Manda Cooks: Pumpkin Ricotta Gnudi

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I’m a big fan of homemade pasta, but generally too afraid to make it myself. I’ve made butternut squash ravioli before, but I used pre-made wonton wrappers so that’s definitely cheating, (and please don’t tell my grandma that I used wonton wrappers to make something Italian…) I usually depend on Eataly for a homemade pasta fix, except for when it comes to gnocchi – the one thing I’m semi-confident about making at home. Again, this is sort of a cop-out, since gnocchi are technically dumplings, not pasta. And, (spoiler alert: another cop-out), I actually make gnudi more than I make gnocchi (where you use ricotta instead of potatoes), because I find gnudi to be less work, more forgiving, and more delicious. Gnudi is sort of a gnocchi/ravioli hybrid, aka the best of both worlds.

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I saw a recipe for pumpkin ricotta gnudi on Pinterest a while back, and added it to my “Make When I’m Feeling Ambitious” list. I had Monday through Thursday off of work this week, so decided it was the perfect time to tackle these babies. The original recipe was gluten free, so I substituted in regular flour since I don’t have any fancy flours on hand. I also used pumpkin instead of squash, red cabbage instead of radicchio, and bacon instead of pancetta. So… my adaptation of the recipe is below : )

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I pulled these from my “Ambitious” list, but they really weren’t that much work. It’s a little bit time consuming, and you will have to scrub doughy-flour-crust off of your counter after (or you boyfriend will have to), but it’s totally worth it. The colors in the finished product are fantastic, as was the textures. It also turned out to be surprisingly light, unlike most gnocchi/gnudi.

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Pumpkin Ricotta Gnudi (adapted from this recipe)

Here’s what you need:
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1 jumbo egg (or 2 small eggs)
1/4 cup grated parmesan + more for garnish
1 teaspoon salt
a pinch of nutmeg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 slices bacon
1/4 small head of red cabbage, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped + more for garnish
1/4 toasted walnuts, chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon
black pepper

Here’s what you do:
To make the gnudi: Whisk together pumpkin, ricotta, egg(s), parmesan, salt and nutmeg. Stir in flour a bit at a time. The dough will be sticky, but shouldn’t be sticking to the sides of the bowl. Scrape dough out onto a floured surface, and invert the bowl over the dough. Let rest 15-30 minutes. Knead the dough a few times, then divide into six portions. Roll each portion out into a rope about 3/4″ thick. Use a knife to slice into 1″ pieces. Use a fork dusted with flour to make indentations in the gnudi, and place on a flour-dusted surface.
To cook the gnudi: Once you have everyone assembled, bring a pot of salted water to boil. Carefully drop about half of the gnudi in. You don’t want to over-fill the pot, but it’s okay if they touch! Once everyone has floated to the top, cook for an additional minute, the scoop out with a slated spoon and set aside. Cook the next batch.
To assemble the dish: Cook the bacon until crispy in a cast-iron skillet. Remove from heat, but don’t clean the skillet. Add gnudi to skillet and cook about 5 minutes on each side, until brown and a bit crispy. (You can do this in batches too, FYI.) Remove gnudi from pan. Add red cabbage and cook until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Add bacon, gnudi, walnuts and parsley, stirring to combine. Squeeze lemon juice on top, and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Divide between two dishes, and top with extra parmesan and parsley.
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