And so it begins…. with pumpkin gnocchi and a sage sauce

“I know you’re probably thinking “@!#$%  not another food blog, what does this newb have to offer!?” The answer is close to nothing, I’m not very interesting and I am not a particularly talented writer. However, I like food ALOT… too much in fact. Its an obsession and always has been. Therefore this humble blog will serve as a chronicle of my mania. So that one day when the police inevitably find me dead, locked in my house, brimming to the gills with cheese and tapenade they will be able to use this blog as warning to others. A warning to never, NEVER let children watch food TV. Besides that there is not a lot to say… I am a 22 year old college grad looking for my mojo via food and parties.”

That’s my intro above… I have never had a blog, xanga, diary, or journel. I never really felt the need too and/or I have been to ADD. Journels and the like have only been able to hold my intrest for a very, very short time. More like a millisecond, then I’m off to next new and  shiney thing. However, hopefully now that I am older this blog might last.

We wont exchange names but you can call me Chrissy Rae or supreme being, whichever is easiest.  I am originally from a slightly rural town in Iowa, big enough for a target but not a super walmart. Around 16 I relocated to the south (life-changing experience) it was a shock at first but after my first few years I decided to delve even deeper and moved to Appalachia. For those who do not think there is much of a difference between the South and Appalachia, my how sadly you are mistaken. The South and Appalachia are like juice and juice concentrate. Take the nomenclatures of the South and multiply it by 1000 and then you have Appalachia.

However, this is not a bad thing its actually kinda beautiful, you’re left with this densely packed and intensified culture in a relatively small area, which also so happens to be surrounded by majestic beauty (aka the Blue Ridge Mountains). What is even more interesting, is that at first their differences are not apparent. Traveling to Appalachia is not like traveling to Charleston or Savannah where you see history every where you look. In Appalachia you almost have to hunt for the culture, I personally think that it is because in Appalachia, more so then anywhere else in the South it resides in the individual. Appalachia has never been known for wealth and so most of its culture has been passed down orally and/or from the hearth, instead of lasting monuments or housing.

I digress (see how easily I am distracted)… I’l save that for another time. Anyways I am here in the Appalachia dating an Appalachian and cooking. This journal will mostly serve as a platform for various recipes and party ideas as well as my various musings. So lets begin…. last night I made pumpkin gnocchi and boy was it DELICIOUS and EASY. Its a fantastic way to use the season induced pumpkin surplus.

I’ll just come right out with it, I dont have any pictures. I know right!? How can you start a food blog with out any pictures?! Well, I will promptly be making this again and posting the pictures (its that good!) but in the mean time here is the recipe:

Pan Fried Pumpkin Gnocchi and Brown Butter Sage

courtesy of: Steamy Kitchen

serves 4-6

1/2 cup skim milk ricotta
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup freshly grated parmegiano reggiano
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon lemon zest (plus extra reserved for garnishing)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
1 cup  all purpose flour, sifted (plus more for dusting)
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar ***                                                                        3 sprigs fresh sage, plus more for garnish
shaved parmegiano reggiano for serving

Preheat oven to 300F

1. Combine ricotta, pumpkin, parmagiano, yolk, zest and salt in large bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle half of the flour on the mixture, gently turn with spatula a few times to incorporate. Dump mixture on clean, lightly floured countertop or you can still do this in the bowl. Sprinkle remaining flour on top of the mixture. Gently knead with your fingertips, just bringing together the mixture until flour is incorporated through. This only should take a minute or two. Any longer and you will be over-kneading.

2. Dust a clean, dry surface with a generous sprinkling of flour. Divide dough into 4 parts. Take one part and roll into a long, 1″ diameter log. Cut gnocchi into 1″ pieces.

3. Heat a large frying pan or saute pan with just 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add a few gnocchi – enough to cover surface but not touch each other. Fry on medium heat for 1-2 minutes, turn and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove gnocchi, place on large baking sheet to put into oven to keep warm. Repeat with rest of gnocchi.

4. When all gnocchi is finished, discard butter/oil in pan and clean pan with paper towel. Heat pan on medium heat and when hot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add the fresh sage. Let the sage brown and sizzle (but not burn) for a couple of minutes until very fragrant. Remove the sage and discard if you want (or keep it in to eat — as many people in the comments below like to do!) To the pan, add the balsamic vinegar and whisk. Let simmer on low for 1 minute and pour over the gnocchi.

***Make sure the balsamic vinegar has already been slightly heated or else it will explode EVERYWHERE when it meets the oil and you will end up screaming for your boyfriend and possibly giving him a stroke. True story.

About notquitehalfway

I know you're thinking "@!#$% not another food blog, what does this newb have to offer!?" The answer is close to nothing, I'm not very interesting and I am not a particularly talented writer. However, I like food ALOT... to much in fact. Its an obsession and always has been. This humble blog will serve as a chronicle of my mania. So that one day when the police inevitably find me dead, locked in my house, brimming to the gills with cheese and tapenade they will be able to use this blog as warning to others. A warning to never, NEVER let children watch food TV. Besides that there is not a lot to say... I am a 22 year old college grad looking for my mojo via food and parties.
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