20 December 2017

Roasted Pumpkin Gnocchi

It's no secret that autumn is my favourite season. From the chestnuts, to the mushrooms; from pears and clementines to pomegranates and persimmons; Autumn brings us some of the most savoury and sweet produce. Pumpkin is a fantastic vegetable full of beta-carotene and fibre. By oven roasting the pumpkin (or butternut squash) first, it creates a drier base for using as a thick sauce or as a puree for desserts.

The base of this recipe is incredibly versatile, working well as a filling for homemade ravioli, mixing in for a sweet and savoury risotto, or just as a delicious side dish to a classic fall menu. But the quickest and simplest dish is to stir it with fresh gnocchi. But be careful, like risotto, gnocchi can be very filling and heavy, so I recommend a smaller portion than you may be accustomed to.

Also, the puree freezes well, and can be made in large batches for later uses. This makes about 2-3 servings. For a vegan version, replace the butter with olive oil.

500 grams soft potato gnocchi*
2 cups cubed, roasted pumpkin
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp chopped sage leaf
1 Tbsp chopped rosemary
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
 Salt & pepper to taste
*Reserve cooking water to dilute puree if needed

Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C. Peel and cube the pumpkin. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt. Roast the for 40-50 minutes, or until tender and the tips slightly browned (this can be done up to a day or two in advance).

Simmer the butter in a large sauté pan. When it stops foaming, carefully add the chopped herbs. When the herbs stop sizzling, add the balsamic vinegar and the cubes of pumpkin, tossing to coat well. Simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes and turn off the flame. Puree the pumpkin (in a food processor or with a hand blender) until smooth. Put the puree in a large mixing bowl.

Make the gnocchi according to directions (usually about 2-3 minutes) and when cooked, scoop them directly into the bowl with the pumpkin puree. Stir well to coat the gnocchi, adding some of the cooking water to thin the puree to desired texture. Garnish with fresh rosemary and serve immediately.

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