I have been thinking about gnocchi a lot lately. And pumpkin. And the result is, unsurprisingly, pumpkin gnocchi.
I love pumpkin and squashes, they are so wonderfully autumnull with their orangey, yellow skins and rooty sweet flavours, OMG I love them! They are versatile; useful in sweet and savoury dishes, mains and sides and puddings, even as festive lanterns or as a substitute for crockery to save on washing up (I loathe washing up).
And damn they can be cute!
Not only have I been wanting to make my own gnocchi I have also been inspired to actually do it by this recipe from one of my favourite food blogs, How Sweet It Is. And I’m really excited about this post because it’s the first time I’ve got really experimental in the kitchen – as in like, scientific experimental not just chucking together crazy ingredients and seeing what happens…BANG!
Last time I attempted gnocchi was a few years ago and they were awful, really awful. Heavy and hard, bleurghh! So this time I tried to do it by feel rather than actually measuring anything. AND IT WORKED!!
Equal quantities of potato (I used 4 small fist sized ones) and pumpkin, plain flour, all spice, garlic, seasoning – makes loads of dough, enough for maybe one person who reallllly loves gnocchi or six for main courses.
Boil the potatoes in their skins until soft with a couple of cloves of garlic. Allow them to cool and then peel off the skins. Put the potatoes and garlic through a ricer a couple of times until smooth and leave to cool completely. Meanwhile, roast the pumpkin after dusting it with all spice and coating it in olive oil, until soft and squishy. Once cooked, pulverise using a stick blender or food processor. Allow the puree to cool. Mix the potato and squash together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Seive in a cup full of flour and fold in well. Keep adding flour slowly until a sticky dough is formed. Too much flour is what makes the gnocchi heavy so go slowly.
This is where I got experimental. I kept a pot of water on the boil as I mixed the flour in and before adding more I shaped a little of the dough between two spoons (like a quenelle…oooo!) and dropped it into the boiling water. Once the dough came together more it was easier to form a ‘sausage’ of dough and roll, cut and shape it in the traditional sense however I preferred the shape of the quenelles. AND the quenelles worked better in the following recipe.
Pan-fried Gnocchi with Browned Butter and Sage
Leftover (or specially made) cooked gnocchi, butter, fresh sage leaves, crushed garlic, parmesan
Put a large knob of butter into a frying pan and cook over a high heat until it smells nutty and goes brown. Add the sage and crushed garlic then the gnocchi and fry until they take on a little colour. Serve topped with lots of parmesan, rock salt and black pepper. Great as a little starter or indulgent lunch surrounded with peppy rocket.