Monday, November 21, 2011

Pumpkin gnocchi in gorgonzola sauce

My husband and I went to a wonderful restaurant a couple of weeks ago for our two year wedding anniversary. This restaurant specializes in a small menu comprised of as many local and seasonal ingredients as possible. I had a bowl of potato gnocchi in a gorgonzola sauce with three kinds of roasted squash and pancetta. It was delicious and it was also the first time I ever had gnocchi. I was inspired to make gnocchi at home and I thought that pumpkin gnocchi would be so seasonal and colorful. However, I had no idea how to make them. I searched all over the web and found quite a few recipes. I decided to use this recipe at Closet Kitchen as my guide. The gnocchi were not that difficult to make. I don't have a gnocchi board, so I tried to roll them on a fork to make the lines. It worked OK, but not great. They didn't look perfect by any means, by they tasted delicious and the orange color was lovely.

It just so happened that the recipe I found also had a gorgonzola sauce like I had at the restaurant. I made that and served it on top of the gnocchi along with some pieces of crisp applewood smoked bacon, fried sage leaves, and shallots. It was fall comfort in a bowl. The salty bacon paired nicely with the rich cheese sauce and the gnocchi were slightly sweet and nutty. I think some roasted cauliflower (maybe purple) or chestnuts would be a nice addition as well.  This recipe will make enough to serve about four people as a main dish. 

  
Pumpkin gnocchi
1-1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 large egg yolk
1-1/2 to 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg 

Gorgonzola sauce
1-1/2 cups milk or half and half
about 5 oz. gorgonzola, crumbled
a couple pinches of nutmeg
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

toppings:
3-4 pieces of bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
1 shallot, thinly sliced and lightly fried
fried sage leaves (about 4 per serving)

In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree and egg yolk. In a medium bowl, briskly whisk together 2 cups of flour with salt and nutmeg. Begin to add the flour to the pumpkin and stir until a soft dough forms (the dough will begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl and form a ball). You may not need to entire 2 cups; it depends on how wet your pumpkin is and the size of your egg yolk.

Dust a large surface with some flour. Knead the dough for one minute and then divide it into four pieces. Roll each of the four pieces out into logs that are about 1/2-inch in diameter. Add more flour to the dough/surface and/or your hands as needed to keep from sticking. Cut into about 1/2 inch pieces. Gently roll on a fork. Set on some parchment paper and continue until all of the dough is used. 


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Turn the heat down so that it is at a gentle boil. Add the gnocchi (probably in two batches unless you have a very large pot). Give one quick stir and then let them cook until they float to the top, about 4-5 minutes. Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove from the water and transfer to your serving dish.

While the gnocchi are cooking, warm the milk/cream in a medium pot. Let it cook, stirring occasionally until it begins to thicken. Add the cheese and spices and whisk. Remove from heat and continue to whisk until it is smooth. Cook the bacon. Drain the excess fat and then lightly fry the shallots and sage leaves in the same pan. Set everything on a paper towel to drain.

Serve the gnocchi with the gorgonzola sauce and top with some of the bacon, shallots, and sage leaves. Serve immediately. 


What was I cooking one year ago?: Tex-Mex turkey-stuffed baked winter squash and sour cream and onion dip

5 comments:

  1. I have been wanting to make pumpkin/squash gnocchi for a quite a while but never found a recipe that I trusted. Glad to see this one worked out well!

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  2. You should try! They are pretty easy. I think any squash puree would work well, too. I wasn't sure about which recipe to use either, but this recipe worked well.

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  3. I have never eaten gnocchi before. Sounds and looks delicious.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog!

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  4. Love homemade gnocchi. I believe that the homemade tastes the freshest and best! The blue cheese sauce sounds marvelous!

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  5. Congrats to you on your 2nd anniversary!! Your gnocchi is gorgeous and I'm sure this meal will hold special meaning for you now...thanks for sharing it with us!

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