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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Mushroom Cream Sauce

I have made gnocchi made from mashed potatoes served with tomato sauce and gnocchi made with butternut squash served with a browned butter sauce- but I thought I would try something different since I had 4 cans of pumpkin puree in the pantry...pumpkin gnocchi.

Did I mention that we love home made pasta??

The technique is very similar, but the flavor is all about Autumn!!

I did research quite a few recipes- I didn't want a recipe that required eggs, since I wanted a vegan option for this pasta- hey, I loved my fat free vegan (Engine 2) diet during the best recipe I found was actually from.....Martha Stewart's show!

She featured a great restaurateur, Frank DeCarlo, who made a wonderfully easy version of Pumpkin Gnocchi with Chanterelle Cream Sauce.

I did follow most of the directions, but chanterelles are not widely available here (and pretty spendy) , and we don't use cream or shallots too I made some adjustments.  I have to apologize- I didn't take any pictures of me making the gnocchi, but Frank DeCarlo does a great job explaining and showing the techniques in the video. Plus, he's a professional...I am a great home cook, but still an amateur!

I put 2 cups of unbleached King Arthur flour in a bowl. I added 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg to the flour and stirred it all together with a whisk to make sure it was well incorporated. I added one 15 ounce can of organic pumpkin puree from Trader Joe's and one cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese (can be left out for a vegan recipe). I slowly incorporated the wet into the dry, then dumped it out onto the cutting board and gently kneaded it for a couple of minutes- just to barely bring it together. You want soft little pillows, not rubber chunks :)

I cut the dough into 6 pieces and then, rolled each piece into about a 1/2 inch roll. I then used my bench scraper to cut each roll into 1/2 inch pieces. Now, you can get a very cool board to roll your gnocchi  here Gnocchi Board or use a fork to put some ridges in the gnocchi, but hey, I'm lazy like that, so I just chopped it into little pillows. It's up to you!

I made about 100 little pumpkin pillows of pumpkin goodness in 15 minutes.

Then, I did a bit of a twist that I have done in the past- there is NO WAY that Kevin and I will eat 100 gnocchi in one sitting. So, I sprayed a couple of jelly roll pans with a little spray oil, and tossed the gnocchi onto the pans. Then, I put them into the freezer for a couple of hours, and then popped them into a freezer baggie.

To prepare for dinner, I brought about 6 quarts of water to a boil and tossed in the gnocchi. They are done when they float to the top.

I made the sauce by slow sauteing 1/4 chopped onion and 6 chopped stuffing mushrooms in a little butter with 1 tsp of rubbed sage (from my garden).

I added 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup of fat free half and half and reduced the sauce. When reduced by half, I tossed in the cooked gnocchi and topped with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. I served it with a little freshly grated nutmeg.

I served it with salad and Icky IPA....yum!

These can be served with any sauce you like....they have a very mild pumpkin flavor- but remember, a little of the gnocchi go a long way!! They are very filling!
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