Pumpkin-Ricotta Gnocchi With Brussels Sprouts, Crispy Pork, Spiced Pepitas and Mustard Cream

There’s something about dumplings that is just wonderful. Maybe it’s the comfort factor. Gnocchi are Italian potato dumplings, but we like to make them out of a lot of different things. In the fall, it’s pumpkin, and they take on a great orange color, just right for the season. –Chef Tommy Kaszubowski

Get more gourmet Thanksgiving recipes by Tommy.

Serves 4


For the Gnocchi
  • 1 cup of roasted pumpkin purée (see main text) or canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Parmesan or pecorino cheese, grated
  • 3–4 cups cake flour, Italian "00" flour, or all-purpose flour
  • 2–3 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • Vegetable oil for sautéing
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except flour and mix to combine. Add flour in two additions, trying to mix as little as possible. Roll the dough out about one cup at a time into half-inch-diameter logs and cut into half-inch pillow shapes. Simmer in salted water until cooked through, about 5 minutes—do not boil. Remove from water with a wire strainer and cool on an oiled sheet pan.
  • For the Pepitas
    • 2 cups raw pepitas (raw, hulled green pumpkin seeds)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil (more or less as needed)
    • 1 teaspoon each chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix spices in a medium bowl. Toss pepitas with enough olive oil to lightly coat and roast on a sheet pan until golden. Remove from oven and immediately add to bowl with spices, tossing to coat. Allow to cool. Store extra spiced pepitas in an airtight container—makes a great snack! Leave oven on at 350 degrees for Brussels sprouts.
  • For the Brussels Sprouts
    • 1 cup Brussels sprouts, leaves peeled off, discarding outer tough ones
Bring a small pot of water to boil and prepare an ice water bath. Blanch Brussels sprouts for 30 seconds until bright green, remove with a fine-mesh strainer, shock in ice water, and pat dry on paper towels. Chill until ready to use.
  • For the Crispy Pork
    • 4 ounces diced ham, bacon or pancetta
At the restaurant, we use pork shoulder that has been cured overnight and cooked submerged in pork fat until tender. Then we fry it just before we make the dish. Any of the above smoked pork products will work, though—just render in a hot pan until crisp.
  • For the Mustard Cream
    • ½ cup finely chopped shallots or onions
    • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
    • 2 cups dry white wine
    • 2 cups chicken stock
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 cup whole grain mustard
    • 1 tablespoon honey
Sweat shallots or onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Add wine and cook over medium-high heat until pan is almost dry; add chicken stock and reduce by half; add cream and reduce by half; strain into a bowl. Return sauce to the stovetop and stir in Dijon, whole grain mustard, and honey. Simmer 5 minutes. Cool and refrigerate if not using immediately.


Assembly: Sauté the gnocchi in vegetable oil until nicely browned. Add the Brussels sprouts and crispy pork and sauté until heated through; keep warm. Heat Brussels sprouts with salt and butter. Heat mustard cream until hot, and place two spoonsful in the center of each of four large plates; spoon the gnocchi mixture over the sauce. Place Brussels sprouts leaves on last, and garnish with spiced pepitas. Suggested wine pairing: Pinot Blanc or Grüner Veltliner