"The key to all-things pumpkin is actually using fresh pumpkin in your recipes. Out of all the varieties available this season, my favorite one to work with is still the big orange pumpkins. Pick out a medium sized, about 6lbs, it's easier to carve and roast. The other tip to pumpkin-flavored everything is getting the right balance of pumpkin in your recipes. Try to pair pumpkin with yams, potatoes, roasted pumpkin is great in a rice risotto and with pasta, it's beautiful with lamb or holiday turkey. And for that extra pumpkin kick, finish your dish with a few drops of pumpkin seed oil. It's expensive, but you can splurge a little because in this recipe it's the only expensive ingredient. This recipe is so versatile, you can serve the gnocchi as an entree or a side, add an egg for a brunch item, and you can make-ahead during the week, and freeze for the weekend."
Natasha Pogrebinsky, BA '05
Chef and Owner, BEAR NYC
Makes 6+ portions:
1 Medium Pumpkin
4 lbs yams
1 lb baking potato (Russet)
2 cups AP flour
2 sprigs of thyme
1 sliced garlic clove
1/8 lb butter
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Fresh herbs for garnish: chives, parley, or dill.
Optional: choice of cheese for garnish (ricotta, parm, manchego, etc,)
Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
Cut the pumpkin in 2 halves and remove the seeds. Wash the seeds and bake to have as a snack later.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and vegetable oil: Bake for 20 minutes at 375F. It should be tender when you pierce it with a fork.
Bake the yams and potatoes on a baking sheet until fully cooked and tender (about 35 minutes)
Remove the "meat" of the pumpkin using a spoon into a mixing bowl.
Remove the skins of the baked yams and potatoes and discard.
Now do the "swirl" - Mix the baked yams, potatoes and pumpkin - the mixture should be doughy and streaky, you should see steaks of pumpkin mixed in with white potato and yams.
Allow to cool to room temp.
Season with Salt and Pepper, Sift the flour directly into the mix and fold until it forms a ball.
Let rest 20 minutes.
Now you can shape the gnocchi - traditionally gnocchi is shaped into batons, but you can make squares or golf-balls, have fun and be creative.
Lay them out in one layer on a sheet or a plate, now you can freeze them or cook.
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and then let it simmer slowly. Salt the water.
Drop the gnocchi in a few at a time (don't overcrowd the pot.)
When the gnocchi float to the surface let them cook for about 2 minutes and then remove with a slotted spoon.
Melt the butter and fresh sliced garlic in a saute pan, add thyme, add the gnocchi and gently sear to get a little of a sear.
Plate with fresh herbs, choice of cheese to garnish and a drop of pumpkin seed oil.
"Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at BEAR-NYC!"