It’s September, so that means it has to be pumpkin season, right? This was an impromptu dinner from last fall that I posted to my Instagram. After many requests for a formal recipe, I’m happy to say I’ve finally written one. (Albeit a year later since I forgot all about this one, oops.) I give you –drumroll please — Gnocchi in a Tomato Pumpkin “Meat” Sauce. I like starting with random ingredients and seeing how they come together by the end, and that’s exactly how this meal started. Pumpkin purée thickens the tomato-based sauce, while zucchini melts and melds into the sauce. Italian flavors honor the “meatless” version of this dish, using a vegan-based “meat,” pairing perfecting with gnocchi. No pumpkin spice flavors here!
Ingredients (serves 4).
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 onion, diced
- 2 t light olive oil
- 1 package (16 oz) meatless beef like Beyond Ground Beef *
- 1 medium zucchini, julienned (or finely chopped)
- 2 c (one 15 oz can) diced tomatoes, divided
- 1 c pumpkin purée
- 1/2 t dried oregano
- 1/2 t dried basil
- 1/4 t dried thyme
- 1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 package (about 3 c) pumpkin gnocchi
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan to garnish (omit if vegan/dairy-free)
- Red pepper flakes to garnish (optional)
*NOTE: Beyond Ground Beef still has a pretty high fat content, but it uses plant-based protein without incorporating soy and has a “meaty” flavor and texture. I also quite like Gardein Beefless Ground, which is finely crumbled, gluten-free, and has the lowest fat content for vegan meat. Finely chopped carrots and mushrooms also give a nice, meaty texture. You can always swap in ground beef, turkey, or chicken if you want a true meat sauce.
- In a large sauté pan, heat oil, garlic and onions over medium heat. Sauté until fragrant and onions are tender.
- Add Beyond meat (or “meat” of choice; see note) and stir in zucchini. Sauté until zucchini is tender and “meat” is crumbling.
- Purée 1 c of diced tomatoes. Add puréed tomatoes to pan with remaining diced tomatoes, pumpkin, oregano, basil, and thyme. Cover and reduce to a simmer, 10-15 min.
- Meanwhile, cook gnocchi according to package directions. Once cooked, toss with sauce and folding parsley.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide gnocchi and sauce between four dishes. Garnish with parmesan and red pepper flakes (both optional).
Inspired by my recipe for a Creamy Tomato Pumpkin Sauce.
Nutrition for 1 of 4 servings (using Beyond ground beef).
502 calories • 21 g fat (40%) • 47 g carbs (38%) • 26.7 g protein (22%) • 9.2 g fiber • 12.3 g sugar • 780 mg sodium
* These are estimates based off specific products I used and how I entered ingredients in a fitness tracker. This is completely subjective and used to give a rough nutritional estimate.