[this post is brought to you by Rodelle, who I’m partnering with in 2016 to make all sorts of delicious recipes! as always, I only work with products that I 100% love and use in my own kitchen. thank you for your support!]

I made us some pumpkin pillows!

pumpkin ricotta gnocchi with vanilla brown butter I howsweeteats.com

And they sure aren’t the kind that you sleep on.

Delicious, savory and pillowy pumpkin ricotta gnocchi (called gnudi!) swimming in a brown butter sauce. With fried sage. It’s like the epitome of fall. And I can’t get enough. THIS is how pumpkin should always be!

pumpkin ricotta gnocchi with vanilla brown butter I howsweeteats.com

Ever since making this ricotta gnocchi this past spring, I’ve been dreaming of using pumpkin or squash and making a fall version. And using it in conjunction with the ricotta. Not instead of. Cheesy pumpkin ricotta gnocchi is all I really need in my life.

Pumpkin or squash or even sweet potato gnocchi isn’t anything new around here. One of the first recipes I ever made for the blog, back in 2009 (hello, horrifying) was a sweet potato gnocchi – which turned into a pumpkin gnocchi. I love squash more in savory recipes than I do in sweet, so any time I can find a ravioli or gnocchi or any sort of pasta that incorporates it, I’m alllll over that.

pumpkin ricotta gnocchi with vanilla brown butter I howsweeteats.com

BUT. It’s going to get so much better.

Because I stirred vanilla beans into my brown butter. Whaaaaat.

pumpkin ricotta gnocchi with vanilla brown butter I howsweeteats.com

Look at those little bean flecks! Brown butter bits AND vanilla beans. This is probably what my heaven will look like.

pumpkin ricotta gnocchi with vanilla brown butter I howsweeteats.com

All year I’ve been working with Rodelle to share some delicious recipes with their madagascar bourbon vanilla beans (vanilla bean chocolate ombre frosted cake! chocolate cashew coconut summer tart!) and I’ve been ridiculously excited about this savory version for months. I almost always stick to desserts when using my vanilla beans, because they are just so PRECIOUS. It’s like… if I’m going to make something fantastic with luxurious vanilla, it better be an indulgent dessert that I can share with my friends.

I decided to live a little though. And use up one of my vanilla bean pods for this gnocchi that I could also share with friends. It’s dreamy. I promise.

pumpkin ricotta gnocchi with vanilla brown butter I howsweeteats.com

Here’s the thing: it’s not like the vanilla makes a savory recipe super sweet. It’s just the rich beans, the strong scent of vanilla, a hint of extra flavor that borders on caramelization. It might work better in brown butter than any other ingredient I’ve ever tried. EVER.

pumpkin ricotta gnocchi with vanilla brown butter I howsweeteats.com

Something that makes a dish so wonderful is when you love each separate component so much that you could easily eat it alone. And when all of those incredible components are combined, and the dish tastes out-of-this-world, it’s mind blowing. Any day of the week you could find me consuming the pumpkin gnudi, plain fried sage, brown butter through a straw (I mean, I’m sort of joking, but not) and parmesan shavings alone.

pumpkin ricotta gnocchi with vanilla bean brown butter I howsweeteats.com

Perhaps the BEST part of this meal though? It’s easy. You mix everything together in the bowl, pat it into a dough ball, roll it out and cut it. Boil the fresh pasta and drizzle it with butter that tastes like it was sent from the heavens. Cover it with butter-fried sage… does that even need an explanation?

I think not. Hello my most favorite fall bowl!

pumpkin ricotta gnocchi with vanilla brown butter I howsweeteats.com

Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Vanilla Brown Butter

5 from 4 votes
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  • ounces ricotta cheese
  • ounces pumpkin puree 
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • for serving: shaved parmesan cheese

vanilla brown butter

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

fried sage

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 handful fresh sage


  • Place the ricotta on a triple layer of paper towels. Cover it with another triple layer and press down, releasing liquid from the cheese. Scoop the cheese into a bowl and weigh out exactly 6 ounces for the gnocchi. If there is any leftover, use it for another dish! (or spread it on bread. mmmm.)
  • In a bowl, stir together the ricotta, pumpkin 1 1/4 cups of the flour, cheese, eggs, salt and pepper until just combined – using a rubber spatula. Add the remaining flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together, form a ball. Press it into a disk on a floured surface and cut it into four equal pieces. Take each piece and roll it into a log about 16 to 18 inches long. Cut 1-inch pieces with a sharp knife.
  • To cook, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once it’s simmering, add the gnocchi and cook about 2 to 3 minutes, until it floats for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon or sieve to drain.
  • Toss the gnocchi with the brown butter, fried sage and shaved parmesan. Serve immediately.

vanilla brown butter

  • Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. Immediately begin whisking. Stir as it bubbles, and after 2 to 3 minutes or so you should see brown bits appear on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat immediately and add in the vanilla beans. Continue to whisk for another 30 seconds.

fried sage

  • Place the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once melted and sizzling, add in the sage leaves and cook for 30 seconds on each side. Remove them and place on a paper towel to drain excess butter.


Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0g, Trans Fat: 0g, Potassium: 0mg, Vitamin A: 0IU, Vitamin C: 0mg, Calcium: 0mg, Iron: 0mg

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pumpkin ricotta gnocchi with vanilla brown butter I howsweeteats.com

I even tricked Eddie into eating it. I did!