Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pumpkin gnocchi

This tale starts with a half can of pumpkin puree left over after I made dessert for Thanksgiving. I decided to use it to make gnocchi, which is something that I love and am pure crap at making from scratch. What I end up with usually tastes good, but are somehow denser or less squooshy than gnocchi that I buy fresh or get at a restaurant. Too much flour? Too little flour? Overkneading? Anxiety vibes harshing their mellow? No idea.

I started out by draining the puree. If I hadn't decided to make this on the spur of the moment Friday night, I would have drained it overnight. Instead, I did it over the course of 20 minutes or so, changing the paper towels frequently.

I drained it until it could hold its shape.
It was still pretty wet, and would have benefited from longer draining, but I was hungry and didn't feel like waiting.

I mixed in some salt and about 1/4 c. of parmesan and then kept adding flour until it seemed like dough, at which point I turned it out onto a floured countertop and kneaded it, adding flour until it was unsticky enough to work with. I experimented by rolling half of the dough into little logs and patting the other half into a round.

The log-rolled ones are kind of adorable:

The first round was too thin:
Those sad, flat little pieces were not going to cut it.


I boiled them in separate batches, removing them with a slotted spoon when they floated to the top:

Then I browned them separately in butter with some surprisingly non-moldy sage leaves that had been in the fridge for a really long time:
I have to confess that I ate most of the the little ones out of the pan while I was waiting for the big ones to finish browning. They were like buttery little pumpkin nuggets, shockingly enough.

Then to eat, I tore up a small ball of burrata and dumped all of the gnocchi on top. I gave it a minute to heat the cheese and then mixed it all together. The creamy middle part melted all over like a yummy sauce, and the outer part behaved like normal cheese.
Verdict: delicious. But gnocchi-like? Not really. Still, I used up a random half-can of pumpkin before it went bad, amused myself and had a tasty dinner, so I'm putting it in the win column.

[originally published on my old food blog 12.15.2008]

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