Fun Food Project: Pumpkin Gnocchi

Chow on 09.25.11
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Photo: Emma Alter

If you want to do a little cooking project with your kids, making gnocchi is a great thing to do. Many recipe for gnocchi use potatoes, but this is just pumpkin and flour. It doesn't require a huge amount of time, so the kids get to see the fruits of their labour pretty quickly. Not only that, it's fun to make. I know it's probably an impossibility, but try to get the kids to handle the dough gently and not too much, or the gnocchi will be tough.

I made this with my daughter the other day, and it was enough for the two of us, so you may need to double the recipe. If sage is a bit strong for your children's taste buds, you could always use something milder like thyme.

Uncooked gnocchi. Photo: Emma Alter

Pumpkin Gnocchi

1/2 cup pumpkin purée
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
6 tablespoons whole wheat flour
6 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1- 2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese for garnish

1. Stir the egg yolk into the pumpkin. Add the whole wheat flour, then half the all-purpose flour and stir just to combine the flour with the pumpkin. Add the remaining flour a little at a time, stirring, until the mixture forms a dough.

2. On a floured work surface, knead the dough two or three times to firm it up, taking care not to overwork the dough or the gnocchi will be tough. Separate the dough into four pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Again, on a floured work surface, roll each ball out into a long dowel shape, about an inch in diameter. With a fork or pastry knife, cut the dowel into 2 inch pieces. Roll each piece across the back of a fork with your thumb to form a small indentation on one side and ridges on the other. Toss the finished gnocchi with flour.

3. Bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil over medium-high heat.

4. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over a low heat melt some butter and add the sage. Take care not to allow the butter to burn

5. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook them until they rise to the surface, 4-6 minutes per batch. Drain and add the gnocchi to the pot with the sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

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