Now this is fall comfort food at its best. Carbs, cheese, pumpkin, brown butter breadcrumbs, and crispy sage..gangs all here. This recipe is definitely not light or healthy in any way. It’s truly meant for those days where you need wonderful, cheesy, comfort in a bowl.
The gnocchi literally swims in this cheesy mess. The pumpkin purée makes it even more luxuriously creamy.
I was so happy and surprised when I found pumpkin gnocchi at the store, but regular gnocchi would work perfectly too! You could make this recipe with pasta instead, but the pillowy gnocchi with the cheese and pumpkin is too good.
We’re experiencing a bit of an Indian summer here, so this warm and comforting dish might not sound appetizing to you in this 80 degree heat. Definitely save this for a chilly fall night. You can thank me later.
I was never a huge gnocchi fan growing up. I WAS however, a huge pasta fan. Ate it every single day for YEARS. Whether it was an after school snack, lunch, dinner, second dinner, or midnight snack, you could count on me always eating pasta. Gnocchi though, never appealed to me. I looooved the al dente bite of pasta (texture is necessary, always, as you know).
The gnocchi in this is a different story. I love it! The variety I used here were mini and cute. This recipe is so cheesy that you could probably go with a pound and a half of gnocchi if you wanted to.
That cheese though!
The fried sage leaves in brown butter takes this to another level, as it usually does! Love adding it to my fall dishes.
Pumpkin Gnocchi Mac and Cheese with Crispy Sage
- 1 pound gnocchi, cooked (I used a pumpkin variety I found at the store!)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 10 sage leaves
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 8 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar, freshly grated
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 375℉. Preheat a skillet to medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Constantly whisk until the butter is brown and becomes nutty and fragrant. This can take 7-8 minutes or so. Watch carefully..it can burn quick!
Once butter is brown, add the sage leaves and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until golden and crispy. Remove leaves from pan and set on paper towels to drain. Add the breadcrumbs to the brown butter and toss to combine. Reserve until ready to bake.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Once melted, add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly until slightly golden. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly to combine. Raise heat to high. Continue to whisk until mixture comes to a boil and thickens.
Add the cheeses gradually, stirring until smooth. Add the nutmeg, dijon, salt, and pepper. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, or nutmeg if desired. Add the gnocchi and stir to coat. Add to a baking dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Add the sage leaves on top and serve!