The ultimate autumn indulgence: pumpkin gnocchi in cream sauce

If you're crazy about pumpkins — and let's be honest, these days, who isn't on the pumpkin bandwagon? — then this variation on an Italian classic will have you waiting all year round for pumpkins to come back in season. So make as much as you like now and savor the taste of fall. Unless you have a seriously scary appetite, best to pick out a sweet, mini-sized pumpkin from the grocery store rather than one of those Halloween-sized monsters on offer at the nearest pumpkin patch.

You will need:

For the gnocchi:

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • salt and pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 oz pancetta
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • salt and pepper

Here's how:

  1. Cut the pumpkin into quarters, remove the seeds, drizzle with a bit of oil and bake together with the two unpeeled potatoes for 60 minutes on 320°F.
  2. After cooking and letting cool, peel the potatoes (you should find the skins now come off easily) and scoop the soft flesh out of the pumpkin. 
  3. Mash the potatoes and pumpkin in a bowl until the mixture is consistent. Add all remaining ingredients and work the mixture into a smooth dough. 
  4. Divide the dough into four equal parts and roll into a rope. Cut the dough rope into equal portions and roll into balls. Then flatten slightly with a fork.
  5. Cook the gnocchi for about 3 minutes in salted boiling water. Afterwards, brown them in a skillet with a little oil.
  6. For the sauce, saute the pancetta in a pan.
  7. Add the cream and let it cook out until the liquid has reduced to half.
  8. Stir the cheese into the finished sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Who needs a gourmet specialty store when homemade gnocchi is so easy to make yourself! Your dinner guests will not only be impressed, but also full. There's nothing like gnocchi to tackle even the most devilish of appetites. If you feel like experimenting with an even more colorful variation of these savory nuggets, try substituting sweet potatoes or red beets for the pumpkin. Or even better, a variety of all three! Rainbow gnocchi, anyone?



Also hefty