Difficulty Level Easy
It seems to me that more and more people are becoming vegetarian, and Thanksgiving is a tricky time with so much focus on the turkey. I think the holiday demands a vegetarian main course dish that makes you feel like you've just had something special, something that you wouldn't normally eat. I was thinking of stuffing and baking a whole pumpkin, which is quite impressive, but unfortunately, around here all the large pumpkins disappear the second Halloween is over. All you can find now are small pie pumpkins. I suppose I could have made individual pumpkins, but I'm looking for less work, not more.
My husband, who rarely makes food suggestions, came up with the idea for pumpkin gnocchi which seemed like a perfect entree. Rich and satisfying, most people only think about ordering gnocchi in an Italian restaurant. They are actually quite simple to make. The key to light gnocchi is to handle the dough as little as possible. I went the decadent route and made a gorgonzola sauce for the gnocchi, but if you wanted something lighter, you could have a browned butter and sage sauce that would also be delicious. I made these with all purpose flour rather than the whole wheat mixture.
|1/2 cup||pumpkin purée|
|3 tablespoons||unsalted butter|
|1||large egg yolk|
|6 tablespoons||whole wheat flour|
|6 tablespoons||unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for dusting|
|Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|1/4 cup||heavy cream|
|1/3 cup||Parmesan cheese|
|salt to taste|
- Stir the egg yolk into the pumpkin. Add the whole wheat flour, then half the all-purpose flour and stir just to combine the flour with the pumpkin. Add the remaining flour a little at a time, stirring, until the mixture forms a dough.
- On a floured work surface, knead the dough two or three times to firm it up, taking care not to overwork the dough or the gnocchi will be tough. Separate the dough into four pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Again, on a floured work surface, roll each ball out into a long dowel shape, about an inch in diameter. With a fork or pastry knife, cut the dowel into 2 inch pieces. Roll each piece across the back of a fork with your thumb to form a small indentation on one side and ridges on the other. Toss the finished gnocchi with flour.
- Bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Put the gorgonzola, milk, butter and 1 tsp salt in a large pot and heat on the lowest setting. Mash the gorgonzola with a wooden spoon and stir to incorporate it into the milk and butter. Cook for about a minute, until the sauce has a dense, creamy consistency. Turn off the heat and set aside until you are almost ready to add the gnocchi.
- Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook them until they rise to the surface, 4-6 minutes per batch. Add the cream to the sauce and heat over lowest setting. Drain and add the gnocchi to the pot with the sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Pumpkin Gnocchi recipe from the website Dishing Up Delights
Gorgonzola Sauce from The Classic Italian Cook Book by Marcella Hazan
Less is More Thanksgiving