Pumpkin gnocchi
9th May 2011

Pumpkin gnocchi

By Lauren Photography by Adam

This post has been a long time coming. A year in fact. This time last year I had not long returned from a couple of weeks of design, food and culture in Northen Italy. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to travel over for Eurocucina, a huge kitchen design tradeshow held just outside of Milan.

We ate and ate and ate. At the hotel restaurant in Moltrasio, perched on the edge of Lake Como (I did keep my eyes permanently peeled for Gorgeous George, but sadly never spotted that silver fox), the waiters wore white dinner jackets and each course was presented to us upon silver platters, silver cloches lifted table-side to reveal the culinary delights hidden below. At the trade show we stood for espresso (several times a day) and chewed on Panini. While visiting a vendor near our factory in Borso del Grappa, Veneto, we were lucky enough to be treated to lunch at a particularly unassuming-looking trattoria where plate after plate of the most beautiful, silky, rich pasta was brought out to be shared among the table, along with a plate of the best gnocchi to ever pass my lips.

For the past year I have been working on and off on my gnocchi technique and this is my Australian-born, Kiwi-raised, and Italian–inspired version. Frying gnocchi is something that is very common here, but I doubt it is that authentic!


Serves 6
  • Gnocchi
  • 500g (1.1 lb) pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • Olive oil
  • 500g (1.1 lb)Agria potatoes, washed but not peeled
  • 150g (5.3 oz) high grade flour
  • 75g (2.6 oz) parmesan, finely grated, plus extra for serving
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil and butter for frying
  • Sage butter sauce
  • ½ cup sage leaves
  • 100g (3.5 oz) butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


  • Gnocchi
  • Preheat oven to 180ºC (350° F) on Bake
  • 1. Arrange pumpkin pieces on a lined baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and roast until tender (approximately 30 minutes).
  • 2. Meanwhile boil the potatoes in salted water with the skins on until tender. Drain well and peel with a paring knife while still hot. (If the potatoes are not hot when peeled they can become gluey when mashed.)
  • 3. Place peeled potatoes in a large mixing bowl, add roasted pumpkin pieces and mash until very smooth. Make a well in the centre.
  • 4. Add egg, parmesan, nutmeg, and half the flour. Mix together with a butter knife until just combined.
  • 5. Turn out onto a floured bench, season well with salt and pepper, and slowly incorporate as much of the remaining flour until the dough is no longer sticky. It is important not to overwork the mixture.
  • 6. Divide dough into thirds, and roll out into lengths approx 1 inch thick. Sprinkle with a little flour and cut on the diagonal into 1½ inch long pieces. Gently place gnocchi onto a floured tray.
  • 7. Boil a large pot of salted water. Heat a little oil and butter in a large, heavy-based frying pan.
  • 8. Boil gnocchi in batches. They will rise to the surface when cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon, and transfer to frying pan.
  • 9. Fry until golden, turning once. Keep cooked gnocchi warm in a low oven until all gnocchi are cooked.
  • Serve immediately with sage butter sauce and shaved parmesan.
  • Sage butter sauce
  • In a medium-sized pan, heat butter over a low heat. Once melted, add sage leaves and fry until crisp. Remove pan from heat and add garlic. Spoon over cooked gnocchi.


  1. lalita

    Unbelievable! this recipe is truly a delight! is there a way to make it eggless…? also can you please e-mail subscribe enable your site? such gorgeous food!

  2. Lauren

    Thanks Lalita! Personally I am a fan of using egg in gnocchi – I think it adds a little richness and helps to bind the dough. But you can certainly leave it out. You will not need to use as much flour if you leave the egg out. Start with one third of the flour and then add more little by little until the dough is no longer sticky. Happy cooking!

  3. Eden

    Aw, I was looking forwards to making this, but I can’t find a vegetarian parmesan – is it an integral ingredient? Can I replace it with something else?

  4. Lauren

    Hi Eden, you could always use another sharp, strong vegetarian cheese like pecorino if you can find it, alternatively cheddar would also work. Let me know how you get on! :) Lauren

  5. Eden

    Thanks, Lauren. I did end up using cheddar, and it turned out quite well. All my guinea pig guests approved, though the preparation and cook time took longer than I had anticipated. I think I’ll make it for my father, he makes the best pasta sauce. Thank you again!

  6. Lauren

    Hi Eden, I’m glad the cheddar worked well! Hopefully next time the prep won’t take you as long – the more practise you get the faster you can make the little gnocchi :) I hope your father enjoys it!

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