Traditional recipes

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Sage and Hazelnuts

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Sage and Hazelnuts

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Why peel, boil and mash potatoes to make gnocchi when you can start with a package of convenient Betty Crocker™ mashed potatoes instead? Throw in some yummy pumpkin and nutmeg flavor, and toss it in a sage-scented brown butter sauce, and you’ve got the perfect homemade-ish fall meal on your hands.MORE+LESS-



cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)


teaspoon ground nutmeg


pouch (4.7 oz) Betty Crocker™ creamy butter mashed potatoes


cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour


teaspoon baking powder



tablespoons chopped fresh sage


cup chopped toasted hazelnuts


cup grated Parmesan cheese

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  • 1

    In 6-quart saucepan, heat 4 quarts salted water to boiling. Reduce heat to medium; keep water at a simmer.

  • 2

    Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, mix milk, 3 tablespoons butter, the pumpkin and nutmeg. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in potatoes. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in egg. Stir in 1/2 cup of the flour and the baking powder.

  • 3

    Spread 1/4 cup of the flour on large rimmed baking sheet. Spread remaining 1/4 cup flour on work surface. Transfer dough to work surface; knead to incorporate flour. Continue to knead 2 to 3 minutes longer or until dough is smooth. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Shape 1 piece into smooth ball, then shape to form 3/4-inch diameter log. Using knife, cut 1/2-inch pieces of dough; transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining 3 pieces of dough. Thoroughly toss gnocchi with flour on baking sheet to coat.

  • 4

    In 12-inch skillet, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until butter turns deep golden brown. Remove from heat; immediately stir in sage.

  • 5

    Increase heat under saucepan of water to high; heat water to boiling. Add half of the gnocchi to boiling water; return to boiling. Once gnocchi begin to float, reduce heat to simmering; cook 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to skillet with the sauce. Repeat with remaining gnocchi, adding to skillet with the sauce; toss to coat. Divide among serving dishes; garnish with hazelnuts and Parmesan cheese.

Expert Tips

  • There’s a reason we recommend using a stainless-steel skillet for the brown butter sauce. The light color of the skillet makes it easier to tell how brown the butter is getting during the cooking process. Cast-iron or nonstick skillets make it harder to see how brown your butter is getting.
  • The fresher your nutmeg, the more flavor it will have; if the bottle in your pantry is over a year old, it’s time for a new bottle.
  • When rolling out the logs of dough for the gnocchi, it’s important that they’re all the same width in diameter, as that will help to ensure they cook in the same amount of time.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: About 3/4 cup
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A
Vitamin C

2 1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 6 Fat;

Carbohydrate Choice

2 1/2

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

What is Gnocchi?

Gnocchi is a popular Italian dish made of boiled cork-sized dumpings. While there are many variations of gnocchi, it is most commonly made from potatoes, flour, and egg. Sometimes cheese, herbs, bread crumbs, and other types of flours are used but most often the flavors are in the sauce. Traditionally gnocchi is served as a side dish to a larger entrée but I prefer it as the entrée itself. When paired with rich, vegetable-heavy sauces, vegan gnocchi is a deeply satisfying meal.

Gnocchi can be bought at the store, but true with all pasta, it is much more satisfying to make at home. And the good news is that gnocchi is much easier to make than one would imagine. The preparation is similar to that of pasta it&rsquos cooked in boiling water and served with sauce.

Pumpkin and chestnut gnocchi

“Cookbooks aren’t read in a linear fashion,” my editor explained when we decided to cut up my lengthy introduction to Florentine and place bits and pieces strategically throughout the book instead. I knew it was true. I, too, with very few exceptions (Alice B. Toklas’ cookbook and Rachel Roddy’s Five Quarters for example), love flipping randomly through cookbooks rather than reading them cover to cover. Especially when they are enormous, I feel it’s the only way to really get through them.

One of the biggest, doorstops of a book I own is The Italian Academy of Cuisine’s bible of regional Italian cuisine called simply La Cucina (it’s original Italian title is La Cucina del Bel Paese). When looking for some inspiration, it’s a book I like to pull down off the shelf because you can search its pages by region, ingredient or by course (antipasto, soup, meat, fish, etc). Or you can just open casually and drag a finger down the page and let fate decide for you. Whichever way, something interesting and appetizing usually appears.

And so it was the way I came across these delicious gnocchi from Piemonte’s most northern point, the Ossola Valley, sandwiched between Switzerland and the Italian Alps.

The autumnal combination of pumpkin and fresh chestnuts adds colour and sweetness to otherwise regular potato gnocchi (you can also make this with chestnut flour instead of fresh chestnuts, which retains that distinct chestnut flavour while cutting down on the preparation time). An essentially rustic country dish, it is said to date back to the sixteenth century when these gnocchi were prepared with typical ingredients available in the mountains of the Ossola Valley.

Tossed through a simple brown butter and sage sauce, they are divine and make a rather special and hearty meal but you most often see these served with a creamy mushroom sauce made with sliced mushrooms cooked in butter, garlic and cream.

Gnocchi all’Ossolana (pumpkin and chestnut gnocchi)

  • 500 grams pumpkin
  • 500 grams (about 3) potatoes
  • 120 grams (a handful) fresh chestnuts
  • 2 yolks
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 100 grams four
  • 70 grams fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 10-12 sage leaves
  • 200 grams butter

Cook pumpkin, potatoes and chestnuts separately. Remove the skin and seeds of the pumpkin and roast or boil until very tender. Drain (if you have boiled it) and puree, mash or pass through a food mill. For the potatoes, leave them whole and cover with cold water and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Boil until a knife inserted in them passes through easily. Peel while still warm and mash or pass through a food mill. For the chestnuts, with a sharp knife, make an incision along one side of each chestnut. Place them in a pot and cover with cold water. Boil about 40 minutes (30 if they are small) or until tender. Drain and peel while still warm. Mash or puree/pass through a food mill for a smoother result.

Combine the pumpkin, potatoes, chestnuts with the yolks, nutmeg and pinch of salt. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and breadcrumbs and fold it through the mixture until you have a soft but smooth dough. Take small spoonfuls of dough and, with floured hands, roll into balls. Or, on a well-floured surface, roll out sections of dough into a long long and cut into inch-long pieces, then roll these into balls.

Prepare a burnt butter and sage sauce by melting the butter in a skillet with the sage leaves. Let the mixture infuse and keep cooking until the butter begins to brown to the colour of hazelnuts. Remove from the heat.

Cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water for a couple of minutes or until they float. Toss them through the butter and sage sauce, along with a ladel full of the cooking water and swirl the pan to create a creamy sauce. Serve immediately.

And a video…

I published this recipe recently for my column for Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera (which is nearly a year old!). I don’t always share these recipes on my blog too but today a short, sweet video interview came out that I wanted to share, a collaboration with Corriere delle Sera as part of their series, Donne di Cibo, that is close to my heart — it was filmed at my home in Porto Ercole with my husband and my mini helper making fresh pasta for tortelli maremmani with me.

09 Jun // Brown butter gnocchi and a glass of chardy

This week, I was given a bottle of Pencarrow Chardonnay 2014 to try. Pencarrow is the second label to Palliser Estate, a wine producer in Martinborough (an area of New Zealand close to my heart). I"m not going to get involved in trying to describe the wine. But I can tell you it's great, and it's great with this dish.

I love chardonnay, and I love gnocchi, and the match came about after I spent a good amount of time reading about and playing around with lots of different ideas.

The three main ingredients of potato gnocchi, browned butter and pumpkin each compliment the richness of the wine. The acidity of the chardonnay (being young) cuts through that richness, cleansing the palette. The sage and the hazelnut work well with the savoury characters in the wine, for example the slight nuttiness from the oak is perfect with these lightly toasted hazelnuts.

You can make your own gnocchi if you have a bit more time (it’s seriously not that hard and there are heaps of recipes online) but there are some great quality pre-made brands available at specialty supermarkets. If using pre-bought, this becomes a quick but luxurious mid week meal.

Add a couch and a blanket and a glass of chardonnay and you’ll be winter comfort personified.

Gnocchi with brown butter, sage, and hazelnuts

¼ cup hazelnuts (get fresh New Zealand ones if you can)

1 small buttercup pumpkin

100g good quality unsalted butter (I used Lewis Road Creamery)

1 bunch fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped (about half a cup)

Grana padano or parmesan, to garnish

Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to garnish

1. Take the hazelnuts and dry toast in a frying pan on a high heat for a couple of minutes. Roughly chop and set aside.

2. Slice buttercup, skin-on, into thin crescent wedges, and roast at 200C with a little olive oil, honey, and chilli flakes, for about 30 minutes, until golden and caramelised.

3. Make gnocchi according to instructions, or buy fresh-frozen gnocchi, and cook in boiling water according to instructions. Leave in water until ready to add to sauce.

4. In a frying pan, add butter. Heat on a medium-high heat until nearly all melted, then add your chopped sage leaves.

5. Cook a couple of minutes, until the butter starts to brown and the leaves start to go crispy. Add the gnocchi, and stir to coat in the butter. Cook for a further couple of minutes, being careful not to allow the butter to burn.

6. Remove from the heat and add lemon zest. Add the hazelnuts, and serve on a plate with the roasted buttercup.

Garnish with grana padano or parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Serve with Palliser Chardonnay 2014.

The Secrets to Soft, Fluffy Gnocchi


Rate or Review

Reviews (7 reviews)

I just made the sauce from this recipe and served it with some polenta I fried up. It was delectable! As someone who doesn't eat much butter, it was absolutely wonderful to have such a lovely sauce where you can really appreciate the flavor of the butter. The sage crisped up beautifully and was delicious. When I have more time I am definitely going to have to make the gnocchi

I loved the gnocchi and so did my family. My husband rated it. I was looking for an easy receipe after my husband said he had gnocchi in a italian restaurant and loved them. He liked this particular one very much. We added mushrooms to the sauce and I used dried sage as I didn't have any fresh leaves and I also used some garlic. They turned out wonderful. My 2 year old loved them too. Worth trying! Just plan ahead! Being eight months pregnant and with the toddler, I tired to do too much in a short time. Probably it will be a lot easier to have the gnocchi already done a few hours before you start cooking the sauce. Thanks for a great receipe.

I've made this twice now and both times it has turned out absolutely superb! Like pastry dough, the less you touch this dough, the better. The second time I made it, I found that I didn't knead it enough because as I was rolling out the dough it kept separating down the middle of the first roll. I incorporated the first roll into the rest of the dough and kneaded another minute, which seemed to do the trick.I did a side sauce with fresh Sage leaves, whole oregano leaves, garlic, butter, lemon zest and wine which I poured over the entire dish once It was all seared. this dish is time consumeing but worth it! Sooooooooo Good!

Brown Butter Sage Sauce

A quick and easy brown butter sage sauce or “ burro bruno e salvia” in Italian, ideally tossed with butternut squash or mushroom ravioli, fluffy gnocchi and sprinkled with toasted bread crumbs or pine nuts!

This easy brown butter sage sauce makes the perfect sauce for pan seared scallops , salmon, chicken and steak. Not to mention it is quick and impressive!

Serve it gently tossed with butternut squash ravioli or sweet potato gnocchi, then sprinkled with hazelnuts, pecans, toasted pine nuts or walnuts, even cranberries or brown sugar.

I love to drizzle it over these crispy sage potatoes I make as soon as chanterelles are in season.

You can use green or purple sage in this recipe, I planted the purple variety this year and so that’s what I went it. Delicious!

Quite a few of you have asked me for this recipe, so I wanted to pop in today with a little guide.

Steps to make Ricotta Dumplings with Pumpkin

Prepare dumplings

Place 400 grams of ricotta in a large bowl with 2 egg yolks, a pinch of nutmeg, the zest of ½ a lemon, 30 grams of Parmesan, and a pinch of salt. Mix using a wooden spoon until fully combined. Add 100 grams of flour and use your hands to incorporate the flour to form a tacky dough. If the dough is too sticky, add a little extra flour until it is just workable but do not overmix.

Knead dough

Dust a clean work surface with flour and flour your hands. Knead the dough very gently three or four times.

Create dumplings

Flour your work surface and hands again. Cut the dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece of dough into a long cylinder. Cut the dumplings into 1½-cm pieces. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Line baking sheet

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with a little flour. Transfer prepared dumplings to a baking sheet.

Make sauce

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 500 grams of pumpkin. Cook in the oil, tossing occasionally, for 8 minutes until just tender and golden brown. Add 30 grams of butter, 8 sage leaves and 1 tablespoon of capers. Continue to cook until the butter foams up and when the milk solids turn brown and the butter smells nutty, add 70 grams of chopped hazelnuts and toss for 10 seconds.

Cook dumplings

Cook the dumplings in a large saucepan of gently boiling salted water for about 2 minutes until they rise to the surface. You can cook them in batches if the pot becomes overcrowded.

Add dumplings to sauce

Remove the dumplings from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to the sauce. Add the juice of half a lemon and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently once or twice until the dumplings are coated in the sauce.

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Melted cheese recipes: 3 soul-satisfying dishes for when you’re craving comfort food

Readying yourself for new lockdown culinary adventures? Below, you’ll find five delicious recipes for those days when dinner inspiration feels out of reach.

First things first, you need to know how to make gnocchi, which is where Big Mamma’s authentic Italian recipe comes in. Although the ready-made stuff is a saviour when you’re tired, making your own from scratch is pretty satisfying – just leave out the spinach and hazelnuts here, and use the base ingredients to make a plain version that goes with everything.

Alternatively, Rukmini Iyer’s colourful, crispy gnocchi is a great place to start if you’re a fan of one-pot cooking. Everything is roasted in one tin for a little extra crunch, and the result is a minimal ingredient masterpiece.

Embarking upon Veganuary or just fancy cutting back on your meat intake? Katy Beskow’s roasted pumpkin gnocchi with sage and dark cavolo nero has a welcome hint of sweetness, while the vodka cream gnocchi elevates a simple tomato sauce to delicious new heights.

Lastly, Roxy Pope and Ben Pook’s vegan gnocchi will make sure you get your greens with its vitamin-boosting mix of beans, spinach and asparagus. A dinner this good in 15 minutes flat? We’re sold.

Big Mamma’s gnocchi with spinach and sage butter

Preparation time: 35 minutes

  • 240g (about 2 medium) agria potatoes or maris piper potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g spinach, trimmed
  • 80g grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to garnish
  • 170g dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 160ml whole milk
  • 60g plain flour
  • 10 hazelnuts, halved to garnish

Put the potatoes into a large pan of cold water, bring to a boil, then cook over a high heat for 40 minutes. Set aside.

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over a high heat and cook the spinach for 10 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a colander and squeeze to extract as much water as possible.

Transfer to a chopping board, finely chop the spinach until you have a paste. Peel the potatoes, transfer them to a mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher.

Add the chopped spinach, grated parmesan, breadcrumbs, eggs, milk and flour and mix well.

On a floured work surface, roll the dough into balls about 4cm in diameter. Flour your hands, then shape the dough into perfectly round gnocchi.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the gnocchi for about 3 minutes: they will rise to the surface when cooked. Reserve the cooking water.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the butter in a frying pan over a high heat until you have a beurre noisette (brown butter), then add the sage leaves. Immediately pour 1 ladle of the gnocchi cooking water into the pan to stop the cooking and prevent the butter burning.

Drain the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and add to the frying pan. Mantecare (mix) the sauce with the gnocchi with a few flicks of the wrist for 2–3 minutes.

Transfer the gnocchi to serving dishes. Sprinkle with grated parmesan, hazelnuts and sage leaves.

Gnocchi are small sensitive little things and need to be handled with great care! Seriously, though, it’s best not to knead them because that develops gluten, which will make them too firm.

From Big Mamma Cucina Popolare: Contemporary Italian Recipes by Big Mamma (£27.95, Phaidon), out now

Ricotta Dumplings with Pumpkin and Crispy Sage


Place the ricotta, egg yolks, nutmeg, lemon zest, parmesan and a pinch of salt in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the flour and very gently incorporate with your hands to form a tacky dough. If the dough is too sticky, add a little extra flour until it is just workable. Don’t overmix.

Line a tray with baking paper and sprinkle with a little flour. Flour a clean work surface and your hands and knead the dough very gently three or four times. The gentler you are the lighter the dumplings will be.

Again flouring your work surface and hands so the dough doesn’t stick, cut the dough into eight pieces. Roll out each piece of dough to form a 22cm sausage, then cut into 1.5cm dumplings (they will expand once cooked). Arrange in a single layer on the prepared tray.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat, add the pumpkin and cook, tossing in the oil, for 8 minutes until just tender and golden brown. Add the butter, sage and capers and cook until the butter foams up. Continue to cook until the butter reaches noisette stage – when the milk solids turn brown and the butter smells nutty. Add the hazelnuts and toss for 10 seconds.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a gentle boil. (If the water is rapidly boiling, the dumplings can break up during cooking.) Add the dumplings and poach for 1–2 minutes until they rise to the surface. Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon and put straight into the sauce. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss once or twice to coat the dumplings in the sauce and serve with a little extra shaved parmesan.

Note: Plain flour works for these dumplings but will make them heavier. Tipo 00 flour can be found at most supermarkets now.

Watch the video: Vegan Μπολονέζ. Άκης Πετρετζίκης (June 2022).