Pan Fried Gnocchi with Pumpkin & Spinach

Pan Fried Gnocchi with Pumpkin & Spinach

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Pan fried gnocchi – crispy, golden and buttery on the outside, soft on the inside, tossed with roasted pumpkin and spinach. This is one of my favourite ways to make gnocchi without blowing my carb meter and making a dreamy buttery sauce without using tons of butter!

I’m squatting here in the corner of the lobby of the hotel that I checked out of earlier today, my suitcases bursting at the seams, writing this final post before I jump on a plane back to Sydney.

Farewell Tokyo, it’s been a blast as always. I’ll miss the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps, the bright lights, the traditions and politeness, the sometimes crazy “only in Japan” moments, the punctuality of the world’s most advanced and reliable transportation and of course, the food, the food…

With the number of times I’ve written to friends to give them tips for where to stay, play and eat in Tokyo, I’m thinking of creating a RecipeTin Tokyo Travel Guide with my mother to put on her Japanese recipe site, RecipeTin Japan! And just think, if there are glaring gaps in the material I’ve collected, I may just have to come back….😤😁

For now, real life and summer back in Sydney (plus a giant fur ball) are calling my name. And as odd as this is going to sound….I’m craving some western food that hasn’t been “Japan-ed”. Anyone who has travelled to Japan will understand what I mean by this! Order a pizza even at an Italian restaurant, and there’s a solid chance it will appear with a sprinkle of seaweed salt on it and maybe even a drizzle of kewpie Japanese mayonnaise. The burger buns are a bit sweeter and the cheese is…well, just not the kind of cheese Western countries are used to.

I guess it’s the same way with Asian food in western countries!!!

But I promise you, this gnocchi hasn’t been “Japan-ed” in the slightest. 😁

I absolutely adore gnocchi. If I go to a posh Italian restaurant, chances are I’ll order gnocchi. I put it above handmade pasta. That’s how much I love it. And up until maybe a year ago, I was a total gnocchi snob. I would  only ever have fresh or homemade gnocchi. Scarred from my uni days when I made store bought gnocchi and it was so chewy and tasteless.

But in the years that have passed, I must say that packaged gnocchi has come a long way and nowadays the only thing that makes me hold back from a weekly gnocchi fix is that it’s so high in carbs. 250g/8oz of gnocchi has 90g of carbs, 400 calories. And it’s super dense so it’s only about 1 cup in volume (how big is your empty stomach?? Mine’s bigger than that!!!).

So to “lighten” it up and fill it out more, I like to add roasted pumpkin which has only 20g and 85 calories per 250g/8oz. Plus roasted pumpkin is so juicy, it provides more “wetness” to this dish instead of adding more butter.

Speaking of butter! This pan fried gnocchi dish has a butter sauce but you don’t need tons of butter! Regular readers are probably sick of reading about emulsifying pasta sauces using the pasta cooking water (sorry guys, but it’s my mantra! 🤗) and the same applies to gnocchi. Starchy cooking water tossed with oil or butter based sauce = thickened sauce = seemingly indulgent without using tons and tons of butter. It’s how a real proper Alfredo is made, the way restaurants make it, without using tons of cream. 🙂

So I use that same technique to make the butter sauce for this Pan Fried Gnocchi too. So every piece of golden crispy gnocchi is coated in a buttery sauce that actually clings to the gnocchi rather than pooling in the base of the bowl.

You will love this, I promise! Yes it’s indulgent, and yes it’s still carb heavy, but it is lighter than making it without pumpkin. Besides, you can do a salad tomorrow night. Right? Right? – Nagi x

PS Usual post Japan-trip diet starts tomorrow. Tomorrow!

4.67 from 3 votes

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Pan Fried Gnocchi with Pumpkin & Spinach

Prep Time

15 mins

Farewell Tokyo, it’s been a blast as always. I’ll miss the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps, the bright lights, the traditions and politeness, the sometimes crazy “only in Japan” moments, the punctuality of the world’s most advanced and reliable transportation and of course, the food, the food…

For now, real life and summer back in Sydney (plus a giant fur ball) are calling my name. And as odd as this is going to sound….I’m craving some western food that hasn’t been “Japan-ed”. Anyone who has travelled to Japan will understand what I mean by this! Order a pizza even at an Italian restaurant, and there’s a solid chance it will appear with a sprinkle of seaweed salt on it and maybe even a drizzle of kewpie Japanese mayonnaise. The burger buns are a bit sweeter and the cheese is…well, just not the kind of cheese Western countries are used to.

But I promise you, this gnocchi hasn’t been “Japan-ed” in the slightest. 😁

But in the years that have passed, I must say that packaged gnocchi has come a long way and nowadays the only thing that makes me hold back from a weekly gnocchi fix is that it’s so high in carbs. 250g/8oz of gnocchi has 90g of carbs, 400 calories. And it’s super dense so it’s only about 1 cup in volume (how big is your empty stomach?? Mine’s bigger than that!!!).

You will love this, I promise! Yes it’s indulgent, and yes it’s still carb heavy, but it is lighter than making it without pumpkin. Besides, you can do a salad tomorrow night. Right? Right? – Nagi x

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Prep Time

15 mins

Cook Time

20 mins

Total Time

35 mins

{See video below} Soft fluffy gnocchi, pan fried in butter to create a beautiful golden crust then tossed with roasted pumpkin & spinach in a butter sauce. I use pumpkin to fill out this recipe because it has far less calories than gnocchi for the same weight and it adds a gorgeous flavour to this dish!

Course: Dinner, Main

Servings: 2

Calories: 648 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp fresh sage, finely sliced
Read the whole recipe on RecipeTin Eats