Potato and Pumpkin Gnocchi Dumplings

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This gnocchi dumpling recipe uses Russet potatoes and pumpkin puree as the base. It is flavored with spices then cut and formed before being cooked.

Gnocchi is a simple dumpling dish, mostly made with potatoes but can be made of other ingredients such as pureed vegetables. This recipe is made of potato and pumpkin and flavored with nutmeg and white pepper.

Form the potato dumplings into different shapes before cooking in softly boiling salted water. The gnocchi dumplings can be served as a side dish to poultry, beef roasts or other meats, or served alone with a pasta sauce.

Making the Gnocchi Dough

Gnocchi is a quick and relatively easy healthy menu item. Forgo any cream sauce or melted butter and serve with a fresh tomato sauce for a dinner all by itself. Besides pureed or riced vegetables, like potato and pumpkin or other squashes, gnocchi dumplings can be made with simply ricotta cheese and flour.

When potatoes are used, use a starchy-type, and boil, bake or microwave them until tender. If boiling the potatoes, resist the temptation to constantly stab to see if they are done, or peeling them before boiling, as the more water that is absorbed into the potato will make a wetter dough.

The egg yolks will help bind the dough and the amount of flour will depend on many factors, namely what the water content is inside the potatoes and pumpkin puree. Use as much or as little as is needed to make a soft workable dough. What the gnocchi will look like after cutting will depend on how they are shaped. The look is subject to the cook at the time of forming.

This recipe makes a large batch, and can be served as soon as they are made. The gnocchi can also be prepped a day in advance. Once the gnocchi have finished cooking in the softly boiling water, lift them out and drop them into a large bowl of ice water. This will halt the cooking. They then can be reheated the next day by plunging into boiling water to heat up, or sautéed or even tossed in a pan with hot pasta sauce quickly to reheat. This recipe may be halved.

Forming and Shaping Gnocchi

After the dough is made, it is rolled into thin logs, around 3/4 inch to an inch in diameter and cut into roughly inch-sized pieces. They then can be made into different shapes by either pressing down on the cut sides, or marked with the tines of a fork, or a special grooved board creating ridges on the sides.

How big the gnocchi are depends on the diameter of the dough logs and the pieces they are cut into. If desired, they may even be left in little pillow shapes after cutting.

Gnocchi can be served as is, with a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil or sage butter, or can be topped with a favorite pasta sauce.

Potato and Pumpkin Gnocchi Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Russet-style potatoes (about 4 medium sized)
  • 1 can plain pumpkin (15-oz. can), or use an equivalent amount of fresh pureed pumpkin
  • 2-3 egg yolks
  • About 2 1/2 cups to 3 cups flour, or more as needed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1/8 white pepper
  • 1/16 nutmeg

Procedure:

  1. Place the potatoes in large pot with water and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes until tender. Drain and let the potatoes cool until warm. Peel and run through a potato ricer into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add in the plain pumpkin puree and the spices and seasonings. Adjust seasoning if desired.
  3. Stir in the egg yolks.
  4. Add in enough flour to make a soft dough, starting with about 2 1/2 cups. Add in more as needed. The dough should be soft, yet firm enough to stand up to rolling and where they won’t disintegrate in the boiling water as they are cooked. They should hold up to shaping and the dough should not be too sticky.
  5. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Once it reaches a full boil, reduce heat to a soft boil.
  6. Begin to roll out the gnocchi. Roll into logs around an inch in diameter, and then cut into pieces around an inch in size. The size of the gnocchi will depend on the log size and the cutting size. If a large gnocchi is desired then use a slightly large diameter of dough, and if a mini gnocchi is desired then use a smaller diameter.
  7. When the gnocchi have been cut and formed, drop into the softly boiling water. They will sink to the bottom. Once they rise, let boil a bit longer to finish cooking the dough. Remove with a strainer or slotted spoon to a platter and serve, sprinkling with Parmesan cheese, salt and cracked pepper, or topped with a sauce.
  8. If making ahead of time, remove from the pot into a large bowl of ice water and swish to stop cooking. Reheat in boiling water the next day or sauté in a little melted butter or olive oil.

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