Chef Jeffery Jake shared this divine, melt-in-your mouth pasta dish with us during a Chef Walk at our Farm Stand. You can substitute canned pumpkin purée if you don't have a fresh pumpkin, but be sure to use a cooking variety (like Sugar Pie) rather than an ornamental pumpkin for the best flavor and texture.
Place the pumpkin cubes in a medium-size saucepan and cover with boiling water. Cook over medium-high heat until the pumpkin is soft and tender. Drain and discard the cooking water.
Set a sieve over a bowl and press the pumpkin through the sieve. Return the purée to the pan and add the 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the pumpkin has thickened and dried, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour, egg yolk, salt, and pepper, beating just until combined. The mixture should be in the form of a soft dough.
To form the gnocchi, roll about a tablespoon of dough in the palm of your hand to form an oblong disk. Press the tines of a fork lightly against one side of the disk to make an indentation. Place the formed gnocchi on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment. If you're not going to cook them immediately, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the gnocchi for up to 4 hours.
When you're ready to cook the gnocchi, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.
Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining the butter and thyme in a small skillet. Place over low heat and simmer until the butter turns golden.
Cook the gnocchi a few at a time in the boiling water until they rise to the surface of the water. Transfer them with a slotted spoon to a warm platter. To serve, drizzle the gnocchi with the butter sauce, and top with ribbons of parmesan and a few grinds of fresh pepper.