While researching my post on pumpkin pierogi, I noticed that so many food blogs written in Polish have recipes for pumpkin kopytka, something normally made with potatoes. Some are made with just pumpkin, some use both. That’s the route I decided to take, pumpkin potato kopytka.
Kopytka literally means hooves. The name comes from the diamond shape of this dumpling. They are much like Italian gnocchi. The main difference is in the toppings used.
Kopytka can be served Polonaise – French for Polish style – with buttered bread crumbs. Pan dripping or gravy are popular toppings. Some like to fry the kopytka after it’s been boiled and top it with gulasz.
Frying is what I decided to do with my boiled pumpkin potato kopytka. I loved the result. I may always fry kopytka from now on. I topped them with a mushroom sauce, so delicious!
Tips for making pumpkin and potato kopytka
You can certainly use canned pureed pumpkin for this recipe. That’s what I’d planned to do, but the stores in my area were out. So I roasted a few small pumpkins. If you’d like to try that, you can find the instructions in this post that I wrote while we lived in Poland.
As for cooking the potatoes, they need to be on the dry side, so freshly cooked and riced or mashed rather than leftover mashed potatoes. The potatoes should be boiled in their skins. So many Polish recipes call for cooking potatoes this way, “in their uniforms,” something I’d never done. When I asked why I was told that their more flavorful when cooked in the peel. Another benefit is that they peel every so easily. This is now my standard method.
I’ll veer off-topic here and offer a gardening tip. Don’t dump the potato water down the drain. I attended a zoom workshop on growing fig trees recently. The speaker was an ethnobiologist who talked about the history of fig trees in our region and offered tips on caring for your fig tree. Someone asked about fertilizer since the subject had not come up. Our speaker did not like to use chemical fertilizer, but she did feed her trees with potato and pasta water, letting it cool after cooking before dumping it on her trees. I finally remembered to give it a when I made these pumpkin and potato kopytka.
The pumpkin adds a bit of color to the kopytka. Some cooks who are working with just pumpkin, no potatoes, add a small amount to turmeric to the dough to intensify the color. Using half pumpkin and half potatoes, the pumping flavor was not pronounced, but the taste was excellent.
Your dumplings will be ready to eat after they’re boiled, but I urge you to fry them after you’ve boiled the kopytka. I used a mix of olive oil and butter, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. The resulting taste and texture were amazing! We give these high marks, right up there with my usual kopytka. I know this is something I’ll make many times.
PS – you might enjoy these other pumpkin recipes
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Traditional dumplings take an autumnal twist – Pumpkin Potato Kopytka!
- 1/2 pound potatoes (2 small Russet or 1/2 very large or 22og)
- 1/2 pound pumpkin puree (about a cup or 220g)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 – 2 1/2 cups flour, approximately
- Cook the potatoes in their skins until tender. Drain and run under cold water to cool the potatoes. Peel and rice or mash.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the riced potato, pureed pumpkin, egg, and salt, mix until combined using a wooden spoon.
- Mix in the flour, using just enough flour to get a dough that isn’t sticky, one. you can roll into a rope. Don’t over mix.
- Divide the dough into six pieces. Using the palms of your hands roll a piece of dough and pull outward until you have a fairly uniform rope that is 3/4 inches in diameter. Cut the rope on the diagonal every 1/2 inch.
- Lightly dust a sheet pan with flour and place your kopytka on the baking sheet, separating the dumplings so they aren’t touching each other.
- Boil a large pot of generously salted water. Cooking the dumplings in 2 or 3 batches, so they’ll have plenty of room to move and not clump together. They only need to cook for a couple of minutes. When they float to the top they’re done. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain, and finish as desired.
- They’re excellent sauteed in a mix of butter and olive oil, or top them straight out away with buttered bread crumbs.
Keywords: pumpkin potato kopytka, Polish dumplings