The naked seeded pumpkin experiment continued this week with attempts at pumpkin gnocchi and seed saving (click here to read my last pumpkin post). We came across a recipe for pumpkin gnocchi in Amy Jo Ehman’s wonderful local eating resource Prairie Feast: A writer’s journey home for dinner, and since gnocchi is (in my experience) a little bland anyway, we decided to that my naked seeded pumpkin might be a good fit.
The gnocchi itself is made up of one egg and three cups each of flour and pureed pumpkin, seasoned with salt, pepper and (on Ehman’s recommendation) cinnamon. So I cut open my pumpkin, removed the seeds, and baked it until soft. This particular pumpkin was one that I had been careful to hand pollinate in order to avoidand save the seeds for the coming year’s planting. I rinsed the seeds and laid them out on a tea towel to dry (not the best idea since they stuck to the towel and had to be peeled off one by one).
Upon returning to the gnocchi, I pureed the pumpkin and mixed it with the egg and freshly ground flour. The dough seemed exceedingly sticky, but I decided to leave it to rest as it was.
An hour or so later we set about constructing our gnocchi: we spooned little dollops of the dough into boiling water and then removed them when they floated to the top. At this point it seemed confirmed that I’d left the dough too wet: the dumplings didn’t keep their shape and looked nothing like the well-formed gnocchi that I’ve had before. Undeterred by their somewhat unappetizing appearance, we kept forming gnocchi until we had more than enough for the three people we needed to feed.
In keeping with my experience of both naked seeded pumpkin and gnocchi, the dumplings themselves were a little bland. But we served them with our “best ever” arugula pesto (frozen in muffin tins into pucks last summer), which makes everything it touches delicious.
All in all, it was a good use of the pumpkin and a tasty meal that was fun and easy to prepare. Next time I’ll aim to add a little extra flour to make a drier dough, which will hopefully help the gnocchi keep their form. I’ll also experiment with seasoning in hopes of addressing the bland factor.
We used the remaining dough the following morning to pan fry a pumpkin pancake of sorts. With yogurt, sour cherries and homemade peach preserves on top, it was a tasty brunch. The seeds, now dry and in storage, will be saved to exchange at Regina’s Seedy Saturday and plant in the spring.
Go forth, team naked seeded pumpkin!