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.