November 21, 2011

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Crisped Sage and Parmigianno-Reggiano

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So so happy. 

Late Friday night I was finally able to pick Paul up from the airport and bring him home from Air Assault School. He passed one of the toughest trainings in the Army and just as proud and excited I was for him, I was also so as happy he was finally home.

There is something special about when Paul goes away for Army, obviously all of the wonderful and amazing things he is doing for our country but it does something wonderful for our relationship as well. When Paul is away, we somehow resort back to high school when you passed love notes and giggled when you heard from each other on the phone. Of course all of this is more recently done now my cell phones, text messages, and skype but the idea being that when he goes away, we get the chance to miss each other. When you spend every moment with someone and living with them, you sometimes forget how great it can be to just get excited to call them, catch up, have a little mushy sweet-talk on the phone and actually miss them.
Anyways, that’s my long-winded view explaining how although I love him and love being with him, it’s wonderful to have the house to myself every so often with a good chick flick, a glass of vino and a surprising sweet phone call from a handsome soldier.

In the end, I am so happy he is finally back home and with an extra badge on his chest that I know just how hard he worked for and earned. Saturday came and we went to his units Hail and Farewell, where new were introduced and a special long-time veteran was retiring. It was such an excellent night with fabulous beer (brewed by a retired unit soldier himself), touching stories and wonderfully amazing people. Sunday we SLEPT IN, and it was wonderful…perfect end to a relaxing and fun weekend.
So here we are now in the week of Thanksgiving, I can’t believe that!!! I mean where did the fall go? Or was it every really ever here?

Well, either way, fall has been all over my kitchen. I had been staring at this recipe for a long time trying to decide when to make it, knowing that if I could actually pull this one off, it would be an excellent dinner, one for the books. Now, this isn’t one of those dinner that your going to throw together in 20 min and be ready to chow… it takes patience and time but I can promise you it’s all worth the wait.
I actually saw this recipe with carrots, but the soft orange coloring mixed with my obsessive love for fall cooking put pumpkin directly in my head and I couldn’t turn back. I did my research to find the absolute best version of this recipe, found it and nailed it. This dinner had substance, flavor, texture, and elegance all wrapped up into one main dish. It was perfect.

So yes, a perfect weekend and a perfect dish... all shared with my perfect wonderful guy. {haha}

Make time for each other with special meals or special moments, but also enjoy the time you have to miss each's just as special. 
Pumpkin Gnocchi with Crisped Sage and Parmigianno-Reggiano

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, about 4 medium, scrubbed
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch allspice
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 to 2 cups flour
Salted water, for cooking gnocchi
1/2 pound unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, minced
1/2 cup shaved Parmigianno-Reggiano cheese

Allow the cooked potatoes to cool slightly, then carefully peel while holding potato with a kitchen mitt. While still hot, puree potatoes through a ricer or food mill into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool completely before proceeding. Add the pumpkin puree, cheese, egg, cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper and mix well. Gradually add in enough flour to form a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Brieflyknead the dough to incorporate the flour, being careful not to overwork.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and place 1 piece on a lightly floured work surface. Roll piece into a long rope, about 1/2-inch in diameter, flouring lightly if needed. Slice the rope into pieces 1/2-inch wide. Holding one piece at a time, roll the tines of a fork against the dough until slight indentations are formed. Repeat with each piece of dough, setting formed gnocchi on a floured kitchen towel or baking sheet.
Immediately add the gnocchi to the boiling water and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes once they have risen to the top. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon or skimmer and set aside briefly while making the sauce.

In a skillet over high heat add the butter when pan is very hot. Let butter sit undisturbed until almost all melted and outside edges have begun to caramelize. Quickly swirl the skillet and add minced sage. Let cook for 30 seconds longer, season with salt and pepper to taste and add gnocchi to skillet to toss with sauce and rewarm if necessary. 

Serve immediately with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Photos by A Healthy Jalapeño 
Recipe adopted by Emeril Lagasse


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