Because I’m pretty new at this I am still trying to get the hang of things. Let me tell you that many times things don’t go as planned. On one hand there’s my timetable for which recipe I’ll be sharing each week and on the other hand there’s reality!! Sometimes recipes need more tweaking than I had expected so off course I can’t share them right away, or the photos were not very good, so again no sharing. So far it’s been trial and error over here.
The photography part of the equation is very important to me and that’s why I’m bettering myself at this craft. Taking online courses, practicing, getting to know my camera and the basic photography principles, understanding light. So much I have learnt ever since I started this blog only a few months ago! And still I have to much more to learn. And I’m loving it. Enjoying the process of things that’s the key to this life I discovered.
I made pumpkin gnocchi with the idea of sharing the recipe here probably two months ago, when pumpkins came blazing into the market. They were everywhere. So off course at the time I practically made everything pumpkin: doughnuts, soup, cannelloni, simple purée, I also baked pumpkin with some cheese on top. So basically we were eating a lot of pumpkin.
At the time I didn’t like the photos I took of the gnocchi so the post got shelved for a bit. Now that the pumpkin break is over, I was able to make this delicious gnocchi again with beautiful photos to go along. So now I can actually share this recipe that’s been long overdue and many times promised on my Instagram account.
This recipe is really good and in order to enjoy the taste of gnocchi the sauce that I serve it with is a simple sage brown butter. And a little parmesan off course!
It serves 4 people
For the Gnocchi
Butternut squash purée 500 g
All-purpose flour 180 g
Parmesan 100 g
Egg yolk 1
Bread crumbs 20 g
Potato (mashed) 1 unit
For the Sage Brown Butter
Butter 150 g
Cut the butternut squash in half and using a spoon remove the seeds. Wrap in aluminum foil and roast in the oven at 170 degrees Celsius for about 1 hour.
Peel one potato cut in half and cook in salted water. Once it’s cooked, mash and keep warm.
Using a spoon, empty the butternut squash onto a clean kitchen towel. Squeeze so that you get rid of the extra liquid. We need the pumpkin purée to be as dry as possible so that the gnocchi are manageable.
Transfer the purée onto a bowl and the flour, the parmesan, the egg yolk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Using a spatula mix all the ingredients together. If you find that the mixture is too humid add some of the mashed potato you’ve been keeping aside.
Transfer onto a floured surface and divide the dough in little pieces. Proceed to roll out each piece into a log and then using a knife cut the log into small squares. Repeat the operation until there’s no more dough left.
The dough is sticky. Don’t add extra flour to it. Even if you are tempted to do so. Add some more mashed potato. That should do the trick. Also the surface you are working on should be properly floured otherwise gnocchi will get stuck to your working station.
Adding more flour will result in hard and chewy gnocchi. Not recommended.
Now we can shape the gnocchi. I used a fork. If you have the little gnocchi shaper you can go ahead and use that it’s simpler. Doing it using a fork may take a while to get the hand off, but by gnocchi number 10 you should be alright.
Press the fork to the working surface. Place the gnocchi on top of it. Using your index finger press down in the middle part of the gnocchi and roll over onto the work surface away from the fork.
The reason why we shape gnocchi is because sauce is supposed to go settle comfortably in the little whole behind it! Italians are brilliant that way. But if you are not up to it, you can live without the shaping. They will still taste fabulous.
Prepare a big pot with salted water and bring it to a boil.
For the Sage Brown Butter
In a pot add the butter, salt, pepper and the sage leaves previously sliced if through are big, or leave them whole if you prefer. I chose the latter.
Melt the butter and let it cook until it starts to change to a light brown color or a hazelnut color. In French this is called "beurre noisette" – hazelnut butter. You know you are at this stage when the bubbly noise the butter is making comes to an end. After that it may have a burnt aftertaste.
For the Finishing Touches
Cook the gnocchi and transfer onto the pot with the brown butter. Gnocchi are cooked once they float onto the surface.
Toss lightly and finish off with some parmesan. You are now ready to serve.
On the plate serve the gnocchi and grate some fresh parmesan on them. Dispose some of the sage leaves on top.