I know this is coming late, and it feels like ‘Everything Pumpkin’ season has already passed, but I tend to make my pumpkin things after Halloween because it’s the Jack’o’lantern guts that become my toasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin butter and pumpkin puree.
It’s really simple to make all sorts of yummy things from pumpkin guts! When my fireman and I carve our pumpkins, I get a big pot and we throw all our guts and cut outs in there. When we’re all done, I put some water in the pot so that the seeds float to the top. I scoop out the all the seeds to roast then drain off most of the water. Just boil for an hour or so and then puree and you’ve got 100% natural, pumpkin puree! I freeze mine in 1-2 cup plastic containers.
I used some of that good stuff in these delish pumpkin gnocchi. The pumpkin flavor was mild and savory, just the way I like my squash! This makes a pretty large batch. Since it was just my fireman and myself, I made up all the gnocchi and froze up half on a cookie sheet, then after a few hours (ok, overnight, I forgot about them) I transferred them to a labeled zipper bag to use one of those nights I want to have something easy for dinner.
Serves 6 – cost approx $.27 per serving (without sauce)
- 3 lb russet potatoes, cooked – baked, steamed, boiled, doesn’t matter ($.90)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree ($0 from your leftover pumpkin guts)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten ($.25)
- 2-3 cups flour ($.25)
- salt and black pepper, to taste
The key to nice gnocchi is fluffy potatoes. You can make those potatoes fluffy with a number of different kitchen gadgets; I’ve used both a food mill and a ricer with good results. If I didn’t have either of these I might try grating the cooked potatoes.
Sprinkle a cup of flour over a large cutting board or other flat surface. Put your riced/fluffed potato over the flour and make a well in the middle. Pour the eggs and pumpkin into that well and sprinkle another cup of flour and the salt and pepper over the top of the whole mess. Have another cup of flour on hand near by. (This would be a great time to take off any rings and roll up your sleeves, cause it’s about to get messy.) Start to gently stir the mixture to incorporate those wet ingredients and when a sticky, crazy dough forms, start to knead gently. Incorporate more flour until the dough is not sticky anymore but is still soft and tender.
Put a pot of water on to boil about now-ish.
To form the gnocchi, get a small knife (or bench cutter) and cut off about 1/4 of the dough. On a floured surface, roll out into a long roll about 1/2 inch to 1 inch diameter. Cut off small, bite size pieces and flour them lightly. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
To cook your delicious little morsels, gently drop into boiling water and cook about 3-5 minutes. The will float when they are done. Toss gently into any sauce you like!
For a simple dish, I caramelized some onions and some smoked sausage in butter then tossed in my yummy little pumpkin gnocchi.