Yes, I am Italian! I am SURE that everyone knows this by now. Hopefully y'all aren't sick of my pasta dishes yet. This recipe is crazy good, and actually not as difficult as one may imagine. However, I don't recommend beginning your first batch at 9pm like I did. Now THAT was a long night! At least it was worth it. The fried sage and browned butter are a match made in heaven! The truffle salt is optional. Yes, I said truffle salt. (I had to google it too, don't worry). This fancy version of sea salt is blended with Italy's fresh black summer truffles from Abruzzi (Yes, I had to google that also). If you decide to splurge on this optional ingredient, you won't regret it!
- 1 cup pureed cooked pumpkin or winter squash
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese (use whole milk for best results)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 3-4 cups flour (all-purpose is fine, but use cake or Italian "oo" flour as desired)
- 2-3 teaspoons minced fresh sage
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- Black pepper, to taste
- Truffle Salt, to taste (optional)
- Mix the pumpkin puree, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs and salt together in a large bowl. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well with your hands. At this point, the dough should still be very sticky. Add another 1/2 cup of flour and mix again - your goal is to get the dough pliable enough to shape into a large log. (The amount of flour used may vary depending on how moist your pumpkin or winter squash is.) Remember: You should never require more than 4 cups of flour. Cover the dough with a damp towel to keep moist.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, then add salt. Let this simmer while you make the gnocchi.
- To make the gnocchi, spread some flour on a large work surface. Cut the dough log into smaller pieces. Roll a piece of dough into a snake about 1/2 inch thick, then cut into small thumbprint pieces.
- Dust the gnocchi with a little flour, then use your thumb to gently roll the dumpling. This serves two purposes: It makes the dumpling a bit thinner and lighter, and it creates a groove that the sauce can hold onto.
- Repeat this process with each of the remaining pieces of dough, then gently pick up a few gnocchi at a time and drop them into the boiling water. BOIL these gnocchi until they float, then remove them with a slotted spoon. Lay the cooked gnocchi on a baking sheet and toss with a little olive oil so they don't stick together. I used Roasted Almond olive oil from D'Avolio's (PERFECTION). Remember: Boil the gnocchi in small batches so they don't stick together!
- When all the gnocchi are cooked, heat the butter over medium-high heat until it stops frothing. Add enough gnocchi to cover the pan in a single layer. Let them fry for 90 seconds. Sprinkle some sage over the pan, and cook for another minute. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi!
If you decide to splurge on the truffle salt (I highly recommend it), sprinkle over your masterpiece and serve warm. ENJOY!