Pumpkin Gnocchi with Apple Bacon Sauce
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used canned this time)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if you can)
2 to 2 1/2 cups flour (I use part whole wheat)
Mix pumpkin and egg together in a mixing bowl. Add salt and nutmeg and mix again. Stir in 1 1/2 cup flour. Add more flour as needed to make a dough that can be handled but is still slightly sticky. Using two teaspoons, scoop out 1 teaspoon of dough at a time and shape into little footballs then put a dent on one side and drop onto a floured board. (Use a gnocchi board if you have one, of course.) Bring two quarts of water to a boil with about 2 teaspoons salt in the water. Drop the gnocchi in the boiling water about 15 to 20 at a time. Cook for approximately 4 minutes (they should pop to the top after about 2 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and cook another batch. Keep gnocchi warm. Toss with Apple Bacon Sauce and chives and serve warm.
5 strips of bacon, diced
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
3/4 cup finely chopped apple
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup half and half
1 to 2 ounces Romano cheese
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
Brown bacon over medium high heat in a skillet. Remove bacon and set aside. Keep 1 teaspoon of the bacon fat in the pan. Sprinkle sage over fat and stir for one minute. Add apple and butter to pan. Cook and stir for about 4 minutes. Add cider and vinegar and cook another 4 minutes or until liquid has reduced to half. Take off heat. Stir in half and half and Romano cheese. Toss with gnocchi and top with chives.
Hints: The gnocchi can be topped with a simple butter or cream sauce flavored with nutmeg. It is a heavy version of gnocchi, not as light as gnocchi made with riced potato. The apple bacon sauce is good on angle hair pasta or butternut squash ravioli. That the great thing about pasta, nearly anything goes! Use your imagination and enjoy!
I love making Italian dishes. And anything is better if it has Bacon in it. Autumn is my favorite time of year and cooking in Autumn is a joy because of the abundance of fresh produce and the opportunity to be creative with it.