This fall I’m kind of obsessed with pumpkins. On top of that, it was Halloween weekend and pumpkins were everywhere I turned. Even the Sunday market was in full Halloween spirit with their carved scary pumpkins on stands, so cute!
I’ve been craving gnocchis for a while now. I love them but I wanted to make a gluten-free alternative, possibly avoiding potatoes. I stumbled upon pumpkin gnocchis several times while searching my favorite food blogs so I decided that Halloween Sunday was the perfect day to tackle my gnocchi cravings and make pumpkin gnocchi. With my signature tomato salsa of course. Everyone should have a signature tomato salsa ;-)!
Getting the gnocchi dough to it’s final, workable state is a bit sticky but well worth the effort. In the end, I loved the result, the gnocchi were delicious. I think the most important advice for this recipe is to prepare everything you need for working the dough in advance, especially the flour, and to know that you’re kitchen will be very messy in the end :-). But you’ll be happy with the outcome, I promise!
For the gnocchi
500 g pumpkin, peeled and cleaned of seeds
2 tablespoons of physillium husk powder
250 g of rice flour, plus more for working the dough
50 g grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 150°C. Prepare a baking tray, lined with parchment paper.
Cut the pumpkin into cubes and place it on baking tray. Sprinkle it with salt and drizzle it with olive oil, then bake for about 15 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft. Place the baked pumpkin cubes into a large bowl, where you’ll be able to work them further. Mash them well, add the physillium husk powder to absorb any excess water and firm up the mashed pumpkin meat. Add salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of nutmeg. Follow by adding the flour (about 250 g) and grated parmesan cheese. Make a well in the dough and add the egg. Mix all the ingredients well with wooden spoon. If needed, continue adding flour in smaller doses to firm up the dough.
Once the dough is firm enough, transfer it to a floured surface where you knead and mold it into a flat circle. Cut the the circle in about 2-3 cm strips and role each strip to form an evenly wide, longer roll. Cut the roll into about 1,5 cm wide gnocchis. Make sure to coat them well with flour to avoid sticking together. It’s important to have flour at your reach during the entire time that you’re working with the dough.
To finish, cook the gnocchis for about 3 minutes in boiling salted water – they are ready when they come up to the surface of the water. I advise to add a bit of olive oil to the water to avoid sticking. Take them out of the water and place them directly into plates or into a larger serving bowl. In the case of the latter, add a few drops of olive oil to avoid sticking. This recipe will serve 4-6 people, depending on size of the portions. If you would like to make pumpkin gnocchi for less people, just decrease the quantities by half for example.
Serve the gnocchis with a few spoonfuls of tomato salsa and garnish with fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese. You can also enjoy then simply with olive oil or butter and grated parmesan cheese, add some garlic and sage, if you like or play with your favorite sauce. Whatever you will choose they will be delicious!
For the tomato salsa
850 g of fresh tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion
50 cl white wine
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
100 ml of tomato puree
10 sun-dried tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of chili flakes
2 teaspoons of coconut sugar or raw cane sugar
1 tablespoon of fresh basil, finely chopped
Heat the olive oil in a pot and add the finely chopped onion. Cook the onion for a few minutes mixing constantly, until light brown. Add the white wine and the minced garlic, cook until almost all the wine has evaporated. Add the chopped tomatoes, the tomato puree and the sliced sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for about 15 minutes in a covered pot, so the tomatoes can start breaking down. Uncover the pot and add the spices: salt, pepper, chili flakes and the sugar. Continue cooking in the uncovered pot for another 15 minutes, until the excess water evaporates almost entirely and the salsa reaches a thicker consistency. Before the end of the cooking process, stir in the finely chopped basil. When the salsa is cooked, move it away from the heat and stir in a few drops of olive oil.
The salsa is excellent fresh but you can also freeze any remains for later use. This is my favorite spaghetti sauce and I love to keep it ready-made in the freezer for all my pasta cravings. It’s also an excellent pizza sauce :-).