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Miscellany Monday Presents How to Not Make Pumpkin Gnocchi

…in several rambling steps.


Foster a deep love of winter squash, pumpkin in particular, that leads to compulsive purchase of the gourds at grocery stores and farmers market, even though you receive more than enough vegetables through your CSA and will supposedly receive winter squash from the CSA in the near future. Develop collection of the gourds and roast and puree some.


Read too many food blogs. Become inspired to do something unusual with the pumpkin puree sitting in your fridge and document the process using your crappy, five-year-old point-and-shoot. Select pumpkin gnocchi because– Well. Actual reasons matter not.


Find several pumpkin gnocchi recipes on the Internet. Elect to cobble three of them into your own. Select one to refer to for measurements, but Google around for measurement conversions because it seems everybody still gets out the measuring cups even though they are much less accurate and more work than weighing things using a kitchen scale.


Find a weight equivalent that seems fairly accurate. Plop your pumpkin, flour, and egg yolk in a bowl. Realize the Microplane grater you need for the nutmeg is currently in the dishwasher, which is running. Remove grater from dishwasher and give it a cursory dry-off.


Decide that “a dash of nutmeg,” as two of the recipes call for, is not enough. Grate your whole nutmeg directly into the bowl until you have a nice little pile. Inhale and enjoy the aroma.


Begin mixing the dough together. Realize that it is much too wet. Add flour.


Realize the dough is still too wet. Add flour.


Suspect that the dough is still too wet. Find more recipes on Internet with pictures detailing what the dough should look like when it’s ready to roll out into logs. Conclude the dough is, indeed, still too wet. Add flour.


Develop sinking sense that the pumpkin gnocchi is unlikely to taste of much besides flour. Add more anyway, as the dough is still too wet.


Check time. Begin to panic as you have to leave in an hour and the whole making-pumpkin-gnocchi thing is taking longer than you anticipated. Add flour.


Spill flour on self. Tell self for the fifth time that self really needs to purchase one of those cute aprons for times such as these.


Cheer as the dough finally starts to look cohesive enough to roll into logs on a well-floured surface. Proceed to do so.


Cut logs into gnocchi-pieces. Cut corners on shaping by just quickly pressing them with the tines of a fork, rather than the whole pick up and place in palm while gently rolling the tines of a fork across the dumpling’s surface bit.


Pause to admire gnocchi and mentally tell them that even though several are misshapen and they all probably taste bad, they are still cute. Even with the strands of pumpkin sticking out of some. Make note that the stick blender is not the way to puree pumpkin for gnocchi-making.


Cover in plastic wrap and leave gnocchi in refrigerator while you’re out.


Return home three hours later hungry and wondering how you will make the gnocchi palatable. Worry again that gnocchi will taste of nothing but flour. Think of the pumpkin swirl loaf you made yesterday and how, despite the “swirl” bit not coming through, it was probably a better use of the pumpkin puree. Particularly with your inspired addition of cardamom. Remember that you never took a picture of the bread. Do so now, when it’s sliced for freezer storage.


Conclude the sauce will be the key in attempting even minor tastiness of the gnocchi. Wish you had the time, and the ingredients, for a sage brown butter sauce, of which several of the Internet recipes include a variation. Settle for thinning out some apple butter with water, tossing in some cinnamon, and heating in a small skillet.


Feel dubious about the “sauce’s” unattractive brown color, in addition to still feeling dubious about the gnocchi itself. Prepare salted water to boil gnocchi.


Remove gnocchi from fridge. Select several to toss in boiling water. Pray they actually float to the top within a few minutes, as they are supposed to.


Watch gnocchi float to top of boiling water. Cheer. Remove from heat and drain. Pour unattractive sauce on top.


Eat. Enjoy the flavor of nutmeg (see, it was good to ignore the “pinch of nutmeg” instruction). Think to self that the gnocchi actually isn’t half-bad. Nice mouthfeel. Firm, but with a bit of give. And the apple butter sauce, while a tad sweet, isn’t terrible either.


Chalk it up to a semi-success.

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