pumpkin gnocchi with broccoli rabe and smoked ricotta

Smoked sea salt adds a world of flavor to this dish of pumpkin gnocchi with broccoli rabe and smoked ricotta. Easy enough for a weeknight meal and fancy enough for a dinner party.

pumpkin gnocchi with broccoli rabe and smoked ricotta

Gnocchi is in the air.

And love, and peppermint, and deeeeeep dark almost burnt coffee, and pine needle happy smell.


I feel like this qualifies us as a “Real Married Couple” now.


Honestly, up until now being married hasn’t felt that different, probably because we’ve lived together for over a year now so there’s not that much new territory to uncover.

And then I found myself on 3rd Avenue screaming about how crucial macaron ornaments are to the very core of my Christmas cheer while the.boy pretended he had no idea who the crazy lady shrieking about French pastries was.

So this is what married life is all about.


For the record, I won. All of it.

And I have the cannoli, layer cake, macaron, carrot cake, whisk, rolling pin, and pomegranate ornaments to prove it.


Another thing you should know about my good wife skillz (or lack thereof) is that I fail at the side salad.

Regularly. Frequently. Daily.

I have the best of intentions, I really do, but by the time I make a whole main dish, FROM SCRATCH, the thought of putting together a side salad that consists of more than random lettuce scraps from the bottom of my crisper drawer just seems totally unreasonable.

PicMonkey Collage

Then I discovered Eat Smart Salad Kits and they turned my whole outlook on the side salad upside down. Each kit is packed with five to seven SUPERFOODS and is a fast and flavorful way to eat your veggies. Take, for example, the Wild Greens and Quinoa Salad which I am BONKERS CRAZY about. It has kale, beet greens, julienned broccoli, carrots, red cabbage, quinoa, almonds, and feta. Plus avocado herb dressing. And all you have to do is toss and serve.

That wilty crisper lettuce didn’t even stand a chance.

(If you’re not sure where to find Eat Smart Salad Kits, check out their Store Locator to find the nearest store to you that sells them!)


On the weekends, I like to make meals that necessitate a little more of a time investment and this gnocchi is just that. It’s not difficult to make, but it does require you to get your hands dirty. I’m strangely okay with that.

The key to making great gnocchi is to handle the dough as little as possible. This helps it to stay light and fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth good. I like to make my gnocchi with ricotta instead of potatoes because its easier to work with and also CHEESE. Need I say more?

Most pumpkin gnocchi that you’ll find in stores are packed with warm and almost sweet spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, but here I’ve gone totally savory by flavoring them with smoked sea salt. Paired with slightly bitter broccoli rabe and another dose of creamy ricotta, the umami is unmistakable. This is definitely dinner.

And it might even make up for that little show of irrational totally reasonable street screaming we engaged in. If not, well. We’ll always have our macaron ornaments. Priorities, people.


Pumpkin Gnocchi with Broccoli Rabe and Smoked Ricotta
Smoked sea salt adds a world of flavor to this dish of pumpkin gnocchi with broccoli rabe and smoked ricotta. Easy enough for a weeknight meal and fancy enough for a dinner party.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups ricotta, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp smoked sea salt, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3-4 cups cake flour
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • black pepper, to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, make the gnocchi. In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, 1 cup of ricotta, eggs, smoked sea salt, and kosher salt. Add 2 cups of the flour to the bowl and mix in with your hands. The dough will be very sticky. Add in another ½ cup of flour and mix that in as well. The dough should still be sticky but also easy enough to work into a log. If it is still too sticky, then add another ½ cup flour until it is the right consistency.
  3. On a lightly dusted surface, split the gnocchi dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a thin log, about ½-inch thick. Cut into 1-inch gnocchi. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Drop the gnocchi into the pot of boiling water in multiple batches, depending on the size of your pot. Make sure you don't overcrowd them or they will stick together. The gnocchi are done cooking when they start to float. Remove to a parchment-lined baking sheet with a slotted spoon and repeat with remaining gnocchi until they are all cooked.
  5. Once the gnocchi are cooked, bring the pasta water back to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes to remove some of the bitterness. Drain and lightly pat the broccoli rabe dry.
  6. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the broccoli rabe to the pan and season with a pinch of salt. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until heated through. Stir in the gnocchi and saute for a few minutes to heat through.
  7. Divide the gnocchi and broccoli rabe mixture among 4 bowls. Top each plate with ¼ cup of the remaining ricotta, a sprinkle of smoked sea salt and a grind of black pepper.
An Eats Well With Others Original
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe

 For more pumpkin pasta recipes, check out these:

pumpkin gnocchi with winter squash and seared radicchio

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Winter Squash and Seared Radicchio

rigatoni with spicy pumpkin cream sauce

Rigatoni with Spicy Pumpkin Cream Sauce

butternut squash and spinach lasagna

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna

From Around the Web:

Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo from Cookie + Kate

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Parmesan Spinach Sauce from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

Butternut Squash Alfredo Baked Shells from Gimme Some Oven

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Parmesan and Sage from Bake Your Day

Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna from Half Baked Harvest

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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52 Responses to Pumpkin Gnocchi with Broccoli Rabe and Smoked Ricotta

  1. Lynn says:

    Nothing wrong with a little street screaming now and then. 🙂 All of my favorite ingredients are in that dish – looks so good! And the side salad thing – I mostly give up and just have salad for dinner. That kit looks like a good option.

  2. Sune Moolman says:

    It looks delicious, I totally want to jump in and get me some broccoli rabe!

  3. Ohhhhh I’ve been waiting for this recipe since I saw the gnocchi on Instagram!! And it’s a keeper. Yum!

  4. I went a little crazy about the stockings I wanted this year so I understand. I like the addition of the sea salt instead of sweet spices for gnocchi. Sounds great!

  5. Yum. That sounds amazing. I love that it tips the savory side since so many pumpkin dishes lean sweet!

  6. Oh my, I don’t think you need me to tell you this looks divine. I mean, wow. Who wouldn’t want this for dinner 🙂

  7. Pumpkin always seems to be bombarded with nutmeg and cinnamon, that it’s nice to see it on it’s own (or with smokey deliciousness) once in a while. Sounds tasty! I love gnocchi but am always afraid I’ll make it at home very terribly and ruin this delicious, delicate food.

  8. Caroline says:

    So glad you won that battle and got your ornaments! They sound adorable! This gnocchi is going to happen this weekend….wow, I just love how you combined it with the broccoli rabe and the ricotta. And yeah, by the time I figure out dinner, the side salad doesn’t always come together. My husband always chimes in with, “Oh…so, no salad tonight?” Arrrgh. Looking for these Eat Smart kits!

  9. Lori R. says:

    The lack of a macaron ornament for a food-themed Christmas tree is an emergency situation. I completely understand the panic. I’m so glad you found it! This sounds so good. I’m still hanging on to all things pumpkin. The fall months are never enough for me to fully enjoy it!

  10. Love this dish and love this post…getting your first tree as a married couple is a memory you’ll never forget! And this dish – with or without the side salad – sounds amazing!

  11. This seriously looks like perfection on a plate!! Love.

  12. Heather says:

    I love the idea of ricotta instead of potatoes!

  13. cheri says:

    I could eat this day after day Joanne, this is my kind of heaven.

  14. Christina says:

    Just when I was considering easing up on the carbs and dairy for awhile….. 🙂 Last night, we had every intention on getting our first real Christmas tree together…. and then we went with decorated house pine plants instead! Have to start somewhere?!

  15. oh my gawd, I have to see the macaron ornaments!! Congrats on the Christmas tree . . it’s real now, yo. And I’m not opposed to pre-packed salads. . and this one looks amazing! will def check it out and YES to the homemade gnocchi. . I’ve never used cake flour and am intrigued. how does the texture differ from using all-purpose flour? love this!

  16. I was thinking I went a little overboard sending my ornament exchange buddy a plate of cookies ornament – but when one has food on the brain it translates into everything eh?! 🙂
    I really need to try my hand at tackling this gnocchi recipe of yours – my daughter has been bugging me about making some pumpkin ones for awhile now and these look scrumptious!
    Congrats on y’alls first married tree!

  17. This gnocchi looks amazing, Joanne! Love the broccoli rabe and smoked ricotta, so good along with those other great flavours!

  18. Sarah says:

    Pumpkin gnocchi, yum! I love the colors in this dish. Your tree ornaments sound amazing, a whisk ornament?! I have to go shopping for ornaments where you do when I have a tree someday. Show us a picture of your tree when you are done!

  19. This dish has EVERYTHING I love! A healthy comfort dinner!

  20. I seriously need to try gnocchi! This looks amazing!

  21. Ha, you street screamer, you! 😉 This gnocchi looks just incredible and broccoli rabe is one of my favorite things ever so, yum!!!!

  22. Mmm – delicious – Joanne – know what you mean about the salad. We have an organic grower here in Hawke’s Bay who does a micro/macro salad mix – micro greens mixed with baby leaf lettuce – such a lifesaver – is so delicious that it doesn’t even need dressing.

  23. awww, your first tree! how cute 🙂 what a great meal too!

  24. Hotly Spiced says:

    That’s a great looking gnocchi. I’ve only made gnocchi a couple of times. The first time I did everything wrong. I remember going out to get a Christmas tree the first year we were married too. My husband thought it was all quite unnecessary because he didn’t grow up with a lot of fuss and he now knows that every year we will be getting a tree and that every year there will be even more lights xx

  25. CakeSpy says:

    THIS. SOUNDS. SO. GOOD!!!!! I love the combo of flavors and the addition of broccoli rabe.

  26. Kate says:

    My husband’s complaint about pumpkin pasta dishes involves the sweetness, so i bet this savory version would be welcomed.

  27. Screaming in the street—–that can be fun—it’s the naked and screaming thru the streets
    that gets a little dicey. But then you could come home and warm yourself with this great dish.

  28. Kath the Cook says:

    whaaaat? no photo of the macaron ornament?

    Congrats on the christmas tree. I love doing a tree and have lots and lots of way cool and unusual ornaments. Just build the collection year by year. Someone really thoughtful could get you a few great ones as a super christmas gift.

    gnocchi scares me, just like pie crust. but on other stuff I’m willing to put in ALL the time and effort – like first-time-ever pork belly (from a humanely raised local pig) slow roasted for four hours, then cut into chunks and fried, then sauteed in a caramel-fish sauce-lime-shallot sauce. yum

  29. Wow this looks amazing. Pumpkin gnocchi!?!? I’ve never had this before and this looks amazing. I need to make this asap!

  30. Zainab says:

    Cake flour?? I want to try that in gnocchi!! Also smoked salt? Amazing!!

    You are legit yo!! And so true the married life is not that different after living together for a year or two in my case. I still don’t get the married vibe until I hear him call me ‘my wife’ in public and I chuckle. Ha!

    Also that macaron ornament you speak of was where? I got cupcakes and shoes on my tree and I now KNOW the missing piece is that ornament you speak of! Spill please 🙂

  31. Eileen says:

    Oh, I haven’t made gnocchi in WAY too long! And you have to love the winter greens and orange root veg combination. So classic and delicious.

  32. this is gnocchi! I mean really- this is what GNOCCHI is all about

  33. Julia says:

    Just incredible! That gnocchi looks fabulous and I’m full-tilt obsessed with broccoli rabe. That smoked ricotta? Stop it! Meal o’ champions I say. Meal o’ champs.

  34. Love the idea of ready made side salads for busy nights. Pumpkin gnocchi is still on my list of things to do 🙂

  35. Christine says:

    Been making ricotta gnocchi forever, so easy. Never tried pumpkin though. Really liked the broccoli addition. The cake flour is brilliant!

  36. Ala says:

    Boy knows what’s up! You scream about those delightful ornaments all you want, girl (pics or they never happened though?). I am seriously bookmarking this all over the place, loooove pumpkin gnocchi.

  37. Krista says:

    This sounds absolutely heavenly, Joanne! I’d love a big bowl all to myself. 🙂

  38. Oh, please share a photo of your tree once decorated! I want to see those ornaments 🙂 In the mean time, this does sound delicious.

  39. Oh yum!!!! I love how you’ve used ricotta instead of potato for this gnocchi! Totally going to make this for dinner tonight! <3 Also, pinning! 😀 (PS: macaron ornaments are totally top priority 😉 )

  40. Great recipe as always, Joanne! Congratulations on your first Christmas Tree!!! It feels so nice preparing the house for the Holidays, isnt´it?! I love this time of the year!

  41. You Christmas tree sounds like it would make me hungry! And this gnocchi is definitely making me hungry! Looks incredible!

  42. Smoked ricotta? PUMPKIN gnocchi?? Where has all of this yum been all my life?! I am seriously drooling over everything you’ve got goin’ on here. 🙂

  43. Pumpkin gnocchi is my favorite! Love this!

  44. Kelly says:

    Yay for your first tree together 🙂 And a macaron ornament?? Oh my gosh, I want that!!!
    Love this pumpkin gnocchi too and I am drooling over that gorgeous broccoli rabe! Yum!

  45. Mary Frances says:

    Whoa whoa whoa, gnocchi, broccoli rabe, AND smoked ricotta? I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a ridiculously legit salad to me. Pinned! PS congrats on the tree! You’re officially official 😉

  46. I could have this delicious/ healthy/ flavorsome dish right away.

  47. This sounds incredible! The depth of the flavors and your stunning photography have me wanting to reach through the screen and take a bite. LOVE it!

  48. Susan says:

    I love squash gnocchi so I know I would love pumpkin gnocchi too! I’ve seen a couple of posts about the Eat Smart kits. They sound like a great product. Especially during the holidays when we (mean I) are stressed enough trying to get everything done!

  49. Kate says:

    Holy moly, Joanne, how do you come up with this stuff?! This dish looks marvelous. Love the sound of those super foods in bags. I’m all about shortcuts!

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