wine night: pumpkin mac and cheese gnocchi

As soon as October hits I start gearing up my arsenal of pumpkin recipes.  There are the cookies and cupcakes, the ravioli and penne pastas.  But I wanted something new this fall.  I wanted a dish that I could make ahead and bake later.  A dish that was cheesy and rich and, well, fall-y.  

So I browsed my cookbooks and wrote a few recipes of and we taste tested them over the past few wine nights.  The winning recipe is below.  You can imagine why it 'won'.  Mac and cheese... but with gnocchi (regular gnocchi - not pumpkin flavored. that would be a little too pumpkin-y)... and with pumpkin in the rich Gruyere cheese sauce...with pancetta...and sage...and a panko bread crumb topping.  Mind. Blown.

You guys have to make this one.  It will satisfy all your fall-comfort-food requirements.

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese Gnocchi
Serves:  8

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 - 16 oz. packages prepared plain gnocchi
  • 4 oz. pancetta, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 – 15 oz. can (minus ½ a cup) canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • Grated nutmeg (a few times back and forth grating it on a rasp - about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • Salt and pepper (less salt than normal, the cheese is very salty)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
  2. Butter large casserole dish (or could do four small gratin dishes)
  3. Cook the gnocchi according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, sauté the pancetta over medium heat until it starts to brown, about 4 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the sage, half-and-half, pumpkin, and cheeses.  Stir until cheese melts.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.  Stir in cooked gnocchi.
  6. Pour pasta into greased casserole dish.
  7. Melt butter (either in a sauce pan on the stove or in a bowl in the microwave).  Stir in breadcrumbs until coated.
  8. Sprinkle bread crumbs over pasta.
  9. Bake the gnocchi until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.
Nutrition: (per serving)
Calories:  407
Carbs:  46
Fat:  17
Protein:  17


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