Pumpkin Gnocchi with Walnut Pesto

October 23, 2014
4 Ratings
Photo by Meike Peters
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is a perfect autumn treat: golden pumpkin gnocchi with an aromatic walnut and parsley pesto. The fluffy gnocchi are easy to prepare -- just keep in mind that you shouldn't mix in the flour until the dough is absolutely cold. For this recipe, I like to use Hokkaido pumpkin with its skin on or peeled butternut or Musquée de Provence pumpkin. —Meike Peters | eat in my kitchen

What You'll Need
  • For the walnut pesto:
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) walnuts, plus a few for the topping
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup (110 millilters) olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • For the pumpkin gnocchi:
  • 21 ounces (600 grams) pumpkin, cut into 1-inch (2 1/2-centimeter) cubes
  • 7 ounces (200 gram) potatoes, cut into 1-inch (2 1/2-centimeter) cubes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10 ounces (280 grams) plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons (leveled) salt
  • Grated nutmeg, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  1. For the walnut pesto:
  2. Pulse all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and season with salt and pepper to a taste. If the pesto is too thick, add more olive oil until it's your desired consistency.
  1. For the pumpkin gnocchi:
  2. Cook the pumpkin and potato cubes in lots of salted water until soft (about 15 minutes).
  3. Take them out of the water with a slotted ladle and drain them (push them gently with a spoon and make sure that no additional water comes out).
  4. Press the drained potatoes and pumpkin through a potato ricer and remove any water that comes out as you press.
  5. Mix the warm pumpkin and potato mixture with the egg yolks and the butter and put it in the refrigerator until it's completely cold.
  6. Bring plenty of salted water to the boil in a large pot.
  7. With a spoon, mix the cold potato and pumpkin mixture with the flour, salt, nutmeg, and pepper until combined. If the texture is too sticky, mix in more flour, adding it in small increments.
  8. Dust your hands with flour and work in batches to roll the dough into sausage shapes (about 1/2-inch or 1-centimeter thick) on a well-floured working surface. Cut off gnocchi in 1-inch (2 1/2-centimeter) lengths and put them on a well-floured baking sheet.
  9. Turn the heat under the pot to medium so that the water is simmering and cook the gnocchi in batches. When the gnocchi start to come up and float on the surface, take them out with a slotted ladle and drain them. Keep the gnocchi in a covered ovenproof dish in the warm oven (210° F/100° C) until the last batch is done.
  10. Serve the gnocchi sprinkled with the pesto and some crushed walnuts.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AniaSweets
  • Heidi Vaught
    Heidi Vaught
  • Kira Fickenscher
    Kira Fickenscher
  • Meike Peters | eat in my kitchen
    Meike Peters | eat in my kitchen

8 Reviews

Heleyde November 17, 2016
How long does it take for the warm pumpkin and potato mixture to cool in the refrigerator just after the boiling and using the ricer? Want to make sure I plan ahead. Thank you!
Meike P. November 17, 2016
That's hard to say. I always let it cool at room temperature first before I put it in the fridge. To be on the safe side, you can prepare the pre-mixture a few hours in advance (3-4 hours), or even the night before, and keep it in the fridge until you finish the gnocchi. Also keep in mind that shaping the gnocchi will take some time too!
AniaSweets November 15, 2016
These were soooo good! We threw in a fresh garlic clove into the pesto because garlic! I also made the mix minus the flour the day before and it worked great. I briefly put the gnocchi in the freezer before cooking just to firm them up (was so worried they would fall apart) and it worked really well. I'm sure they would have been fine with out the freezing but it definitely gave them a little boost. Looking forward to making more :)
Meike P. November 15, 2016
That sounds great! Gnocchi can be quite moody, sometimes they come prefect, firm and spongy, and sometimes they can be too soft. I'm glad it worked out well :)
Heidi V. October 30, 2016
How well does the gnocchi freeze? Or can I serve it a few days later? I'm searching for the perfect healthy recipe I can make ahead of time and send to my boyfriend's family thanksgiving since we won't be able to make it there in person.
Meike P. October 31, 2016
Dear Heidi, gnocchi freeze well, I like to warm them up in hot butter until they are golden brown. They also taste great in combination with sage butter (fresh sage leaves cooked in sizzling hot butter for a few seconds). Enjoy!
Kira F. November 13, 2014
Excellent recipe! I didn't have the right quantities of things so I adjusted wildly and seem to have done a decent job because it turned out delicious. I had a can of pumpkin (15 oz) and 2 lb russet potatoes and went with that. I bought a potato ricer just for this recipe and it was easy and fun (obvi didn't bother on the canned pumpkin). I upped to 4 egg yolks since I had added so much potato, used about 2 cups flour, and decreased salt to 2 tsp. Added to the pesto some leftover sage, garlic, and sautéed 1/2 lb cherry tomatoes. Also tossed the pesto with the gnocchi to keep it from sticking. Seems like a flexible recipe! Loved it!
Meike P. November 13, 2014
Thank you, that sounds great! I didn't know my recipe was so flexible, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I like the added tomatoes, I'll try that next time!