Pumpkin Gnocchi with Basil Oil

I know what you’re thinking: making pasta from scratch is a lot of work. Is she kidding? No, I’m not. Once you taste these light little pasta pillows, you’ll see it’s worth the tiny amount of work it takes to make them…and I do mean tiny amount of work…

Makes about 1 pound of dough

Ingredient List: 

Pasta Dough:
1-2 cups semolina flour
1 cup cooked white rice, pureed until smooth
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup pureed cooked butternut squash or canned pumpkin
spring or filtered water

Basil Oil:
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch sea salt
6-8 leaves fresh basil, left whole

Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish

Step By Step Instructions: 

Make the pasta. Sift flour onto a dry work surface. Make a well in the center of flour and add rice, salt, oil and pureed squash. Mix gradually, kneading into a smooth, soft dough by drawing small amounts of flour in from the edges as you knead. Add more flour if the dough seems too sticky or more water if it feels too dry--but in both cases, add small amounts very slowly so as not to jeopardize the quality of the dough. Continue kneading until dough is a soft, workable ball, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

To make the gnocchi, flour a fork. Pinch off 1-inch pieces of dough and roll into balls between your fingers. Run the pasta ball on the fork to create ridges. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet that has been sprinkled with semolina. Repeat until you have made the desired amount of gnocchi. (The balance of the dough can be frozen.)

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the gnocchi until just tender, about 2 minutes. The gnocchi will sink to the bottom of the pot. When it rises, it is done. Drain, but do not rinse.

While the pasta cooks, make the oil. Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat and cook for 3-4 minutes to develop the flavors. Strain the oil and toss with cooked gnocchi. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs and serve immediately.