Pumpkin Gnocchi with Pancetta and Sage Brown Butter

The month of October, like the Walmart seasonal aisle, has two sides. First you have the spooky Halloween side with all the fake blood and skeleton decor your heart could desire. Then you have the warm, autumnal items. Think burlap wreathes and pillows with stitching that reads “thankful” or “blessed.” I made it a goal this month on fancy redneck to capture the duality of October with my recipes. After all, it is Libra season and balance is critical.

First up to capture warmth and fall flavors I have pumpkin gnocchi. Usually when I make gnocchi at home I use sweet potato, but really wanted to stretch myself with an ingredient I never use, pumpkin. The combination of the fried sage, pancetta, brown butter, and pumpkin together really create a symphony on the tongue with the only component missing being the crunch of leaves on the ground.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup full fat ricotta
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup flour plus more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 oz finely diced pancetta
  • 12-15 sage leaves either whole or torn in large pieces
  • Salt and pepper

In a large bowl combine the ricotta, pumpkin, flour, sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix by hand until a loose dough starts to form, adding more flour if necessary. Try and use as little flour as possible because less flour means softer gnocchi.

Flour your work surface. Knead the dough 10-12 times or until the dough is fully combined and no longer loose.

Cut your dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a log about as thick as your thumb. Cut along the logs forming bite-sized pieces. If you want to make them look more restauranty gently roll them along the back of a fork.

Get a pot of salted water boiling. Add the gnocchi and cook until all the pieces float to the top, about two to three minutes. Drain.

In a large saute pan melt the butter over medium-high heat until the melted butter is no longer foaming and starts to brown. Add the pancetta to the butter and saute until it starts to brown, about three to four minutes. Toss in the sage leaves and allow to cook for another minute. Add the gnocchi to the butter mixture and toss to coat evenly in the butter. Finish with 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper.

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