Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi

Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi

Hello, babes!

Another long break, right?

It just seems like my “foodieness” is going in a multitude of directions.

After a lot of long thought…I’ve realized that I don’t need to feel pressured to update this website 2 to 3 times a week, as this isn’t my full-time job. This blog shouldn’t cause me pressure, but rather be a leisurely outlet for some things that I love: recipe development, cooking, and photography.

I’ve felt pressured to rush through recipes, photograph them even if the lighting isn’t right – I am all about natural light photography – and stress myself out if I don’t have enough time. I’ve looked back through my last few recipes, and I’m not totally happy with my photography. It’s all a learning process – I learn from the old to see what I don’t want to do – but I’m feeling like I want to re-shoot the last six recipes I’ve posted. Ha!

If I update here once or twice a month, at my pace, so be it! It’s all good.

Plan B? I marry someone with a lot of money and a good spousal health insurance plan so I can quit my job and focus on this blog full-time! Ha! Maybe…maybe…

Outside of this blog, I have been doing a lot of work with Instagram food influencer agencies in NYC, as well as developing recipes for Yoga By Candace, which has left me feeling wonderful and inspired! It’s allowed me to meet fellow NYC-based food bloggers, marketers, content creators, and recipe developers; it’s quite the little community I’ve stumbled upon, full of absolutely wonderful folks! (Well, about 99% of the time. I’ve met once or two unpleasant folks that have looked down their noses at me, but, I digress. Haaaa…)

That being said, it’s time to break out some pumpkin gnocchi, y’all.

I was home in Connecticut this past weekend, feeling very inspired to whip up a few recipes. Perhaps it was the country air, the light glow of the sun lighting up the colorful foliage, the smell of pine needles on the ground, but I wanted to play around with autumnal flavors.

I’ve made this pumpkin gnocchi in the past, and it was just as delicious as I remembered. It was also as sticky as I remember it. Ha!

This is a great recipe to make when you have a nice leisurely stretch of time and want to make something wholly warming and filling. There is nothing like a toothsome piece of good gnocchi, in my opinion.

Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi
(Makes…a lot of gnocchi. Serves 2 – 4, depending on how much you want to share!)
(Adapted from Chowhound’s recipe for Pumpkin Gnocchi with Crème Fraîche–Sage Sauce)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
– 1 cup pumpkin purée
– 2 large egg yolks
– 2 teaspoons salt
– 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
– 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Before We Get Started…

– As you see, the original Chowhound recipe has that lovely Crème Fraîche–Sage Sauce to top it with. I…get lazy. Ha! But, if you are looking for something lovely to finish this gnocchi off with, two fresh sage leaves, finely chopped, combined with two tablespoons of melted butter, makes a simple and flavorful sauce!

Directions:

1.) On a large baking sheet, place parchment paper and flour lightly. Set aside.

1.) Combine ricotta, pumpkin, egg yolks, measured salt, brown sugar, nutmeg, and ground sage; stir until smooth. Slowly add the flour – roughly 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until the dough is combined; it should be a bit sticky and soft.

2.) Place flour on a work surface. Taking a rough handful of dough, carefully roll it on the floured surface into an even rope, roughly 3/4″ in diameter. Cut the rope into 3/4″ pieces. Place the gnocchi on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough until all gnocchi has been made.

4.) Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper (do not flour!) and set aside. Carefully add gnocchi to the boiling water in batches – you can do this in 3 to 4 batches – and cook until they float and cook for 3 – 4 minutes; gnocchi will be floating on the surface of the water when finished. Remove with a slotted spoon, gently shaking off any excess water, and transfer to the second prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all gnocchi is cooked.

5.) Serve immediately with preferred sauces or toppings, or allow gnocchi to cool and solidify before placing in an airtight container to freeze. Frozen gnocchi can be cooked again at a later time by adding to boiling water and cooking for approximately 3 minutes.

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summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

Summer Squash & Red Onion Pizza

I’m a gal that loves her pizza, and I am blessed to live in one of the undisputed pizza capitals of the country. I mean, within three blocks of my apartment, I have a Domino’s, a Papa John’s, a Little Caesar…

😏

But in all seriousness, between Pizza Palace up here in my my ‘hood (Inwood, baby!) to Sal & Carmine’s on the Upper West Side to hot spots like Roberta’s and Emily, it’s easy to be close to a good slice.

That being said, I always love to take a break from the traditional and funky NYC slices for something that’s a bit more nutrient-dense.

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

One of my favorite Instagram healthy living foodies is Elia of Feed Your Sister. Over the past few months, she’s introduced me to some excellent products to add to my pantry. One of these products is the gluten-free cauliflower-based crusts from Calilfour Foods. Now, I have no major food allergies or aversions (…save for my freak Brewer’s Yeast allergy, but it’s pretty damn easy for me to avoid beer and Vegemite. Ha!) and have found no change within my body if I’m eating gluten or not. Still, eating something cauliflower-based is definitely better than eating a ton of refined carbs within a traditional pizza crust. I attended a networking event Elia hosted a few weeks back, and she generously gifted all of her guests with two of their plant-based crusts!

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

Ahhhh, the possibilities…

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

I decided to go with what I had a large amount of in my vegetable crisper: summer squash and red onions! I spread a generous layer of ricotta cheese over the baked crust, loaded it with the squash and onions, topped it with fresh mozzarella – because of course – baked it per the directions, and I had a light but satisfying meal. Also, it was easy! Start to finish, it took less than 30 minutes.

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

Let’s be honest: I love a quick meal that’s healthy and allows me to get back to binge watching shows on Netflix in the evening. Haaa.

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

NOTE: This post was not sponsored by Califlour Foods. I am merely an enthusiastic new fan. Ha!

Summer Squash & Red Onion Pizza
(Makes 1 pizza, approximately 10″)

Ingredients:

– 1 Califlour Foods crust of choice!
– 4 ounces ricotta cheese
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup zucchini, thinly sliced
– 1/4 cup yellow squash, thinly sliced
– 4 ounces fresh mozzerella, sliced

Before We Get Started…

– You can sub in 1/2 cup zucchini or 1/2 cup yellow squash if that is all you have!

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or place crust on pizza stone. Once the oven is ready, bake crust for 15 minutes. Remove crust from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

2.) In a small bowl, mix ricotta and salt. Spread mixture evenly on crust, just stopping short of the edges. Layer on sliced zucchini and yellow squash. Top with mozzarella. Place back in oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

3.) Remove from oven and serve immediately!

Sautéed Broccoli and Zucchini with Fried Egg

Sautéed Broccoli & Zucchini with Fried Egg

You guys…June is totally kicking my butt!

Is it REALLY the 18th already?!?!

I can’t even.

*yawn*

I’ve been so busy with so many things – at work and in my personal life – and there haven’t been enough hours in the day for me to write up and photograph a proper recipe in quite some time. I’m hoping to pop out at least one good one next Saturday, but…the way my month has been going…haha…busy busy busy! 

WELL, in the interim, I want to post this. Starting today, I started a new series on my Instagram feed – click here for your viewing pleasure, but of course! – which I am called “Screenshot Recipe Sunday”. After talking with both my followers and my fellow food bloggers / food Instagrammers, I’ve heard pretty loud and clear that a lot of y’all, while you love visiting food blogs, also love recipes that are simple to just take a screenshot of on their phones. I’m attempting to embrace that – goodness knows I love the same thing – and this was my first entry, a simple mix of sautéed veggies with a fried egg.

It’s insanely easy and customizable, and…well…pretty damn easy. While I will be posting the recipes on Instagram, I will also be posting them here each week.

I hope you enjoy this!

Sautéed Broccoli and Zucchini with Fried Egg

Sautéed Broccoli & Zucchini with Fried Egg
(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

– 2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil (I use Nutiva Refined Coconut Oil)
– 1 medium zucchini, diced
– 1 cup broccoli florets, roughly chopped
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 tablespoon butter or ghee or neutral-flavored oil
– 1 egg

Directions:

1.) Heat sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add oil; once oil is shimmering, add vegetables. Season with garlic powder and salt. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through. Scrape up any brown bits, but don’t allow vegetables to get burned. Remove from heat, place vegetables on a plate, and set aside.

2.) In a small saute or frying pan, heat butter (or alternative) over medium heat. Gently crack egg into pan and cook as desired; as photographed, a sunnyside up fried egg will take roughly 5 minutes to cook, as all of the whites should be set before serving. Remove from pan and place on top of vegetables. EAT.

sauteed broccoli rabe

Sautéed Broccoli Rabe with Garlic & Pepper

Eat your flowers!

Okay, that’s not something I’ve heard too often in my life, nor something I’ve really participated in doing. Decorative edible flowers on dessert is a concept I’m ambivalent about, and I really am not a fan of rosewater. Floral is not my taste of choice. My brain starts firing off, “Why are you drinking this bottle of perfume, Allison?!?!”

However, the taste of broccoli rabe’s little yellow flowers do not fill my mouth with the scent of a strong bouquet of flowers, but rather a slight nutty flavor that’s quite enjoyable!

sauteed broccoli rabe

At my local farmers’ market, one vendor has been selling rabe of all sorts – broccoli, kale, and mustard – with yellow and red flowers speckling all of the bunches. They’re so beautiful! I bought the flowery broccoli rabe on a whim, researching whether the flowers were edible. I learned that flowering broccoli rabe should be eaten sooner than later, but a nice blanch followed by a sauté should get rid of any bitter flavor some people may experience with broccoli rabe.

sauteed broccoli rabe

Luckily, I bought a lot of broccoli rabe for $3, which allowed me to experiment with a little less guilt if I screwed up the first few times.

I experienced trial but little error. Lucky me!

sauteed broccoli rabe

The blanching helps bring out the vibrant green, and the leaving the flowers on simply gave it a pop of color. I’m not sure if it added any discernible taste notes, since the garlic – of course – was the predominant flavor, but hey, I see no reason to take ’em off. Leaving them on is up to you!

So go ahead. Eat your greens…and eat your flowers!

sauteed broccoli rabe

Sautéed Broccoli Rabe with Garlic & Pepper
(Serves 2 – 3 as a side dish)

Ingredients:

– 1 large bunch broccoli rabe (roughly 1 lb.)
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
– Salt, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– If you purchase broccoli rabe with flowers, of course, it is up to you whether you want to remove them!

Directions:

1.) Trim the woodier / harder ends of your broccoli rabe and discard / save for composting.

2.) Fill a large bowl with cold water – add ice cubes, if preferred – and place in refrigerator to chill while water is brought to a boil and broccoli rabe blanches. (see #3).

3.) Bring a large pot of water to a slow boil. Add broccoli rabe and boil for 3 – 5 minutes or until are tender. Remove chilled bowl of water from fridge; use tongs to gently remove from boiling water to the chilled water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, drain water, and lay broccoli rabe on clean cloth or paper towels. Pat dry to remove as much moisture as possible.

4.) In a large sauté pan (a 12″ pan works well here!), add olive oil and turn heat to medium. Once oil shimmers, add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds; do not allow garlic to brown! Add broccoli rabe and sauté for five minutes. Add pepper and, toss in pan, and cook for one additional minute. Salt to taste, and remove from heat. Serve immediately!

garlicky sautéed rainbow chard

Garlicky Sautéed Rainbow Chard

Each Saturday, as the days get warmer and warmer, I’m returning to my usual jaunt up to my local greenmarket in Inwood. While it can be slim pickins in the colder months, I really started to see signs of spring this morning as the usual produce was also peppered with hyacinths and tulips for sale.

garlicky sautéed rainbow chard

In particular, greens have started to make a comeback. This morning, one vendor was absolutely overflowing with various types of kale, lettuce, and other greens just begging to be bought! Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the rainbow…chard, that is. Its thick pink and yellow stems always tempt me. I didn’t think twice before buying an impossibly large bunch. I couldn’t sauté it up fast enough; though not photographed, I topped some with a soft-boiled egg, and it was a quick vegetable-laden breakfast. Start to finish, this took be 15 minutes on the nose.

IMG_9724

Taste the rainbow definitely does not apply to just Skittles.

IMG_9737

Garlicky Sautéed Rainbow Chard
(Adapted from the New York Times recipe for Garlicky Swiss Chard)
(Makes roughly 4 cups, wilted and sautéed)

Ingredients:

– 2 large bunches rainbow chard, thoroughly rinsed and patted dry, stems trimmed
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
– Salt, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– Personally, I like to keep some stem on my chard when I sauté it; feel free to keep yours as long or as short as you prefer.

– Swiss chard can be substituted in an equal amount.

Directions:

1.) Stack rinsed and dried chard leaves on top of each other; this can be done in several small stacks, if preferred. Slice leaves into roughly 1/4″ strips, length-wise. Set aside.

2.) In a large saucepan or soup pot, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and (optional) red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds; do not allow garlic to brown! Add chard and stir until leaves are uniformly coated. Let sit for 2 minutes and allow leaves to slightly wilt. Cook for another 2 – 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

3.) Remove from heat. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately!