Pumpkins are the classic taste of fall in North America, just witness the rise of pumpkin spice in almost every pastry and drink offered from September through November. With names like Tricky Jack, Spooktacular, and Ghost Rider, pumpkins are fun whether you’re carving a jack-o-lantern for the front porch or digging in to create a delicious dish. In this recipe, the Colorado Proud team takes a classic Italian staple, gnocchi, and adds pumpkin for the perfect autumn taste.
Pumpkins can be found across Colorado, from farmers’ markets to pick-your-own patches to grocery stores. Find a local Colorado pumpkin patch in the Colorado Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch List! As every part of the pumpkin is edible (though we don’t recommend eating the stem!), they rival the potato, also featured in gnocchi dough, as one of the most versatile items in your fall pantry.
CSU Extension has experimented with pumpkins’ capabilities in Colorado, including their use as a helpful cover crop. More than 2,000 acres in Colorado are dedicated to pumpkin growing, with Colorado ranked 16th in the nation for top pumpkin production. The Farmer’s Almanac describes pumpkins as a staple in the indigenous diet and they are one of the oldest cultivated foods in the world.
Try a new twist on pumpkin with this pasta dish for a wow factor at your next holiday dinner. We promise it goes perfectly with its more traditional counterpart, pumpkin pie.Recipe adapted from Colorado based Tieghan Gerard’s Half Baked Harvest cookbook. Follow Tieghan for more delicious recipes on Instagram at @halfbakedharvest.
Yield: 4 servings | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes
- 1 ¼ cup fresh pumpkin, steamed or boiled then mashed, or 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 russet potato, cooked and mashed
- 1 cup full fat ricotta (we recommend the cheese counter at Leevers Locavore in Denver)
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- Black pepper
Sage Butter Sauce
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3.5 tbsp salted butter
- 20 fresh sage leaves
- Black pepper
- Salt (if needed)
- Line a colander with 4 sheets of paper towel. Spread the fresh mashed or canned pumpkin onto the paper towel and leave for at least 5 minutes to drain the liquid.
- Place pumpkin and remaining gnocchi ingredients in a bowl. Use a wooden spoon to mix well – dough should be soft.
- Dust work surface with flour, tip dough out, sprinkle with flour then pat into a log shape.
- Cut the log into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into 2/3″ ropes then cut into smaller sections.
- Optional: Roll the gnocchi into balls and use a toothpick to press down lightly around the ball to form a pumpkin shape.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Place individual gnocchi onto parchment paper, then tip into water. Cook for 1 minute or until all the gnocchi float to the surface, remove using a large slotted spoon and set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt about 1 teaspoon of the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add gnocchi and saute, shaking the pan, until the gnocchi is just starting to turn brown (about 1.5 minutes).
- Add remaining butter to the pan. Once it melts, add sage leaves. Stir and cook for 2.5 minutes or until gnocchi is golden, sage is crisp, and butter is slightly browned. Add salt if you used unsalted butter.
- Serve immediately, garnished with parmesan and pepper.
Try with a chilled glass of The Storm Cellar’s Gewürztraminer. This aromatic white wine is crafted in a classic Alsatian style. Silky in texture, it also shows notes of white flowers, lychee fruit, Meyer lemon, and exotic spices. It’s perfect as an aperitif or when paired with richer, savory cuisine.
For a non-alcoholic option, enjoy apple cider from Triple M Orchard in Olathe, Colorado.