Pumpkin spice smells like autumn in New York. With lattes to be enjoyed, and sweaters to be pulled out of storage, it’s the beginning of the season of giving and gratitude, and reminds us that the calendar year will soon be coming to a close. Earthy flavors, stews, and homemade bread are perfect for the cooler weather. Crockpots are well used, activities begin to slow down, and many of us start planning holiday menus and gatherings that give thanks and celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth.
Comfort food dishes are bountiful, rich, and heavy to keep us warm as the cold weather approaches. Pumpkin gnocchi is not just reminiscent of crisp fall weather in the Catskills and the Hudson Valley, it can take you to Northern Italy where the cooler weather brings out rich dishes like risotto, polenta, and the soft potato pillows in this featured recipe.
Gnocchi is a dish that often sounds intimidating and meant to be saved for special occasions. Of course, we can learn from watching Pasta Grannies, and the grace with which they hand roll pasta lovingly for their large families. The muscle memory that guides their fingers, which have been softened with time and dotted with age spots, make it look easy and smooth in the way they meld the dough into shapes and forms for each pasta variant. With this recipe, it is easy to see that with a little practice, gnocchi doesn’t have to be saved for a special occasion.
Pumpkin Gnocchi with a Bacon Cream Sauce
For the Gnocchi
50g potato flakes
20ml boiling water
250g pumpkin puree
240g all purpose flour
Mix potato flakes with boiling water in a large bowl.
Add in the pumpkin puree and stir well.
Add the egg and mix until well incorporated.
Mix in your flour and salt and gently knead until dough takes the form of a soft ball.
Once the dough comes together, cut it into four pieces and begin rolling out 1” logs.
Cut the dough into small pillows and give them a squeeze.
Salt your water for boiling the gnocchi. It should taste like the sea.
Cook your gnocchi in small batches, when they float they are done.
For the Sauce
50g of salted butter
2g of fresh sage chopped
10g minced garlic
100g cooked bacon bits
60ml cooking cream
200 ml starch water
100g grated Asiago
In a saucepan fry the sage in the butter on medium low heat to release the oils.
Add the garlic and be careful not to brown.
When the garlic is soft, add in the cooked bacon bits.
Add the cream and mix to combine.
Add in the starch water from where you cooked the gnocchi.
Combine thoroughly and add the gnocchi, to coat.
Mix in the grated cheese and serve immediately.
Garnish with crispy sage.
The smoky taste of the bacon, the crisp pungent smell of the sage, and the cheesy sauce that coats the pumpkin pillows surely makes kids of all ages happy. This hearty meal is perfect for cooler weather, but looks great on the table when sitting down for some sweet and savory treats come end of the month.
Celebrating Halloween with the kids in costumes, usually brings us out of the house for chocolate and sweet treats. Even if we will not be scampering around town in costumes for the second time, we can still create lasting memories for the kids with simple celebrations at home that are family friendly and good for all. These end-of-the-year gatherings offer opportunities to create festive fall dishes for the adults, and kitschy themed treats for the kids.
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