Fall is at its full force and with it, the longing for comforting food. In this recipe, pumpkin, shallots, and garlic are roasted in the oven to concentrate their flavors. Some cream is added to create a velvety sauce, while fresh sage brings pepperiness and balance to the dish. This recipe is really easy and full of flavors. A huge dose of coziness in a plate. I used the cooking technic called “al forno” by the Italians, where the gnocchi and sauce finish baking in the oven. Topped with melted smoked scamorza for extra depth, this is the type of food to eat near a fireplace… with a glass of chilled dry Chenin such as Savennières or Vouvray (from France) or Stellenbosch (from South Africa) in hand!
A few details on the ingredients
- I used pumpkin in this recipe can be replaced by other types of squash such as butternut or red kuri squash.
- Good quality gnocchi is obviously key! Try this homemade gnocchi recipe or make sure to use high-quality Italian potato gnocchi for this recipe!
- Smoked scamorza is one of the stars of the show. The smokiness of the cheese compliments the pepperiness of the sage and the sweetness of the pumpkin beautifully. Search for Scamorza Affumicata at your nearest cheese shop.
- Fresh sage leaves bring a kick and a depth of flavor to the recipe. I prefer using fresh sage for the extra pepperiness but dried sage would work well too.
🍷Wine Pairing for Sage, Pumpkin and Smoked Scamorza Gnocchi Bake
My wine pick for this recipe is Chenin Blanc! Chenin Blanc is a grape variety that is very versatile and can produce wines that can range from bone dry to sweet, and can be still or sparkling. With the Sage, Pumpkin, and Smoked Scamorza Gnocchi Bake, I recommend a dry and smoky Chenin wine.
Chenin wines usually display aromas of apple and honey, with sometimes a steely or smoky character. Perfect to complement the smokiness of the Scamorza and the lusciousness of the pumpkin sauce.
WINE APPELLATION SUGGESTIONS
Dry Savennières (Loire Valley, France)
Dry still Vouvray (Loire Valley, France)
Dry Chenin (also locally called “Steen”) from Stellenbosch (South Africa)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The Sage, Pumpkin and Smoked Scamorza Gnocchi Bake leftovers can be kept for up to 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
You sure can! One teaspoon of dried sage in the pumpkin sauce will do the trick (+ a pinch sprinkled on top).
I do not recommend freezing the finished dish. You can, however, freeze the pumpkin sauce for up to 1 month. When you are ready to use it, thaw it, cook the gnocchi, add the gnocchi water to the thawed sauce, and proceed as written in the recipe.
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Other delicious European-inspired recipes
28.2 ounces (800 g) of pumpkin (or any squash you like), peeled and cut into 1.2 inches (3 cm) cubes
2 shallots, peeled and cut in half, lengthwise
4 medium cloves of garlic, with their skin on
2 tablespoons (20 ml) of extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup (200 ml) of heavy cream
½ cup (120 ml ) of the gnocchi cooking water
10 big fresh sage leaves, thinly chopped (plus extra to fry and serve)
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
⅛ teaspoon of white pepper
28.2 ounces (800 g) of good quality store-bought (or homemade!) gnocchi
300g (10.5 oz) of smoked Scamorza cheese (also called Scamorza Affumicata), sliced into 0.2 inch (0.5 cm) thick slices
- Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).
- Place the pumpkin cubes, shallots, and garlic cloves (make sure you leave the skin on) on a sheet pan or parchment-lined oven tray. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and toss to coat.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden and caramelized.
- Remove the skin of the garlic and transfer it to a food processor or a blender, along with the roasted pumpkin and shallots. (If you don’t have a food processor, transfer the roasted veggies to a mixing bowl and use an immersion blender to mix everything).
- Add the heavy cream, white pepper, and sea salt. Mix for 2 minutes until very smooth and creamy.
- Cook the gnocchi in well-salted boiling water, according to the package instructions. Keep 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
- Drain the gnocchi, and transfer them back to the pot. Add the pumpkin sauce, 1/2 cup of cooking water, and chopped sage leaves. Stir until well combined.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Transfer everything to an oven-proof baking dish or skillet. Top the gnocchi with slices of smoked Scamorza and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is slightly golden.
- Optional step: fry some extra sage leaves in melted butter to serve.
- Serve piping hot with a glass of chilled Chenin-based wine such as Savennières, Vouvray, or Stellenbosch.
Feel free to add more cooking water to the pumpkin sauce to adjust the consistency of the sauce to your liking.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 60
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: European
- Diet: Vegetarian
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 502
- Sugar: 1.7 g
- Fat: 36.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 19.2 g
- Protein: 24.4 g
- Cholesterol: 382.1 mg
Keywords: gnocchi bake, pumpkin gnocchi, smoked scamorza cheese