Gnocchi di Zucca (Pumpkin Gnocchi with Shavings of Smoked Ricotta and Sage Leaves)
Heat Scale: Mild
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the pumpkin or butternut squash into large chunks and remove the seeds.
  2. Bake on an oiled sheet until chunks are tender when poked with a fork.
  3. Cool them enough to handle comfortably and peel them. You may either press the squash through a ricer or set the squash in a food processor fitted with the grating disk. Do not puree it in the processor or your mixture will be too smooth.
  4. With the paddle attachment on an electric mixer or by hand, stir together the squash, eggs, lemon zest, sugar, brandy, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  5. Stir in the flour and mix vigorously until well blended. The mixture should come away from the sides of the bowl and hold together. You may need to add 1 to 2 extra tablespoons flour so that the dough is not too soft.
  6. Bring a large stockpot of salted water to the boil. Scoop out balls of the dough by the half teaspoon and drop them into the boiling water, immediately sweeping them from the bottom so they don’t stick. Cook until the gnocchi float to the surface, 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. As soon as the gnocchi are cooked, remove them with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and put in a well-buttered warm baking dish.
  8. In a small sauté pan melt the butter and wilt the sage leaves briefly. Serve the gnocchi immediately tossed with the butter and sage leaves and with the smoked cheese shaved right over the top. The gnocchi can also be reheated in a 350 degree F. oven.
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