In a medium-sized bowl add the entire package of instant mashed potatoes and 2 cups boiling water. Stir until thickened.
Make a well in the center and add 2 cups flour, egg, and ½ teaspoon salt if using unflavored instant potatoes. Mix with a spoon, then gently knead in the bowl or on a floured surface, dusting with more flour as needed, about 2 minutes. The dough should be smooth, but not elastic and dry to the touch.
Divide dough into 8 pieces. On a lightly floured surface roll into a long rope, about ½-inch thick.
Cut into ½-inch pieces, dust with flour and arrange in a single layer on a floured rimmed baking sheet. If desired you can use a gnocchi board to add ridges on the sides of the pasta, or lightly pressing and rolling them with the tines of a fork to add texture. Set aside and make the sauce.
Heat a large saute pan and olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add sage leaves and fry until fragrant and lightly golden in color. Add the garlic and shallots and cook, frequently stirring for about 1 to 2 minutes, until tender but not browned.
Add milk, pumpkin puree, chicken stock, salt, and pepper, whisk to combine. Stir and simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes, until mixture is slightly thickened.
Add parmesan cheese and whisk to combine. Add more chicken stock or milk to thin out sauce if needed, adding a tablespoon at a time. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Keep warm over low heat as you cook the gnocchi.
Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil. Work in batches and cook gnocchi for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they float to the surface. Stir once after 30 seconds to make sure gnocchi are not stuck to the bottom. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked gnocchi into the pumpkin sauce.
Toss cooked gnocchi into the pumpkin sauce. Divide gnocchi evenly among four serving dishes. Top with a little bit of pepper, grated parmesan cheese, pumpkin seeds, and chopped parsley.
White whole wheat flour can be substituted with whole wheat, all-purpose or gluten-free flour. Start by adding 1 1/2 cup flour, then gradually add in more, kneading in between for a few seconds, until dough is dry to the touch.
If gnocchi dough feels moist, continue adding flour 1 tablespoon at a time until proper texture is achieved.
Whole milk can be substituted for soy, rice, cashew or full-fat coconut milk.