Anita Whyte and I use to work together in Toronto some years ago promoting French tourism, gastronomy and good life in general. She has not had a chance to move to the West Coast yet, so she is now a professional Food Fluffer, and that has got to be the best job if you have to live in Ontario. She is passing along a gnocchi recipe that she made for Thanksgiving and I thought I would re-blog it in preparation for Halloween. Eating candy is great if you are under 12 but, for most of us, a good balanced dinner is better. So, instead of candy kisses , try Anita’s home-made pumpkin gnocchi below:
“I came across a Lidia Bastianich recipe for squash gnocchi, and seeing how the directions were long enough already I tweaked it and used (canned!) pumpkin instead. The result was great, in fact we five had them for a main course one night and for an appetizer for 8 two nights later for the big dinner. (The potato ricer is a must for this recipe.)”
1 12 to 14 ounce russet potato, peeled, cut into 8 pieces
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, (or more)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 tablespoons fresh sage, small leaves or chopped larger ones
1/2 sliced almonds
Boil potato in a saucepan until tender, maybe 15 mins.
Drain, while warm press through potato ricer in to a medium bowl and let cool completely. Measure out 2 cups, loosely packed, riced potato.
Mix together pumpkin, potato, 1/2 cup Parmesan, egg, nutmeg and salt. Gradually add in the flour until dough holds together and is almost smooth. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead gently until smooth. Divide dough into 8 equal parts.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper sprinkled with flour. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll it out onto a floured surface until it is 1/2″ thick rope. Cut the rope crosswise into 3/4″ pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll gnocchi along back of fork tines dipped in flour, making ridges on one side. Transfer gnocchi to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover loosely and chill for at least one hour. In a large skillet, heat almonds until toasted, set aside.
Working in two batches, cook gnocchi in boiling salted water until very tender, 15 – 17 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them back to the same parchment paper. Cool (up to 8 hours) and until ready to use.
Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring often, 3-4 minutes. Add sage, cook for 1 minute. Add gnocchi, cook until heated through and coated with butter, 5 – 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Transfer to individual plates, sprinkle with toasted almonds and reserved Parmesan. Serve and enjoy!
One last thing on the pumpkin topic, beer! Yes, different kinds of beer brewed only in the fall and using our all-round favorite squash.
These four are available now at the LCBO:
Brooklyn Brewery Post Rd Pumpkin Ale, Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale, (the name makes me think of Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin episode…..), St. Ambroise Citrouille, and Southern Tier Pumpking Ale.
Now, my own comment, if you have problems with canned pumpkin, there is a very delicious edible pumpkin species that is better than the carving one and worth the trouble. No molasses in this recipe, sweet enough as it is…
Confession: I do not have a ricer, but I do have a food mill or moulin à légumes, same result!
Want to know more about my friend the Food Fluffer, go to: