Everyone has their favourite ingredients and when you start writing down recipes in some sort of form (blog or otherwise) it becomes all too evident when you have a little bit of an obsession going on. So I may as well come clean straight away and say that I do love a bit of pumpkin or squash as you call it here in the UK. I love eating pumpkin and I find myself drawn like mosquito to one of those blue zappers (or more poetically perhaps like a moth to a flame) to recipes that contain pumpkin. So often I find that the recipes that I tear from magazines or flag in my cookbook collection involve pumpkin in one way or another. Therefore you can only imagine my joy when I discovered that those heavenly little pillows we call gnocchi can also be made from pumpkin rather than potato.
Admittedly pumpkin gnocchi is a little more tricky to make than standard garden variety potato gnocchi as the mixture is wetter. What’s more their appearance may be on the uneven side but what you lose out on in looks you gain in the sensational hearty pumpkin flavour. I have made these a couple of times now and have discovered that this sage and butter sauce is the perfect accompaniment to pumpkin gnocchi as anything more powerful such as a napoli sauce overwhelms the magnificent pumpkin flavour.
1 Butternut pumpkin/squash (around 350g)
1 egg lightly beaten
10 fresh sage leaves
Salt and pepper to season
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
2. Remove the pumpkin skin and seeds and cut into cubes, sprinkle with olive oil and roast in the oven for 20 mins or until soft.
3. Mash the pumpkin and then mix in the egg and flour with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Place the pumpkin mixture in the fridge for at least one hour.
5. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.
6. Dust your work surface and your hands with flour and roll a tablespoon of the mixture into a sausage and then cut into bite size pieces and place on a tray lined with baking/greaseproof paper.
7. Carefully drop the gnocchi in the boiling water one by one. The gnocchi is cooked once it rises to the surface and should be removed gently using a slotted spoon.
8. Meanwhile cut the sage leaves into thin strips.
9. Over a low heat melt the butter in a frypan and then add the sage leaves and continue to cook until the butter turns a nutty brown colour.
10. Pour the butter and sage sauce over the gnocchi, season with salt and pepper and serve.
Serves 2. Adapted from an old Epicure recipe.
Tips: (1) If the pumpkin mixture seems to watery when you remove it from the fridge heat it in a saucepan to thicken it up. (2) If you rinse the pumpkin seeds and toast them separately you can use them to sprinkle on muesli or salads.