This is a fun dish to make especially at this time of year when cranberries and pumpkins are in season and fall flavors are all the rage! We use pre-packaged gnocchi and roasted fresh pumpkin is so delicious and easy to do. 🧡🎃🧡 Be sure to use a baking pumpkin like a sugar pumpkin for this recipe. Also, we love brown butter in almost anything, but this sage brown butter complements the pumpkin and cranberries so well, that we couldn’t resist using it for this recipe. Browning butter takes a little extra time, but it’s so worth it, and you can brown a whole pound of butter at one time, and refrigerate it for other uses like cakes or cupcakes, sauces, and for dipping French bread! We make vanilla cake with buttercream frosting using brown butter and it makes vanilla cakes so much more interesting and tasty!
All you need to brown the butter is a light colored saucepan, (or one with a light colored bottom so you can see the color of the butter), low heat on the stove and about 10-15 minutes. You want to brown the butter slowly, because otherwise you could run the risk of burning it. For this recipe, we add the herbs (sage and thyme) in with the butter as we brown it, and then we soak the dried cranberries in the butter before adding them to the final dish.
When we first set out to create this gnocchi recipe, we attempted to make our own pumpkin gnocchi, but after it turned out rubbery and tasteless, we decided to start over with pre-packaged gnocchi. They really know what they are doing and it was perfect for this dish. There are a lot of companies that package gnocchi, but I was at Trader Joe’s, so that is the one I used. Even though it seemed a bit dry when I first opened the package, it cooked up beautifully fluffy and soft and it only took about 3 minutes to cook in boiling water. This makes the recipe guaranteed to turn out and is so much easier than making your own gnocchi!
Gnocchi with Roasted Pumpkin, Cranberries and Sage Brown Butter
- 1 lb. packaged potato gnocchi Trader Joe’s carries a good one, but you can find this in just about any grocery store
- 1 sugar pumpkin, stem and seeds removed and cut into 3/4-inch wedges leave skin on
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 4 tbsp. salted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced can use extra thyme springs for garnish
- 2 fresh sage leaves, finely minced can use extra sage leaves for garnish
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries can use extra cranberries for garnish
- 2 oz. goat cheese crumbles
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- To roast the pumpkin, preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray. Lay the pumpkin wedges out on the baking sheet and brush both sides of each wedge with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the edges start to brown and a knife can be easily inserted into the flesh of the pumpkin.
- Remove from oven. When cool enough to handle, remove skins (or if you like them you can keep them on … they are edible and add extra color), and cut all but four of the wedges into bite-sized pieces. If you have enough, save the wedges to use one for a garnish on each plate.
- Brown the butter. You can do this step several days ahead of time to save some time, or you can do it just as you make the dish. To make the brown butter, place butter in a saucepan with a light colored bottom if possible, and if not just use a regular saucepan. (I know this pic shows a dark pan … 🤦🏼♀️) Add minced sage and thyme and cook over medium-low heat until the butter begins to sizzle and bubble and eventually you will see little brown solids around the edges and at the bottom of the pan. This should take anywhere from 10-15 minutes, depending upon the water content in your butter and the temperature of your burners. I’ve seen it take 5 minutes and I’ve seen it take 25 minutes, but do keep your eye on it, because the butter can go from beautifully brown to burned in a heart beat!
- Once it’s brown, add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries to the herbed butter and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes longer. Remove butter from the heat and set aside.
- Cook gnocchi according to instructions on the package. Meanwhile reheat the sage brown butter on low heat. When the gnocchi are cooked (probably about 3 minutes in boiling water) strain them through a colander and then add them to the saucepan with the sage brown butter and cranberries. Add the cubed pumpkin pieces and toss all together well.
- Serve on plates and garnish with extra dried cranberries, goat cheese crumbles, grated Parmesan, snipped sage leaves and thyme leaves. If you have extra roasted pumpkin wedges, place one on each plate when you serve it.