Pumpkin Gnocchi with Chive Blossoms
Mellow roasted pumpkin gives excellent color and sweet flavor to these pillowy gnocchi. Sauteed in butter and finished with rich caramelized fennel and aromatic chive blossoms, it’s a dish to make you look forward to the Fall season!
Makes: 2 pounds gnocchi (serves about 4-6)
3 pounds fresh pumpkin
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
½ cup ricotta cheese, full fat
1 large egg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 each medium fennel bulb, sliced thin
8 tablespoon butter, unsalted
½ cup chive blossoms and chives, chopped plus more for garnish
Kosher salt & black pepper, freshly cracked, to taste
Pepitas, for garnish (if you don’t roast pumpkin seeds)
Parmesan or Manchego cheese, grated, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Use a Nikiri Vegetable Knife to remove and discard the top and bottom of the pumpkin. Slice into 4 or 8 pieces depending on size. Remove seeds and reserve in a small bowl. Spray pumpkin with non-stick spray or rub with a small amount of vegetable oil and place onto a sheet tray. Place pumpkin into the oven and roast until a fork easily pierces the flesh, about 45 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes depending on thickness.
To prepare pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds), separate and discard as much of the stringy pumpkin innards from seeds. Use paper towels to dry the seeds as much as possible, and toss with 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread onto a sheet tray and place into the oven and cook, stirring every 10 minutes, until crispy and toasted, about 30-50 minutes. Let cool on sheet tray and reserve.
Once pumpkin is roasted, let cool slightly, and scoop soft flesh into a bowl or plate, discarding any skin. Mash pumpkin until creamy and measure 1-½ cups cooked pumpkin into a large mixing bowl. Use any leftover pumpkin for another recipe, or discard.
Into the bowl with the pumpkin, add ricotta, egg, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and mix well to combine. Add flour and use a wooden spoon or hands to mix into a soft dough. Dust a clean work surface with flour, and place dough onto surface. Using a Bench Knife, divide dough into 4 pieces.
Shape each quarter into a log, and gently start rolling the dough into a ¾-inch thick rope, gently using your fingers to spread out the dough. Use the Bench Knife to cut into little squares. Roll each piece over the back of a fork to give it a classic gnocchi look and place onto a sheet tray. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once water is boiling, gently place gnocchi into boiling water, and cook, stirring occasionally until they rise to the surface. Drain gnocchi.
While water is coming to a boil, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Once it’s shimmering, add sliced fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Remove and reserve.
Add butter to the now empty skillet over medium-high heat. Once butter stops foaming, add drained gnocchi and cook, shaking the pan to coat each piece in butter. Once the gnocchi start to brown, about 2-3 minutes in, add caramelized fennel, chive blossoms, and chives. Cook until fragrant, and the fennel is heated through, another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
Divide the gnocchi onto serving plates, and garnish with pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds), grated parmesan, and extra chive blossoms. Enjoy immediately!
If fresh pumpkin is unavailable, use 1-½ cup canned pumpkin puree.
Recipe by Sam Burgess
Forge To Table
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