the water out of the leaves)

When the proteins settle out and begin to brown, remove the saucepan from the flame and filter through 2-3 layers of cheese cloth.

And there you have it;  Saged Brown butter in all it's exotic deliciousness...

 Bringin' it ALL together..... 

Cook gnocchi in Salted boiling water, a few at a time (I did it in 4 batches)

Remove them with a strainer when they begin to float.

Place them in a warmed bowl and drizzle with a little of the browned butter.

Repeat with the next batch; Boil, skim, drizzle.... Until all the gnocchi have been cooked.

Toss gently with a little more chopped Sage and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Serve with more Parmigiano-Reggiano......
And DIG in!!!

Yes, cross over the the dark side....   it's ALL kinds of good!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks good. When I made mine 2 years years ago. I hung my cooked pumpkin in a cheesecloth sling overnight in the fridge to remove excess moisture. Looks great, you did a good job.