Tag Archives: pumpkin gnocchi

Roasted Pumpkin Spelt Gnocchi with Sage Butter Sauce

9 Nov

This was dish number 4 out of the 7 course dinner which I recently prepared in Vancouver. By this time, I was running late!  To be quite frank, I’m not very good at making gnocchi. It’s a dish that requires practice and I have not practiced enough. This was the third attempt at making gnocchi but the first using pumpkin.

Surprisingly, it turned out really well. The gnocchi was light, soft and didn’t leave us feeling like we’re too-stuffed-for-the-next-course. The sage butter sauce combined well with the golden pan-fried gnocchi. I think that a cream based sauce would work too.

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos to go with this post as I ran out of time. However, I have included a few photos from a recent cooking class at Mondo Organics (Post to follow) on pasta which also included making gnocchi.

If you’ve made it before, I’d like to hear about your experience. Tips are welcome too!

making gnocchignocchi

Serves 2 (with leftovers)

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeds cored out and cut into small pieces (about 300g)
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes (about 300g), boiled in unsalted water
  • 1/2 cup of spelt or strong flour (you may need more depending on the mixture)
  • 2 egg yolks (optional)
  • 6-8 sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt to taste

Method

Wrap pumpkin pieces in foil and roast in hot oven (180C) for about 30-40mins. Whilst pumpkin is roasting, boil the potatoes for about 30mins or until tender.

Once potatoes are tender (should be easy to pierce with fork), drain and transfer to a large bowl. When cool enough to handle, remove skin then mash with a fork.  Use a potato ricer or Moule if you have one. Make sure that there are no lumpy bits.

Mash the pumpkin in a separate bowl and then combine with the potatoes using a fork. It’s important to do this when everything is still warm to make sure that the gnocchi ends up light and fluffy.

Fold egg yolks into potato/pumpkin mixture, then add flour gradually, about a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is no longer wet. It should be firm enough to handle and not sticky. Don’t over do it on the flour (more flour = firmer gnocchi). Let it rest for 5 minutes or so.

Divide mixture into four, roll each quarter into a sausage shape 2cm in diameter on a floured surface, then cut into 3cm lengths. Dust with flour and cover with moist tea towel to stop it from drying out.

When ready to use, cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water for about 3 minutes or until they float. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate or transfer to a pan and fry lightly or add to the sauce of choice.

Sage Butter Sauce

  • 50 g salted butter
  • 8 small leaves of sage
  • Grated pecorino or parmesan to taste

Place chopped butter into pan over medium heat and cook until melted. Add sage leaves to pan, cook until butter has turned a nut-brown colour and sage leaves are crisp (5mins or so). Add the gnocchi and pan-fry for a couple of minutes until the edges turn golden.

Tip: If you’ve made a large batch and have more than you need, just place gnocchi on well floured plate, transfer to freezer until frozen then drop them into freezer bag and use when ready.

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7 course dinner…at home

28 Oct

tasting menu

Recently, I spent last the 2 weeks of summer in Vancouver. Whilst I did get to savor some amazing food at several restaurants, I also had that one chance, to put my skills to the test and baptize a new kitchen.

A friend of mine had told me about a 5 course dinner that he had cooked to woo his girlfriend. I had to go one step further and cook an elaborate 7 course dinner. I have never cooked something so elaborate before and never in a kitchen I am unfamiliar with, but then I was not going to let that daunt me. I love challenges!

Leading up to the big day, I’d sourced enough ingredients to make 5 courses but needed to decide on another 2. Fortunately, two nights prior, I’d been watching an amazing documentary Step Up To the Plate. It provided plenty of inspiration, but in no way was it going to turn me into a 3 star Michelin chef overnight!

I still needed 2 more entrees. I narrowed it down to dishes which I thought would be hearty but not the stuff-you-silly kind. Soup it was. Besides, it was miserable outside, summer was coming to an end and rain, wind, cold was setting in.

Some of the dishes I made up, others I drew on inspiration and from participation at the Mondo Organics cooking class. Detailed recipes to follow.

Kale pesto on sourdough (original recipe by Brenda Fawdon)

Leafy green salad with semi-dried cranberries, pecans, goat milk fetta with a balsamic and agave dressing

Roasted tomato soup with thyme croutons

Wild mushroom soup with saffron croutons

Roasted pumpkin spelt gnocchi with sage butter sauce

Beetroot pearl barley risotto (adapted from original recipe by Brenda Fawdon)

Chocolate tofu tarts (adapted from original recipe by Brenda Fawdon)

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