I’m not sure why certain ingredients like pumpkin, sage and cinnamon have the ability to transform a simple dish into a cozy fall dinner. But as soon as that cool weather hits, I’m on the hunt for savory and sweet autumn recipes fit for a holiday but easy enough for an intimate weeknight meal.
Pumpkin-Maple Gnocchi with Brown Butter + Sage combines all of my favorite flavors of the season. The gnocchi are made with cinnamon and nutmeg, sauteed in brown butter and drizzled with maple syrup. Fall comfort food doesn’t get much better than that.
If you’ve never made gnocchi before, it’s super simple and in my opinion, fun to make. The process of rolling out the dough and forming this homemade dumpling-like pasta makes me feel like I’m in a professional kitchen prepping for that evening’s dinner service. Maybe someday…
You can serve this dish as a main course, but I think it fares best as a side dish. Flour soaked in butter topped with sugar makes for quite a rich combination, so small portions go a long way.
What are you favorite flavors of fall? We’d love to hear in the comments below!
Pumpkin-Maple Gnocchi with Brown Butter + Sage
Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup of canned pumpkin or pureed, cooked pumpkin
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt plus additional to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3-4 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat AP flour and the rest regular AP flour)
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage, plus more for serving
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
Black pepper and additional salt to taste
1. Mix pumpkin, ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, salt cinnamon and nutmeg together in a large bowl.
2. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well. Add an additional 1/4 cup of flour at a time until dough is sticky but workable. You’ll want to be able to shape the dough into a log but don’t add more flour than necessary. Cover dough with a damp towel.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a dash of salt to the water and let it simmer while you shape the gnocchi.
4. On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a large log. Cut the log into eight equal pieces. View photos of the process here.
5. Roll each lump of dough into a rope shape about half an inch thick. Cut the rope into gnocchi pieces about an inch long.
6. Using the tines of a fork, gently form indentations on each gnocchi piece to make them a bit thinner and to help the sauce to adhere in the grooves.
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until all the gnocchi are formed. Click here for more photos of how to form the gnocchi.
8. Gently pick up a few gnocchi at a time and drop into the boiling water. Allow them to cook for a few minutes until they rise to the top. Skim the cooked pieces off the water with a slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet with a bit of olive oil.
9. Repeat step 8 until all the gnocchi are cooked. Don’t add too many pieces to the pot at a time otherwise they will all stick together.
10. After all the gnocchi are cooked, heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Let the butter cook until it stops frothing and the color changes to a brown tint (but be careful not to burn the butter!).
11. Add enough gnocchi to the pan to have a single layer (don’t stack them). Let them cook for 90 seconds, untouched. After 90 seconds, stir the gnocchi around a little, add sage and maple syrup and allow to cook an additional 60 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove gnocchi from the pan and repeat with remaining gnocchi. If you have to do this step in batches, just make sure to divide the sage and maple syrup evenly into each batch.
12. After the last of the gnocchi are sauteed, transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with the leftover brown butter from the saute pan. Top with salt, pepper and additional sage leaves to taste.
13. Serve and enjoy!