Gnocchi is a classic for a reason and has long been a must-order for diners looking for a comforting, hearty dish. The foundational pasta is the perfect match with a cheese-based sauce, which is where Grana Padano PDO comes into the picture.

Chef Donato Cofano from Tacco & Tosca replaces potato with pumpkin to make his gnocchi and begins by roasting slices of the vegetable with olive oil before breaking it up with a whisk. Cofano then combines the pumpkin with flour and grated Grana Padano PDO to make a pasta dough. “The reason why I use Grana Padano is because we don’t need a lot – it’s very tasty,” he says.

Once the dough reaches the desired consistency, it’s rolled out and the gnocchi is cut. Cofano places the gnocchi in a pot of boiling salted water and removes once they float to the top. Meanwhile, pieces of pancetta are fried off with olive oil until crisp and added to a luxurious, creamy sauce made with Grana Padano PDO. Cofano coats the gnocchi with the sauce and finishes the dish off with crushed crispy sage leaves and a generous grating of Grana Padano PDO.

Serves four

700g Kent pumpkin
2 shallots
100g pancetta
150g flour tipo 00
2 egg whites
400ml milk
15ml extra-virgin olive oil
300g grated Grana Padano PDO (100g for dough, 200g for cream)
100g shaved Grana Padano PDO
16 sage leaves
Salt and pepper


  1. Bake pumpkin with shallots until completely roasted. Remove the shallots, mash the pumpkin well, and place in a large bowl.
  2. Add flour, egg whites, and 100g of grated Grana Padano to the mashed
    pumpkin and mix by hand until a dough is formed. Knead for a few minutes.
  3. Cut the dough into smaller pieces, roll each piece into a cylinder, and cut each cylinder into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Cut the pancetta into small pieces and shallow fry with a drizzle of EVO until completely cooked. Add eight sage and leave a few minutes. Set pan aside.
  5. In a saucepan, over low to medium heat, mix milk and the rest of the grated grana Padano until a creamlike texture is formed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Place the gnocchi in boiling salted water. When they rise, remove from the pot and place into the pan where the pancetta was cooked.
  7. Mix cooked pancetta with gnocchi until all pieces are coated with pancetta and sage flavour.
  8. Serve on a plate and add a few spoons of the Grana Padano cream on top.
  9. Finish off with shaved Grana Padano PDO and garnish with the remaining sage leaves cut into smaller pieces.

For more information on Grana Padano PDO, visit