Homemade pasta with a fresh pumpkin cream and crushed amaretti cookies!
Gnocchi are typically potato-based dumplings, named for their shape (gnocco means “lump” in Italian). The dough in this recipe is made with fresh pumpkin instead, which provides a lovely orange hue and unique taste. The sauce helps to magnify that otherwise subtle pumpkin flavor in the gnocchi thanks to an extra dollop of pumpkin puree. Crumbled amaretti cookies make for a beguiling garnish for this versatile from-scratch appetizer, main course, or side dish. Nutty and a touch sweet, when crumbled the amaretti cookies are just the most perfect textural contrast to the tender and pillowy pasta.
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; fork; large mixing bowl; dry and wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; rubber spatula; large saucepan or stockpot; strainer or slotted spoon; sheet pan; large sauté pan or wok; wooden spoon
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree, divided 12 ounces fresh ricotta cheese 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish 1½ teaspoons kosher salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream ½ cup fresh pumpkin puree 6-8 amaretti cookie, crushed and crumbled
1. In a large bowl, combine one cup of the pumpkin with the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and nutmeg. Mix well to blend, then sprinkle in the flour, ½ cup at a time, and gather the dough into a ball.
2. Divide the dough into sixths. On a floured surface, roll each piece of dough with the palms of your lightly floured hands into a long rope, about ¾-inch wide. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces. Transfer the gnocchi to a sheet pan sprinkled with flour.
3. In a large saucepan or stockpot, bring salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the gnocchi in batches until tender, about 5 minutes. Strain with a slotted spoon on a sheet pan lined drizzled lightly with olive oil.
4. Once all the gnocchi are cooked, make the sauce. Heat the heavy cream in a large sauté pan or wok. Once bubbling, quickly stir in the remaining cup of pumpkin. Add the gnocchi, and heat through, tossing well to coat.
5. Transfer to a serving bowl or individual dishes, sprinkle with crumbled amaretti cookies and freshly grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.
Makes 8 appetizer servings or 4 main-course servings.
“I first tried this combination at Fred's at Barney's New York ages ago where they served a pumpkin tortellini with amaretti cookies. These cookies bring back fond summer memories from my childhood where a huge orange tin of these paper-wrapped treats could be found in the guest cottage. Bringing back to life food memories in ways new yet familiar is one of the greatest pleasures.”