A seasonal take on traditional gnocchi, easy to make and so simple to make a range of dishes from.
Cook the pumpkin via your favourite method - this could be roasting with a drizzle of oil, baking whole (with a few cuts in it to prevent bursting), boiling without the skin in chunks, or steaming in the same manner. Once the pumpkin is cooked, allow to cool, then remove the skin.
Depending on the type of pumpkin used will depend on how easy the next stage is! You need to remove as much water as possible from the pumpkin. You could do this using a sieve, a potato masher, a fork, your hands, or a cheesecloth. We used a cheesecloth as the Tromboncino was very watery after baking. From our 500g of flesh, we ended up with 200g of pumpkin. Reweigh the pumpkin and divide this by four. This is roughly the amount of flour you want (we had 200g pumpkin, we used 50g flour).
Add the flour to the pumpkin and mix well until you have a soft pliable dough. Add a bit more flour if necessary. If you wanted to add salt, pepper, garlic, herbs etc, add them at this stage.
Divide the dough into manageable pieces and roll into ropes. Cut the rope into pieces about 2cm each. Gently press the tines of a fork into each piece.
Boil a pan of water (you can salt this if you are making savoury gnocchi and haven't flavoured the dough). Carefully drop several gnocchi into the pan and wait for them to cook. When ready, the gnocchi will rise to the surface and float. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
Make your preferred sauce while the pumpkin is cooking, so it is ready to add the gnocchi to. We made the following three sauces:
A simple tomato sauce using tomato puree, water and fresh tomatoes with onions, oregano, garlic, basil and seasonings, then topped the gnocchi with grated cheese.
A pesto sauce using store bought pesto, toasted pine nuts, peas, chopped mange tout, mint leaves and finely grated cheese.
A sweet sauce made from natural yogurt, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg, served with fresh apple, blackberries and toasted pecans.
Gnocchi can be made ahead and reheated. Store refrigerated for up to three days or freeze for up to a month.
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