Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Alfredo Sauce

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Alfredo SauceMy favourite meal as a teenager was Fettuccine Alfredo, mostly because I didn't eat anything with noticeable parts of vegetables. Let's just say I grew out if and discovered how great they can be when cooked right. Back to the recipe though, I love making meals like this as I can involve my kids, but you also get a seasonal and definitely gourmet result. The subtle nutmeg with the smooth sweet pumpkin are fabulous together with the alfredo sauce. Pumpkin Gnocchi is a wonderful as meal on its own, but I like to make it as side so that you can enjoy the rich flavours without feeling stuffed at the end of the meal! Tonight I made it with a great bone on rib steak and salad.

The Recipe: Pumpkin Gnocchi with Alfredo Sauce
Makes 2-3 servings as a main course and 4-6 as a side

Gnocchi:
1 cup of fresh roasted pumpkin (you can use the can stuff if you want, just don't tell me:))
1 egg
1/2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
pinch of sea salt
2-3 cups of flour (this amount will vary, based on the size of you egg, the moisture in the pumpkin etc...)

Alfredo Sauce:
1 Onion very finely diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp sea salt
4 tbsp of butter split in half
2 cups of milk (skim or 2%)
1/4 cup parmesan
Fresh Ground pepper to taste

pumkin gnocchi with the familyIn a large bowl mix pumpkin, egg, olive oil, salt and nutmeg until smooth. Continuing mixing by hand while adding flour 1/2 cup at a time. The mixture will start out very sticky and probably cover you hands but as you add more flour it will start to come together in a dough. You have added enough flour when the dough stops sticking to you hands.

Separate the dough into pieces about 1/2 cup in size (don't worry too mush about the size as long as you can work with it). On a floured counter, roll the dough into long worms about size of a dime in diameter and cut into 3/4 of inch pieces. Set on a lightly floured cookie sheet until all the dough is ready. Some people like to use a fork to make ridges in the top of the gnocchi so that they pick up more sauce, but in the interest of time I usually don't.

Place a large pot of well salted water on the stove and bring to a boil (the same pot you make pasta in). At this point I like to start making the sauce. Once the water boils, start adding the pumpkin gnocchi (I like to put them in one at a time continuously until the pan is done). pumkin gnochhi uncookedonce the gnocchi float to the top they are finish. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place in a colander until all the gnocchi are cooked. Set aside until the sauce is ready,

Bring a large skillet (big enough to hold the Gnocchi after cooking) to medium high heat on the stove top and add the first two tbsp of butter, onion and salt. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, add the garlic and continue cooking for another two minutes ensuring to stir frequently so nothing burns. Add the milk and stir frequently until is boils. Turn heat to low, add the remaining butter, parmesan and pepper and stir. Add the gnocchi, plate and enjoy!

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