Zucca, Italian pumpkin, is the protagonist in this autumn recipe for handmade gnocchi served in creamy pumpkin. This recipe is perfect for autumn lunches and dinners celebrating the new wine of the season or even Halloween. Italians love using pumpkin throughout the autumn and winter season - and this recipe is a favorite.
To make gnocchi, cook pumpkin in olive oil adding a little water. Once cooked, blend until smooth with a hand blender or food processor. Put back on the medium heat, add 250g water and bring to boil. Add the flour to the pot, mixing continuously and remove from flame. Lastly, add the egg and mix well. Form into a ball and let rest at least 1 hour or if possible, overnight. Slice off chunks about the size of your fist of dough and roll into long coils about 1 cm in diameter. Slice off gnocchi from the coils about the size of your fingertip. Press each one gently with your fingertip to form the gnocchi shape, and help them cook evenly. Collect on a plate or tray and sprinkle with flour to keep them from sticking. Meanwhile, prepare your sauce. Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium heat, then add chopped onion and pancetta. Cook until just lightly browned, add pumpkin and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add a bit of water as needed and cook for about 10 minutes total until softened. Boil gnocchi in salted water for several minutes until they rise to the top. Add the gnocchi to the sauce and toss together in the pan to combine. Serve with fresh parsley on top, as desired. Variations: Use any other vegetable such as tomato, basil, spinach, etc instead of pumpkin. The important thing is the ratio of 1 part of vegetable puree, 1 part water to 2 parts flour.