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White round plate with pumpkin gnocchi on a white cloth

Homemade Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Brown Butter

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Mixing + Boiling
  • Cuisine: International

Description

If you never made pumpkin ricotta gnocchi t you will love this super easy recipe. They're soft, tender, and freeze wonderfully. 

Disclaimer: the nutrition info is for the gnocchi only, without the butter sauce.


Ingredients

Scale

For the pumpkin gnocchi:

  • 2 cups (450g) cold butternut squash or pumpkin puree, see below
  • 6.5 oz (180g) soft ricotta cheese, drained if too watery
  • 3.5 oz (100g) parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 egg yolks, at room t°
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups flour + more for the working surface
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Extra salt for the cooking water 

For the blue cheese brown butter:

  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • Fresh or dried thyme (for sprinkling)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

For the pumpkin gnocchi:

  1. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin puree with ricotta.
  2. Add yolks, parmesan, a little salt (keep in mind that the cheese is salty), pepper, and mix well.
  3. Add 1 cup flour and start combining with a fork. It should be thick.
  4. Heavily flour the board or surface where you will be shaping the gnocchi and dump the pumpkin mixture.
  5. Add half a cup of flour on top of the mixture, and, with floured hands, start gathering the dough.
  6. Take a piece of pumpkin dough, and shape it into a log. You should be able to make a rope, so add flour as needed, a little at a time, and make sure you stop when you can cut it in pieces and they hold their shape. They will still be very soft. That is fine.
  7. Transfer them to a floured baking tray, not touching each other.
  8. At this point, I always put them 15 minutes in the freezer or at least the refrigerator, before cooking them. The cold will aid in them keeping their shape when cooking. 
  9. When ready to eat them, cook in abundant salted water, adding them directly from the fridge or the freezer (no need to defrost them). The water should be between a simmer and a boil. Avoid rapid boiling as it will probably disintegrate parts of the gnocchi.
  10. Once they float to the surface they are done.
  11. Take them out, draining the water well, and transfer to the serving plate. Drizzle with the butter on top, sprinkle with thyme, some black pepper, and more blue cheese if you want.
  12. Eat immediately.

For the blue cheese brown butter:

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. It will bubble and make loud chirping noises. Then the bubbles will subside and it will foam. That’s when it’ll start to brown, so watch it carefully. You want a golden color.
  3. Remove from the heat, add the cheese, and mix. Some bits might remain.
  4. Use hot or warm.

To make pumpkin puree:

I used to have a step-by-step here but we now have a whole post devoted to making homemade pumpkin (or butternut squash) puree


Notes

  • Ricotta: is an Italian soft cheese with a mild flavor. It gives this gnocchi moisture and texture. The soft type is needed for this recipe which is easily available in supermarkets and you can also buy ricotta online.
  • Blue cheese: I suggest you start with the amount of blue cheese given in the recipe and add some more on top of the pasta if you feel you want more. If your ricotta is watery, drain it through a kitchen towel or cheesecloth on a colander over a bowl for a few hours.
  • Pumpkin: if using homemade pumpkin puree it needs to be as dry as possible. You can also use canned but make sure it's unsweetened!
  • Test boil: ne thing you can do if you’re doing gnocchi for the first time is to have a pot of boiling salted water when you start making the gnocchi. Shape a small amount without adding too much flour, boil them, and taste them. Fix the amount of flour and seasonings accordingly.
  • Texture: so it's all about knowing what the right texture is, which in this recipe's case, is about being able to make a rope but not lift it up easily from the table. That way you'll get gorgeous gnocchi that freezes perfectly well; so spend some time making a big batch and then freeze them for later times. Talk about a great quick dinner. 
  • Butter sauce: pumpkin and pasta are commonly paired with butter and herbs, especially sage. The idea is not to overpower the soft flavor of the pasta. So the amount of blue cheese is given by how strong it is.
  • Organization: making gnocchi is easy if you organize your working space and ingredients, much like making marshmallows. There's no need to panic if you've read the recipe through and have enough table space to work on.
  • Ridges: I don't roll them down the fork to make the characteristic ridges, because they are extremely tender, and I'd have to make a much firmer dough (read: add more flour) in order to be able to make the indentations.
  • How to freeze gnocchi: 1) Roll the dough and cut it into small pieces. 2) Put them in a lightly floured baking sheet (image above) separated from each other. 3) Freeze directly in the sheet. When they are completely frozen and rock-solid transfer the gnocchi to a plastic bag or container and keep frozen. 4) When ready to cook, boil them directly from the freezer.

    Nutrition

    • Serving Size: 1/4
    • Calories: 438
    • Sugar: 4.6 g
    • Sodium: 472.7 mg
    • Fat: 17 g
    • Carbohydrates: 48.8 g
    • Protein: 22.9 g
    • Cholesterol: 179.7 mg

    Keywords: pumpkin gnocchi, pumpkin ricotta gnocchi