Christine Hickman, who wrote the definitive gnocchi cookbook, Gnocchi, Solo Gnocchi, and regularly teaches Italian-themed cooking classes in Santa Fe, offers this delicious recipe celebrating the humble pumpkin. She often uses the widely available kabocha squash, also known as Japanese pumpkin, because of its sweet, dry, and dense flesh, but agrees any variety of local pie pumpkin will work.

2 pounds pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cubed (kabocha, butternut, or other fine-grained winter squash are good substitutes)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 egg, lightly beaten

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

1½–2 cups unbleached flour, plus more for dusting

¾ cup unsalted butter

¾ cup hazelnuts

22–25 fresh sage leaves, finely slivered

Pinch of cinnamon

Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish

Serves 6

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Toss pumpkin pieces with olive oil in a large bowl and season with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast until tender and lightly browned, 20 to 30 minutes.

2. In a small bowl, combine egg with nutmeg and lemon zest. Set aside.

3. When cool enough to handle but still warm, pass the pumpkin through a ricer into a medium mixing bowl. With a rubber spatula or a flexible bowl-scraper, lightly mix the egg mixture into the pumpkin using a cutting-and-folding motion, as if mixing a cake. Sprinkle with 1½ cups of the flour and mix lightly. Do not overmix or gnocchi will be tough. Gather the dough into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface.

4. Take a walnut-size portion of dough and roll lightly into an oblong shape. Test-cook this “practice piece” in simmering water until it rises to the surface; check its texture. Add more flour if necessary, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. The gnocchi should hold together without being gummy.

5. Divide the dough into 4 to 6 pieces and roll into finger-thick ropes. Cut each rope into ¾-inch pieces and place them on a lightly floured tray. You can roll each piece on a gnocchi board or create the ridges with the tines of a fork.

6. Place butter in a small, light-colored saucepan and heat over medium. Cook 5 to 10 minutes or until butter is golden brown. (Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn; using a light-colored saucepan will allow you to see the true color of the butter.)

7. Add the hazelnuts and allow to cook for 2 minutes, then add slivered sage leaves, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside; keep warm.

8. Bring at least 1 gallon of water to simmer in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt, then drop in the gnocchi, cooking no more than half the batch at a time. As the gnocchi rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon and place in a large bowl.

9. When ready to serve, toss the sauce with the cooked gnocchi and divide among serving bowls. Serve grated cheese on the side.

Note: Gnocchi can be frozen after forming for up to two weeks. Hickman’s cookbook has recipes for additional sauce options and is sold at Las Cosas Kitchen Shop, in Santa Fe, and other local bookstores.

Read more: This recipe originally appeared in "Autumn Brings Delicious Pumpkin Dishes" by Chef Johnny Vee.