Pumpkin Gnocchi, Tinker Street

For this multifaceted, light and flavorful dish, Chef Braedon Kellner wanted to explore the many flavors and textures of a single ingredient in its entirety. The pumpkin puree is presented over pillowy gnocchi, while the toasted seeds are ground for pesto as well as for garnish. Finally pumpkin seed oil is dressed over top in accompaniment with crispy fried sage. This dish is a compliment to the season, showcasing the local produce available in Indiana. Guest reviewers have referred to it as both “divine” and “incredible.”
January 10, 2016


For the gnocchi
Bring water, butter, salt,and sage to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth dough forms. Reduce heat to medium-low. Continue to stir, beating dough forcefully and rapidly to prevent it from sticking to the pot. Continue cooking until dough pulls away from sides of pot leaving a thin layer and steams slightly.

Transfer hot dough to bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add mustard and cheese. Beat on medium-low speed. Add eggs one at a time, allowing dough to fully incorporate egg before adding the next one. When final egg has been added, add herbs and beat to combine. Transfer mixture to a gallon-sized, sealable plastic bag, or a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch tip. Let mixture rest 15—25 minutes at room temperature.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer and have a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Holding the bag over the simmering water, squeeze mixture out of bag, cutting it off with a paring knife into 1-inch lengths and letting them fall directly into the simmering water. Continue cutting off as many as you can in one minute, then stop.

When all gnocchi have floated to the top, continue cooking until gnocchi are fully cooked to the center, about 3 minutes longer. Lift gnocchi with a fine mesh strainer or a metal spider and transfer to rimmed baking sheet.

Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and toss to coat. Repeat with remaining dough.    

For the pumpkin puree
Pre-heat oven to 375°F.

Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Place the pumpkin cut side down on a roasting tray. Roast 45 minutes to 1 hour until soft and tender.

Let pumpkin cool for 15 minutes. Remove skin and process with maple syrup in a food processor until smooth.

For the Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Toast pumpkin seeds for 5—8 minutes.

Transfer warm pumpkin seeds to food processor. Process pumpkin seeds, garlic, arugula and Parmesan to a paste.

With the processor running slowly, add olive oil until pesto is smooth.

For the Fried Sage Leaves
Heat a ½-inch of canola oil over medium heat in a high-sided saucepan to 300°F.. Prepare a plate lined with paper towel.

Once oil is hot, add sage leaves. Fry until the bubbling stops, about 1 minute. Transfer fried leaves to the plate lined with a paper towel to drain and cool.

To Assemble the Dish

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Warm the pumpkin puree in a large size saucepan.Add the gnocchi to the warm pumpkin puree; toss to coat. Spoon some of the pumpkin seed pesto on to a separate plate; warm in oven for approximately 5-minutes Once the plate is warm, spoon the (sauced) gnocchi in to the middle of the pumpkin seed pesto.

Garnish with fried sage leaves, toasted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Braedon Kellner, Tinker Street


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  • 1 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons chopped sage leaves
  • 1¼ cups “00” flour
  • 3 large eggs
Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 pie pumpkin, cleaned
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
Pumpkin Seed Pesto
  • ⅓ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups arugula
  • ¼ cup parmesan, grated
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Fried Sage Leaves
  • canola oil, as needed
  • 12 sage leaves
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