Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage Butter

October 31, 2018 by General Administrator

Crispy pumpkin gnocchi with a simple butter sauce . . . a very good dish for an Autumn day. Serve with a green salad.

Making gnocchi is very easy. Making beautiful gnocchi is a bit trickier; I’ve not mastered it despite numerous attempts. Fortunately even the most peculiarly-shaped gnocchi are delicious. I have learned a few things about making them, though. First of all, the less flour you use, the more tender your gnocchi will be. Resist the urge to add a lot of flour to the dough and accept that it will be a bit sticky. Second, for this recipe, it’s important to let the pumpkin purée drain for at least half an hour. The drier your purée the less sticky the dough, and the less flour you’ll need to add to make it workable. . . Finally, you can make this in stages. The shaped gnocchi can sit around for ages until you’re ready to cook them, and since you re-heat the cooked gnocchi in the butter sauce right before serving, you can also cook these in advance and leave the final toss in the butter until the last minute.

I apologise for the eclectic mix of measurements (tablespoons, cups and grams) in this recipe, and also for its length. Do try it—it’s very tasty indeed. One small Canalside pumpkin should produce exactly the right amount of purée for this recipe.

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage Butter
Serves 2

Ingredients

Gnocchi
2/3 cup drained pumpkin purée (see below for preparing your pumpkin puree)
1/2 cup ricotta
1¼ cups plain flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated, plus more to grate on the finished dish
1 egg
¼ tsp salt and pepper to taste

Sage Butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
30g butter
20-30 fresh sage leaves

Preparation

First prepare your pumpkin purée:
Preheat the oven to 180C. Wash the pumpkin to remove any residual earth, and then cut it in half from top to bottom. Turn each half on its side and slice into 1-inch hemispheres. Drizzle a little oil on a baking tray (or several baking trays if necessary) and lay the pumpkin slices on the tray. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Remove from the oven. Once it’s cool enough to handle, scrape the roasted pumpkin flesh into a fine sieve, discarding (or eating . . .) the seeds and skin. Using your hands (or a stick blender), mash the pumpkin into a purée. Leave the puree to drain in the sieve for at least half an hour. You want the purée to be as dry as possible.

Make the gnocchi:
Mix all the gnocchi ingredients in a bowl to make a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a floured board and roll into a log. You might need to incorporate a bit more flour, but try not to add much. Cut the log into 6 pieces and roll each into a rope about an inch thick. Using a sharp knife cut each rope into 1 inch squares. These are your gnocchi. If you wish, use the tines of a fork to press little ridges onto each square. These are attractive and will help the butter sauce adhere. You can leave the shaped gnocchi to sit at room temperature until you’re ready to cook them. It’s best to arrange them on a piece of baking paper so they don’t stick to your worktop.
When you’re ready to cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Drop about half the gnocchi into the water, one by one, keeping the water at a boil. Give them a stir. After a minute or two they will start rising to the surface. This means those gnocchi are cooked. Fish them out with a slotted spoon and set them on a rack to drain. Cook the remaining gnocchi. If you’re not ready to eat yet, the cooked gnocchi will wait perfectly contentedly until you are.

Finish the dish:
When you’re ready to eat, melt the oil and about a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the cooked gnocchi and sauté for several minutes, until the gnocchi begin to turn golden brown and crispy. Add the remaining butter. When it melts, add the sage leaves and toss about for another 2-3 minutes. The gnocchi will be golden, the sage crisp and the butter slightly browned. Grate some cheese and black pepper over the top and serve.

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