I love gnocchi. I can’t exactly remember the first time I HAD gnocchi – but I’ve been in love with it ever since. I love it with pesto, with zesty fresh tomato sauce, with capers… oh just with anything.
Now, let’s rewind about a week to Halloween. I LOVE Halloween. Always have, always will. I love costumes, I love jack-o-laterns, I love scary movies, ghost stories – the whole works. This year, however, I was incredibly lazy. I stayed home and watched scary movies (Resident Evil 1 and 2).
I went out for pretty much literally a few minutes, and I checked out my friend Stacy’s AMAZINGLY decorated house , and I didn’t even have a costume. What I did instead was say that I was the movie ‘paranormal activity’, and thus started knocking on her walls and picking up stuff and pretending it was floating and going “ooOOOooo” “oooOOOOOOoo“, and in doing that , somehow I managed to break a plastic bowl. I really WAS a poltergeist!! SEE?!?!!? NO wait – you can’t see. Right. That’s the point. And, finally, there was the pumpkin I bought with the best of jack-o-lantern intentions – which stayed in my trunk until after Halloween. Oops. I resolved to cook something with said pumpkin. After all,’tis the season to make a lot of stuff with pumpkins, and really, pumpkins can be pretty huge.
I sliced it down the middle, and then in to a few pieces – and then cut out the guts. I took those guts – and seperated out the seeds. (I took those seeds the next day and, at the suggestion of my friend Heather, toasted them in the oven with a little olive oil and sea salt – delish!)
Anyhow, as for the pumpkin, i cut it in to a bunch of little pieces, put it on a few pieces of tin foil that I tried to fashion as some sort of bizarre quasi-pan-thing – and put it on the top shelf of the oven with a cake pan filled with water on the bottom to.. I dunno.. steam it?! I have no idea.
I set the oven to.. something.. maybe 400?! ANd then baked it for.. some time. You see how much of a perfectionist I am? I know – it’s painful. Try to keep up.
At any rate, this eventually led to nice soft pumpkin that I was too lazy to puree so I put it in a bowl in the fridge and let sit over night.
The next day, I pulled up a gnocchi recipe and pureed the pumpkin – and when THAT went horribly wrong I made some really weird pumpkin cornbread stuff that was actually pretty tasty.
The next day after THAT, I took the little bit of pumpkin I had left and resolved to try again. This time, instead of following a recipe, all I did was add flour to the pumpkin until it was the right consistency, and also added salt and allspice to taste ( you can use fresh nutmeg if you have it – I didn’t – and allspice seemed pumpkiny)(turned out – it WAS! HOORAY!) – light and airy – perfect for making pillows of sauce-loving deliciousness – then I rolled them out in to a snake, and then I slaughtered that snake.
When that failed miserably, I just took them as they were.
I boiled a giant pot of generously salted water, and then I cooked those gnocchi until they floated til the top – and that’s all they need. You don’t want tough pillows! I mean, maybe for sleeping, if you prefer a firm pillow, which I actually do, but I digress…
Drain the gnocchi, and set aside.
In a pan (or skillet – I love my skillet), put an unholy amount of butter and turn to medium heat melting butter until just nice and brown/golden. Add in some garlic – and things start to smell tasty – throw in some walnuts and chopped sage (not TOO much – sage is pretty strong – and, of course, if you burn it in your house it can help get rid of poltergeists) and get that all going to a nice heat.
Add in your gnocchi and stir around the pan to coat, and get the gnocchi just a little bit nice and golden brown. Funny word, that. Gnocchi. Gnocchi gnocchi gnocchi. GNOCCHIIII!!!!
Put on to a plate (seriously, I added that to the instructions. I’m awesome.)(I mean you don’t have to but it makes for nicer presentation) and cover with copius amounts of fresh parmesan and fresh ground pepper (I use a mix of black and white peppers and it’s super tasty!)
…. EAT IT!!!
Be happy. Be full. Enjoy the taste of butter and cheese and walnuts and garlic and sage and pumpkin and spices and pillowy soft delicious little morsels……. and if you’re me, and if you made a LOT – enjoy again the next night. I plan on it. Oh yes.
Happy November, folks! It’s my birthday month so, chances are, I’ll be making a cake sooner than later – and it may be ridiculous. Stay tuned!
ps. to recap, if you were to follow what I did for this the ingredients would read like this:
- some pumpkin
- some flour
- some salt
- some spices
- some garlic
- some butter
- some cheese
- some walnuts
- some sage
Give it to ‘er!!
(ps. here’s an ACTUAL recipe for pumpkin gnocchi, if all of the above makes you nervous)