Pumpkin (or Sweet Potato) Gnocchi with Creamy Mushrooms for SRC and #squashloveNovember 7, 2011 at 7:03 am | Posted in Dinner, Italian, Lunch, Pasta, SRC, Vegetarian | 66 Comments
Tags: #squashlove, baby bellas, gnocchi, Mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, pasta, Pumpkin, Pumpkin gnocchi, shiitake
I think I was an Italian Nonna in a previous life. You see, I have this uncanny ability to whip up perfect, homemade pasta, whether it be tortellini, orecchiette, gnocchi, fettuccine, linguine, ravioli, etc…you name it. I was never taught how to make pasta- just watched ONE, yes, ONE, cooking show where they demonstrated pasta making and then two months later, I decided to make ravioli, and it went without a hitch. The pasta was silky – like velvet, and a perfect bite. Not one ravioli opened up during cooking.
Then I made a lasagna from scratch, pasta and all. The guy I was dating at the time lived in a predominantly Italian neighborhood. He insisted we share the lasagna with some of his friends because it was that good. The general consensus was along the lines of;
“Woah, this is betta than my Mutha’s- you didn’t really make this, did you?”
“Come on, Lis, you bought this at Fairway Market, right?” *wink wink*
What the hell?
I’m not bragging, I’m extremely perplexed by this. Don’t get me wrong, I do thoroughly enjoy this ‘gift’. However, I don’t make pasta from scratch as often as I should – and probably won’t still.
Another perplexing part is the speed in which I make it. This is why I’m convinced I was an Italian Nonna in another life. It’s like second nature to me. I kneaded, cut, rolled, cut, and rolled on a fork, approximately 2 lbs of this pumpkin gnocchi, in about 30 minutes last night. It must have looked like someone was fast forwarding me when I was rolling the dough pieces on the fork. I felt like I was on a human hamster wheel, no end in sight, until I picked up that last 1/2-inch piece of dough -PHEW! This is crazy – where did it come from??
Well.this speed came in handy for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. I was assigned the blog, Everyday Mom. I made two recipes prior to this gnocchi.from her blog. The first was early in the month - Slowcooker BBQ beef. Coincidentally, she made this from another blog for the SRC a few months ago. It was gone so fast there was no way I could get a photograph of it without having my hand bit off. Not only that, the recipe has been passed on to several people, a forever recipe for them.
Yes, it was that good. I don’t use a crock pot very often, but now I’ve definitely caught the bug. If you make the Slowcooker BBQ beef, I made two changes to the recipe. I seared the beef prior to adding it to the pot, along with all the fond and juices, and cut the ketchup with tomato sauce. 1 cup each instead of 2 full cups of ketchup.
I had already made the decision that I wanted to bake something, especially with pumpkin, for the #squashlove bloghop, so instead of doing the slowcooker beef again, I chose her pumpkin streusel muffins. Herein lies the problem. Her recipe contains molasses, and I don’t like molasses with pumpkin, as I feel it overpowers it. I also didn’t want to use substitutions like maple syrup, or more brown sugar. This led to me going to a favorite pumpkin muffin recipe of mine, and trying to mesh it with hers. Not to mention, I wasn’t making any old pumpkin muffins, I was making jumbo loaded pumpkin muffins stuffed with cheesecake and topped with a toffee streusel (coming soon!). By the time I was finished and had taken photos, I realized this was nothing like her recipe..not even close.
This is how my pumpkin gnocchi, a last minute..as in VERRY last minute, idea, took shape. She has a recipe for potato gnocchi. I simply substituted pumpkin puree for the potatoes.. a bit of nutmeg for the garlic powder, used 00 flour – and there you have it. I’m so glad I made this, because I’m in love with it. The Creamy Mushroom Sauce I decided on comes from Chef Frank DeCarlo of Peasant and Bacaro restaurants – via, you guessed it, Martha Stewart again. I played with it a bit, tweaking it to my liking. For instance, I’m a multi-mushroom girl. If a dish calls for one type of mushroom, I scoff. I love to mix different varieties, especially since they each have their own special fungi nuances that take that dish to another planet. I used a mix of oyster, baby bellas, and shiitakes. I also reduced the butter by half, and cooked the sauce down a lot longer than the recipe calls for, to thicken it. Way too soupy after only a few minutes.
This is the best pumpkin gnocchi and sauce I’ve ever made. PLEASE try this, you will want to give me two big, fat kisses on each cheek if you do! Oh, and try the Slowcooker BBQ beef too. Trust me – it will be a forever recipe for you too, and well..sometimes dumping everything in a crock pot – then coming home to a hot, flavorful meal, is just too easy to pass up.
Don’t forget to check out Everyday Mom for some yummy recipes, and I’ve got two linky’s for you to click on, this time. The first, the blue frog below to see all the delicious dishes my fellow Group A SRC’ers chose from the blogs they were assigned. The second is for #squashlove. A month long bloghop where everyone cooked or baked something using some kind of squash. Mouth-watering creations so far!
Finally, don’t forget about my giveaway to honor Breast Cancer Awareness, HERE. It’s running until November
14tth 15th, 2011, so leave a comment to enter, and you just might win that baby pink Cusinart food processor. I’m even thinking of adding another so two people can win! Stay tuned!
November is #squashlove month!
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Please join in on the #squashlove fun by linking up any squash recipe from the month of November 2011. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that
your readers know to come stop by the #squashlove event! The twitter hashtag is #squashlove.
Thanks to the below hosts of #squashlove. Be sure to visit their blogs to see their delicious squash creations!
Bakerstreet, Bloc de Recetas, Bon a Croquer, Cafe Terra Blog, Cake Duchess, Elephant Eats, Food Wanderings, Georgie Cakes, Hobby and More, Mike’s Baking, Mis Pensamientos, My Twisted Recipes, No One Likes Crumbley Cookies, Queen’s Notebook, Simply Reem, Skip to Malou, Teaspoon of Spice, The Daily Palette, The Professional Palate, The Spicy RD, Vegan Miam.
1. Put the pumpkin puree in a strainer over a bowl overnight or for at least 2 hours, covered in the refrigerator. Once drained of most water or liquid, cook it down until thick and dry. This will really concentrate the pumpkin flavor in the gnocchi. Let cool.
2. Combine the egg, nutmeg, salt and pumpkin puree until uniform.
4. Add enough of the flour into the pumpkin puree combination to form a soft dough that is not too tacky to work with.
5. Knead the dough for several minutes, until you have a nice, smooth ball. Cut the ball into 4 equal pieces, then roll each piece into a long thin cylinder, about 1/2 inch thick.
6. Cut the rolls into 1/2 inch pieces. Roll pieces in flour, shaking off any excess, if needed. (I keep a bit of the bench flour in a pile at the edge of my work space, just in case)
7. Roll the pieces over a gnocchi board or a fork to give them the ridges.
8. Cook the gnocchi in salted boiling water in small batches until it floats to the surface, about 2-3 minutes, remove and set aside to drain.
9. Toss gnocchi in pan with creamy mushroom sauce, then serve with extra cheese (your favorite Italian hard grating cheese) and julienned sage.