Serves: 4

Pumpkin Gnocci with Buttery Sage Breadcrumbs

Serves: 4

a starchy, dry-fleshed pumpkin or squash, such as Kabocha or Crown Prince (about 2 lbs.), halved and seeded
1 lb. medium floury potatoes, unpeeled, washed and pricked
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, plus extra flour as needed
1/3 cup fine semolina, plus extra for dusting
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1 stick unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1/4 cup white breadcrumbs from day-old bread
10 sage leaves, shredded
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with lightly oiled foil. Put the pumpkin, cut-side down, and the potatoes on the tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, until soft. (Check the squash after 40 minutes -- if cooked, remove it and continue baking the potatoes.) When cool enough to handle, scrape the squash flesh off of the skin and do the same with the potatoes. Using a ricer or sieve, puree the vegetables into a bowl. Do not use a food processor as it will make the potatoes too gluey. While the pureed vegetables are still warm, work in the flour and semolina using a fork. Add more flour as necessary to make a malleable mixture. Work in half the Parmesan and season well with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
2. Dust a work surface with semolina. Take about one-third of the mixture and roll it out to form a long, thin sausage shape about 3/4-inch thick. Cut into 1-inch lengths. Roll each piece along the tines of a fork, then in a little semolina and set on a kitchen towel-covered tray, dusted with more semolina. Repeat with remaining mixture.
3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Heat half the butter in a skillet over medium heat with the garlic. Let the garlic sizzle for a few minutes, then add the breadcrumbs and half the sage. Fry gently until the breadcrumbs turn crisp and golden brown. Discard the garlic. In a separate pan, melt the remaining butter, add the remaining sage and keep warm. When the water boils, turn it down to a simmer and cook the gnocci in batches until they bob to the surface, then cook for 1-2 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a warmed serving dish. Toss with the butter and sage, then with the breadcrumbs. Serve immediately, offering extra Parmesan.

From the Cooking with Pumpkins and Squash cookbook.

From the Cookbook

Cooking with Pumpkins and Squash

Cooking with Pumpkins and Squash

Photos By: Peter Cassidy
Photo By: Peter Cassidy

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