Monday, September 03, 2007

Butter-Fried Pumpkin Gnocchi

A foray along our garden fence through the forest of basil and tomatoes that guard it revealed, hurrah, our first fall pumpkin. With any squash, my first move is always to cut it in half, put it on a pan with a 1/2" of water, throw it in the oven at 350*F---and then use the next 45 min-1 hour while it cooks to thumb through all my recipe books deciding what to do. Soup, pies, pasta---squash is the reason I don't groan at the creeping cold. Happy September, and here's a really easy recipe that I'm making right now. Literally. There's flour on the keyboard.

Butter-Fried Pumpkin Gnocchi

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon (generous) baking powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour

3 tablespoons butter (I used Ronnybrook, as always)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Whisk pumpkin, egg, salt, nutmeg and baking powder in large bowl to blend. Mix in flour (dough will be soft).

Dip 1/2-teaspoon measuring spoon into boiling water to moisten. Scoop up generous 1/2 teaspoon of dough and return spoon to water, allowing dough to drop. Working in 2 batches, repeat dropping 1/2 teaspoonfuls of dough into water, first dipping spoon into water to moisten each time. Boil dumpling until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to colander and drain.

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add dumplings. Sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer dumplings to bowl. Sprinkle with cheese and serve. This recipe is also delicious with fried sage or thyme. The fresh leaves can be tossed into the pumpkin puree, or flash-fried until crispy to use as a garnish.

Makes 4 Side-Dish Servings.