Pumpkin (or Sweet Potato) Gnocchi with Creamy Mushrooms
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
 
ingredients:
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (fresh or canned) or 2 cups mashed sweet potato (1 very large or two medium sweet potatoes = 2 cups cooked and mashed)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 to 3 cups 00 or All-Purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Grated, fresh nutmeg, about ⅛ teaspoon
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (replace wih ⅛ teaspoon of cinnamon if using sweet potato)
directions:
  1. Spoon the pumpkin puree into a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a bowl, and let strain overnight or for at least 4 hours (I strain it overnight..about 12 hours), covered in the refrigerator. Once drained of as much liquid as possible, cook it down (reduce it) in a pot on the stove top until thick and darker in color..like the top of a baked pumpkin pie. Keep stirring it as it cooks down so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Large bubbles will open and pop (burp) when it's ready or close to ready. This is a very important step in getting a more intense pumpkin flavor in the gnocchi and a less sticky dough. Set aside and let cool.
  2. If making sweet potato gnocchi, puree the cooked sweet potato in a food processor or blender, then strain it, as you would for the pumpkin, for at least 4 hours, in a cheesecloth lined fine-meshed strainer. The sweet potato doesn't need to be cooked down, so one step you can skip. However, I highly recommend you bake the sweet potato instead of boiling or steaming it. Rub the skin lightly with vegetable oil, then prick several times with a fork, and bake at 400 F for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Also, omit the pumpkin pie spice if making sweet potato gnocchi and replace it with ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon.
  3. Combine the egg, nutmeg,pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon if using sweet potato) salt and cooled pumpkin puree (or mashed sweet potato) until uniform.
  4. Add enough of the flour into the pumpkin puree combination to form a soft dough that is not too tacky to work with. * See notes.
  5. Knead the dough for several minutes, until you have a nice, smooth ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for about 20 minutes before proceeding.
  6. Cut the ball into 4 equal pieces, then roll each piece into a long thin cylinder, about ½ inch thick.
  7. Cut the cylinders into ½ inch pieces. Roll pieces in flour, shaking off any excess, if needed. (I keep a bit of the bench flour in a pile at the edge of my work space, just in case)
  8. Roll the pieces over a gnocchi board or a fork to give them the ridges.
  9. Cook the gnocchi in salted boiling water in small batches until it floats to the surface, about 2-3 minutes. Strain gnocchi and shake off any excess water.
  10. Toss gnocchi in pan with creamy mushrooms, then serve with extra cheese (your favorite Italian hard grating cheese) and julienned sage.
notes:
*Important - If it's humid outside, flour absorption is at its worst, so I suggest not worrying about rolling the dough into coils and cutting - just cut pieces from the tacky dough, roll them in a little flour, and proceed with the fork shaping. OR, just cut off sticky pieces and throw into salted, boiling water immediately, sort of like spaetzle. There's nothing worse than heavy, leaden gnocchi, so never continue to add more flour if too tacky. Never exceed 3 cups flour in this recipe, unless you like eating silly putty dumplings!
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at http://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2011/11/07/pumpkin-gnocchi-with-creamy-mushrooms-for-src-and-squashlove/