This pumpkin gnocchi is pan-fried in vegetable oil to create a wonderfully crisp exterior, while the inside remains pillowy and soft. The cooked gnocchi are then tossed in a mixture of brown butter, hazelnuts, and sage, for a very hearty + cozy dish.
Once the flour is added, test the texture by grabbing a piece of dough and rolling it out on a well-floured surface until it is a 1/2 inch thick rope. It should be soft, and almost like mashed potatoes when you poke it, but firm enough that it holds itself together. If it keeps falling apart, add a little more flour, but only until it just holds together. You do not want to add to much flour.
Cut the gnocchi into 1/2 inch thick rounds and then take a fork to the top of each round and gently press down horizontally to leave an imprint. Very lightly dust them with flour as you make them and place them on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ridged side up.
Please note that the dough will be sticky and that you should use a dough scraper to continually scrape off any dough that has become stuck to the work surface. Keep your hands floured while you work with the dough as well, but be careful not to incorporate too much flour as this will negatively affect the texture and taste of the gnocchi. Allow the gnocchi to rest while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Pour the canola oil into a large frying pan so that it is 1 inch deep. Heat the oil until a drop of water flicked into it sputters, then add the gnocchi one at a time, cooking them in a single layer (i.e. don't stack them on top of each other in a blob otherwise they will get stuck to each other as they cook). One they're puffy and golden brown, remove them with a slotted spoon and set them aside on a plate lined with paper towels.
Once all the gnocchi are cooked, toss them in a large bowl with the brown butter, creme fraiche, hazelnuts, and tarragon and serve immediately.