This pumpkin ricotta gnocchi makes the best autumn weekend dinner. Soft, pillowy gnocchi flavored with earthy pumpkin, creamy ricotta cheese, warming nutmeg, and nutty parmesan. The dough comes together quickly and gets rolled out, cut, then boiled until soft and cooked through. Tossed with a sweet & savory brown butter and walnut sauce. Serve it with lots of parmesan cheese over top and dig in!
Nothing says fall like this pumpkin ricotta gnocchi. This was actually a recipe I shared in the very first year of blogging (way back in 2014). I recently gave it a major and much needed update by making the recipe more approachable and even more delicious.
You can make homemade gnocchi essentially two ways – using cooked potato or ricotta cheese. I initially had used potato for this recipe, but in the past couple of years I’ve been making gnocchi solely with ricotta (technically known as “gnudi”).
The process is so much simpler (no baking, peeling, and grating of potato needed). And I think the end result is a tastier gnocchi with a much softer, more pillowy texture.
pumpkin ricotta gnocchi – the details
You’ll start by making the gnocchi dough which comes together quickly in one bowl with simple ingredients – eggs, pumpkin puree, whole milk ricotta cheese, salt, nutmeg, parmesan, and flour. The mix of warming nutmeg and nutty parmesan works really well with the sweet pumpkin.
For this gnocchi, the key is to not overmix the dough or it will become tough and lose its airy quality. You’re going to be working it more once you start rolling it, so when the dough is in the bowl, you only want to mix up to the point where the flour has *just* been absorbed (you should still see slight remnants of flour throughout).
Once you have the dough shaped into a ball, you’ll cut it in half so it’s easier to work with and roll each half out into a thin log shape. From here, I like to just simply use a knife to cut the dough into pieces. The knife will create a little dumpling shape.
After that, they boil for just a couple of minutes (when they float to the top that means they’re done, and you’ll want to strain them immediately so they don’t overcook) and then they’re ready to be tossed with the flavorful sauce.
Brown butter, toasted walnuts, sage & parsley, lemon zest, and honey make up this simple pan sauce that takes no more than five minutes on the stove. It’s rich, sweet & savory, and screams fall comfort food. The herbs add hearty flavor, while the lemon zest makes everything pop.
Transfer the gnocchi directly from the pot to the pan so that some of the starchy cooking water drips over. This will help the butter sauce cling to the gnocchi.
Once they’re all tossed and the pumpkin ricotta gnocchi look nice and coated, you’re ready to plate. Serve them on a large plate with a generous amount of parmesan cheese sprinkled over top!
If you’re looking for more fall pasta recipes, here are a few to try:
Braised Pork Ragu with Homemade Pasta
Orecchiette with Sausage & Butternut Squash
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Hazelnut Honey Butter
Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Brown Butter & Walnuts
homemade pumpkin ricotta gnocchi tossed in a brown butter sauce with walnuts, honey, and herbs
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup (6 oz) pumpkin puree
- 1 cup (8 oz) whole milk ricotta cheese
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 1 ¾ cups (210 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ lb unsalted butter
- ¾ cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 8 large sage leaves, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp honey
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, ricotta cheese, salt, and nutmeg until smooth. Then, whisk in the grated parmesan. Add the flour to the bowl. Use a wooden spoon to incorporate it. Do not over-mix (stop just when all of the flour is absorbed and the dough comes together into a loose ball).
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Cut it in half. Gently roll each half of dough into a long rope, adding a little more flour as needed. Cut the ropes into ½-1” pieces. Transfer the gnocchi to the pot of salted boiling water. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until they float to the top.
- Meanwhile, add the butter to a 12” skillet over medium heat. Allow it to melt and start to brown. Add the walnuts, sage, parsley, and lemon zest. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for about 2 minutes to toast the nuts. Stir in the honey.
- Use a spider strainer to transfer the gnocchi directly to the sauce, allowing some of the water to drip over as well. Gently toss to coat until the sauce clings to the gnocchi.
- Plate the gnocchi with all of the sauce spooned over top. Garnish with a generous sprinkling of grated parmesan and freshly cracked black pepper.
One thought on “Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Brown Butter & Walnuts”
Just made this tonight and it turned out pretty good. I think it was a smidge too much butter for my taste so I just spooned out the excess. The dough came together well and just used flour for rolling out. Might add a bit more seasoning to the dough next time to jazz it up, but still a good recipe overall.