Pumpkin Gnocchi with Arugula and Tomatoes

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New blog template for my return to food blogging!  I think it is much cleaner and more fun.   Plus, I find change is a good thing, especially when starting new stages in my life.  Current transition:  grad school to unemployed and searching.  (Anyone need an environmental health professional?)  At least unemployment allows me time to spend cooking and blogging in between job searching.

Time is good since this pumpkin gnocchi – though tasty – does take some time. But it was a great vehicle for my homemade ricotta and leftover pumpkin puree from the fall.  Another bonus is that it freezes well and makes a bunch (10-12 servings),  which allows you to impress multiple groups of people.  Also, don’t worry about the ridges.  I try, but it never seems to work.  Nonetheless, the gnocchi is still scrumptious.

One final note: I’ve tried making gnocchi fresh and cooking it directly after making it, but it doesn’t work for me.  The gnocchi explode into a gooey mess and all my hard work is gone, leaving us with PB&J for dinner.  Therefore, I actually recommend freezing your gnocchi (“flash freeze” in a single layer – such as a on a cookie sheet – until solid then bag up) before cooking them.  They just seem to like me better when I do that.  Okay, now it’s your turn to try your hand at pumpkin gnocchi.

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Pumpkin Gnocchi

Adapted from Love and Olive Oil
 
3 cups pumpkin puree
1-12 oz container of fresh ricotta cheese (or 1 1/2 cup homemade ricotta cheese)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 3/4 to 3 cups all purpose flour 

Line two baking sheets with foil, parchment paper or wax paper and set aside.

In a large bowl add pumpkin puree, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt and nutmeg.  Blend together.  Mix in the flour about 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms.  Turn dough onto a floured surface and divide into 6 equal parts. Take one part and roll it between your palms until it reaches about 8 inches in length.  Divide this log in half and set one half aside.  Continue to roll the other half until you have about a log that’s about one inch in diameter.  Cut the log (I use my pastry scrapper) into about 1/2 inches pieces.  Roll each piece on the cut sides over the tines of a fork to indent.*  Transfer each piece to the baking sheet.  Continue with all the dough.

Now you can either freeze the gnocchi or boil and cook it.  I have had trouble when I go straight to cooking after making it, so I freeze mine.  But if dumpling-making comes naturally to you go ahead and cook it right away.

To cook the gnocchi (frozen or fresh), boil a large pots of water to boil and season with the reamining 2 tablespoons of salt.  Working in batches (do not over-crowd the pot or you will reduce the water temperature), add the gnocchi (fresh or frozen) and boil until the gnocchi floats to the top, for about 2-3 minutes.

While the water is coming to a boil, saute the onion and garlic over medium heat until beginning to caramelize.  Add the cooked gnocchi directly from the pot, along with arugula and tomatoes.  Toss together and allow the flavors to marinate and gnocchi to slightly toast for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and serve with a little fresh Parmesan on top.

*I am not great at this and my indents were mostly absent.  Fortunately this step doesn’t really matter when it comes to flavor.  Sure, my gnocchi isn’t beautiful marked, but it is still tasty.

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