Potato Gnocchi with a Tomato, Pumpkin & Mushroom Sauce

Potato gnocchi have my heart, always. On a chilly, rainy and foggy autumn night,  potato gnocchi can put a smile the face and warm the belly, like nothing else. I found these dried wood ear mushrooms at a health food store and I couldn’t leave without them, I had to give them a try and thought they would look great on a plate during Halloween…on a dark and creepy night…Muuwaaahhaaa…( couldn’t resist. lol)

  • 1 pound potato gnocchi
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 4 tablespoons good marinara sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light cream
  • 1 sage leaf
  • 1 heaping tablespoon dried wood ear mushrooms *
  • fresh ground pepper
  • sea salt
  • Parmesan cheese *optional

           *You can use any dried mushrooms you like, if they are larger, just chop them down to size.

First begin by rehydrating your mushrooms, according to the package instructions, about 30 minutes in hot water, until the mushrooms get soft. Just add enough water to cover them by about an inch. Cook your gnocchi according to the package instructions, about 2-3 minutes, until they float, drain and set aside. Into the same pot, melt the butter and add the pumpkin puree, marinara sauce, cream and sage. Simmer for about 5 minutes and add the mushrooms, 2 tablespoons of the mushroom liquid and the gnocchi, until heated through. Pass around a wedge of Parmesan cheese, so everyone can help themselves. Serves 2-4. If serving 4, round out the meal with a soup and salad, I don’t know about you, but gnochhi are addicting and a nice big bowl makes a rainy and chilly night, all the warmer. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Rosemary Mushrooms

The cooler weather has me craving good old comfort food, that sticks to your ribs and leaves you happy. And gnocchi never disappoint! I had about a cup of pumpkin puree left over from making my “Corn & Pumpkin Soup with Wild Rice” (October 2nds’ post) and wanted to make gnocchi. I never made them before and was excited and I used Hank Shaws’ recipe that was featured on Simply Recipes and it came out great! What a nice recipe! I adapted it a little bit because I was in a rosemary and mushroom mood, and when a rosemary and mushroom mood hits, you gotta go with it! lol Nice recipe to make on a weekend where the leaves and temperatures are falling outside but the temperature inside is nice and warm from the gnocchi boiling away on the hot stove. Enjoy and happy weekend!

  • 1 cup of pureed pumpkin
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups sifted flour plus more for dusting
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon finely minced rosemary plus 1/4 teaspoon finely minced for mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot
  • 10 oz. baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • sea salt
  • 1 porchini mushroom bouillon cube *optional
  • chives for garnish *optional

First combine the pumpkin, ricotta cheese and eggs. Stir in the rosemary, pepper and sea salt. Put your mixture in the middle of a large board. Using a fork, add in the flour, little by little. I did about 1/2 a cup at a time. Once the dough was too thick to mix, I used my hands to incorporate the flour. If doing this, it’s best to have a buddy next to you, adding in the flour for you. The dough will still be sticky but form it in a ball and transfer it to a board that is coated with flour. If you can, roll your ball in flour or with your hands rub more flour on the surface of your dough. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 4 pieces.

Take each ball and form into about a foot long log, rolling and pulling the dough along. Cut your log into about 1/2 inch strips. As you cut it will flatten the dough so squeeze the ends of each cut strip with your fingertips to make it more of a gnocchi shape.

Bring your water to a boil and add in your bouillon cube. If not using the bouillon, that’s fine, you can use sea salt. You want enough water in the pot, so the gnocchi have room to cook. Drop in your gnocchi, a little at a time, in about 8 batches. I rolled, cooked along the way, each gnocchi roll was cooked in 2 batches. But for ease, having all the gnocchi formed and then boiling them is best. Cook them for 2 minutes each until they start bobbing up towards the surface. You want the broth boiling on high heat. Using a strainer spoon, take the gnocchi out and let them drain in a colander. Cook all of your gnocchi and set them aside, reserving a little bit of the cooking liquid. To make your rosemary mushrooms, in a large, heavy bottomed pan, combine the butter and the shallots. Saute on low heat until softened for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add in in the mushrooms and saute for ten minutes, until they get lightly browned. Add in 2 tablespoons of the broth, if not using broth, you can skip this step. Continue cooking your mushrooms for another 15 minutes. Once your mushrooms are soft, increase the heat to high, until most of the liquid is evaporated. It doesn’t take that long, but it really depends on how much liquid the mushrooms have released. Add in your gnocchi and the rosemary. Season with sea salt and saute until the gnocchi are browned a little bit. Add in the heavy cream and stir until the cream has thickened. Garnish with chives and enjoy nice and hot! This makes 4 servings.