DAY 75 - GNOCCHI (Pumpkin)

A foodie mouthfeel extravaganza; pumpkin gnocchi are soft and chewy, but also dense and doughy, with the nutty, buttery, earthy flavor of pumpkin.

gnocchi pumpkinThe gnocchi that are inspiring today’s flavor are like little pumpkin pillows of goodness. Gnocchi are basically very small dumplings. There are as many variations as there are varieties of cuisine, it seems that most cultures have some type of small dumpling.

These particular dumplings are Italian gnocchi made from semolina flour, eggs, ricotta cheese, and pumpkin with a few amazing spices tossed in. They are then boiled lightly until they are firm and dense, then drained and sautéed in butter and sage. Oh yes.
The word gnocchi is derived from the Italian word “nocchio”, which basically means a gnarl or knot of wood. (Remember Pinocchio? He was made from a knot of wood.)

gnocchi homemadeThe good thing is these little dumplings, while they may look like little knots of wood, are anything but woody or hard. If they are made right, they are chewy deliciousness.
From a culinary perspective, gnocchi are versatile; they can be just flour, egg and water or just flour and water, or veggie, egg and water. Some gnocchi are made from mashed potatoes and egg, with no or very little flour. They can be sweet or savory. They can be served as a main dish or piled up beside some other entrée. They also can be tossed on soup or part of a stew or casserole. One thing is sure; no matter how they are prepared, they are typically really scrumptious.

From a health perspective, well, they are flour, water and eggs; so potentially not the best thing on your plate in large quantity. That being said, in moderation, if they are made from quality ingredients, they can be made into a pretty healthful addition to a meal. Using non-bleached or processed Italian flours, or using organic or heritage potatoes or other vegetables, will make all the difference to the nutrient value. As an occasional mealtime treat, especially with the onset of colder weather, they are a great way to fill your tummy with hearty goodness.