Creamy and delicious, pumpkin gnocchi made with spinach, pine nuts and a brown butter sauce is perfect for celebrating the holiday season. It’s very healthy and easy to make as well!
This month is pumpkin everything month. I always try to make something with this colorful and flavourful vegetable as its very healthy and one of my favorites, so this year I decided to try making pumkpin gnocchi. Gnocchi is basically little dumplings made with potato. Traditionally they are made with white potato but I decided to change things a bit, and make them healthier by using yam instead. I served them with a delicious brown butter sauce, wilted baby spinach and pine nuts, and the results were spectacular.
I served the gnocchi on it’s own as a formal dinner entree. The next day, I had the leftovers with a salad for lunch. So yummy either way and you can freeze the gnocchi as well for thawing and eating at a later date.
Making pumpkin gnocchi
Gnocchi seems like a very sophisticated dish but it’s surprisingly easy to make. Just combine the ingredients in one bowl and gently stir until combined. Be sure to not overmix the dough. That will make your gnocchi hard and dense. You want the gnocchis to be light, so just mix until mixed.
To shape the gnocchi take a 3/4 cup piece of the dough and place on a well floured surface. The dough will be quite sticky so have a bowl of flour on hand to keep it from sticking too much. To make the gnocchi, you can roll out the dough or you can use my method, which is to gently pull, stretch, and then pat and shape the gnocchi onto a long snake shape. Keep doing this until the dough is about 13 inches long and 1 inch in width.
The gnocchi is then cut into 1 inch pieces. After cutting, press down lightly on each gnocchi to create the signature lined pattern on the top. Next, place the completed gnocchi on a well floured plate. Make sure none of them are touching as they will stick together. For this recipe it will fill one large dinner plate and one fullsize baking sheet.
Boil gnocchis by dropping them individually into a medium large pot of boiling water. Once they float to the top, about 20-30 seconds, remove with a slotted spoon and place in a colander to drain. Repeat until all the gnocchis are cooked.
After the gnocchi is cooked, heat a non stck frying pan over medium high heat. Add a little oil and fill a with pan the gnocchi. Fry them without stirring them, gently shake the pan instead, from time to time, until the bottoms is browned. Then give the pan a quick stir fry and place gnocchis in a large mixing bowl. Repeat until all the gnocchis are fried.
Making brown butter sauce
Next, you want to make the sauce and additions. Start by dry roasting the pine nut over medium heat. This only takes a few seconds in a hot pan. Remove once slightly browned and set aside.
The next step is to make the browned butter sauce. Start by adding a little olive oil to the pan. Add a few sage leaves and a large smashed and minced garlic clove. Brown them in the little oil until sage leaves are slightly crisp. Remove them and add the vegan butter and seasonings to the pan. Stir until slightly brown. Once done, pour over the gnocchi in the large mixing bowl.
The final step is frying the spinach. I just pan fried the spinach in the remainders of the sauce. This only takes a few seconds. When barely wilted, add the gnocchi and stir fry until everything is well heated.
Perfect for the holidays
To serve the gnocchi, place on individual plates and top with pine nuts . Serve them with vegan parmesan and freshly ground pepper as well if you like. They are best served warm.
Pumpkin gnocchi is a wonderful recipe to celebrate this time of the year. They’re light and satisfying, healthy and decadent, and dressy enough for a formal family dinner or for a holiday dinner for one. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Gnocchi with Spinach,Pine Nuts and Brown Butter Sauce
- 1 medium large yam Peeled, boiled and mashed
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 chia egg 1 tablespoon chia seed mixed with 3 tablespoons water, let sit for 15 minutes and stir.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cups spelt flour more as needed
- 1 teaspoon stevia seasoning or commercial salt free blend
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- A few sage leaves
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon Spelt flour
- 1 tablespoon coconut cream
- 1/2 cup starchy water leftover from boiling the gnocchi
- 2 teaspoons olive oil for frying
- 2 packed cups raw baby spinach
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts for garnish
- 1/4 cup vegan parmesan for garnish
- Fresh ground pepper optional
- Peel and boil the yam until tender. Drain and mash yams well.
- Combine the mashed yam with the pumpkin puree in a large mixing bowl. Add the chia egg and stir until well mixed. Add the flour and stevia seasoning. Mix well but don’t overmix.
- Turn dough onto a well floured surface and form into a loaf shape.
- Cut off 3/4 cup of the dough and gently pull, pinch and pat down until it forms a rope shape, about 13 inches in length. You can also gently roll it. Cut into bite sized pieces.
- Press each gnocchi with a fork to create a line pattern on top. Place finished gnocchi pieces on well floured plates or baking sheets (this recipe fills 4 plates or two large baking sheets).
- Bring a medium large pot of water to boil. Add the gnocchi, carefully, one at a time, to the water. Work in batches and don't overcrowd the pot.
- When the gnocchis rise to the top of the pot, about 20-30 seconds, immediately remove them with a slotted spoon. Place them in a colander to drain. Once all the gnocchis are cooked, reserve the boiling water and set aside.
- Frying gnocchi: Add 2 teaspoon of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet. Add enough gnocchi to fill the pan.Pan fry the gnocchi, gently shaking it but not stirring, so one side will be lightly crispy and browned and the other side, still soft. Once cooked place in a large mixing bowl. Repeat until all the gnocchis are cooked.
- Toast the pine nuts in a dry non stick pan for a minute or less until slightly browned. Set aside.
- In the same pan, over medium heat add the vegan butter, sage leaves, and minced garlic. Let the garlic and sage cook for a few minutes over low heat. When the sage leaves are starting to get crispy, remove from the pan. Let butter brown slightly.
- Add the flour to the pan, and stir well. Add the coconut cream and stir well. Add the starchy water slowly while stirring. When well heated, pour over the gnocchi. If there are any lumps, you can strain it through a sieve.
- Pan fry the spinach in the same pan for a few seconds until slightly wilted. Add the gnocchi and stir fry for a few more seconds until it's heated. Remove from heat.
- Toss immediately with the toasted pine nuts. Serve with freshly ground pepper and vegan parmesan cheese.