I made a vow this year that I would attempt to make gnocchi. It is September and I have finally accomplished this goal. Just between you and me it didn’t look like it would happen. I will admit I had a secret fear of these soft little pieces of pasta.
The only reason I have finally faced my fear is Mr GG made a special request. I asked him what he felt like for dinner the other night. He usually NEVER gives me any suggestions when I ask this question, so I was surprised when he said Pumpkin Gnocchi with a Sage Brown Butter Sauce.
My mouth fell open… who was this man, and what has he done with my husband! My husband doesn’t speak in food words! My husband doesn’t have food preferences!
…anyway, after I picked myself up off the floor I toddled off to the kitchen to prepare pumpkin gnocchi from scratch.
I did no such thing!
I laughed at him, and said “Yeah sure honey, I will just whip you up a bowl right now!” He looked a little confused at my sarcasm. I explained how difficult gnocchi is to make… or so I thought.
Moving forward a couple of days I decided that “What the man wants, the man shall have.” After all, he doesn’t ever request food, and I had vowed to beat this dish.
In our garden we have Rosemary, Chilli and lemon growing, I wanted to take advantage of these products rather than go to the shops to buy sage. So because of this the dish morphed into a combination of Mr GG’s request, and what was available from the garden.
In the recipe below I have pan fried the gnocchi. As the dough makes a very generous serve I used 1/3 of the gnocchi dough to make a boiled batch. Both methods produced a delicious gnocchi, but if I had to choose I would probably boil the gnocchi in future. Boiling the gnocchi allows the pumpkin and rosemary flavour to really shine through.
- 700gm pumpkin (roughly cubed)
- 2 cups plain flour
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 Tbs of fresh chopped rosemary leaves
- 1 lemon (zest)
- Lemon Brown Butter Sauce
- 1 onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 3 red chilli
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 5 stalks of kale
- 1 lemon (juice)
- For Cooking
- 100gm butter
- 100ml oil
- Dry roast the pumpkin in a hot oven for 30- 40mins or until the pumpkin is tender.
- Mash pumpkin in a bowl.
- Add flour, salt, lemon rind, rosemary, and egg yolks to the mash pumpkin. Stir until combined.
- If the mixture is sticky add a little more flour. The gnocchi should be a soft dough which does not stick to the sides of the bowl.
- Divide the gnocchi into 3 balls.
- Dust the bench with flour and roll the first ball into a long thin sausage.
- Cut the dough into 1 1/2cm lengths.
- Press each length with the back of a flour dusted fork to flatten and imprint.
- Repeat this process with the two remaining balls of dough.
- Add 50gm of butter and 50mls of oil to the frying pan and heat over a medium flame.
- When the butter is melted add about 10 pieces of gnocchi or as much as can comfortably fit in the pan without touching.
- Cook until golden and then flip the gnocchi over to cook the second side.
- Remove the gnocchi from the pan and cook a second batch. (I reserved my third batch for freezing)
- When the gnocchi is cooked add the remaining butter and oil to a cleaned pan. Heat until sizzling.
- Fry the onion,garlic and chilli for one minute then add the rosemary and kale.
- Stir constantly.
- Once the kale starts to wilt a little turn off the heat and add the lemon juice.
- Stir quickly.
- Return the gnocchi to the pan and coat with the butter sauce.
- Serve with Parmesan cheese.
I wouldn’t say this is an easy dish to make. It’s time consuming and definitely a labour of love! The good thing was I froze 1/3 of the gnocchi prior to cooking. I simply lined a tray with the pressed gnocchi dough, and then layer up with baking paper between each level. The gnocchi went into the freezer. Once frozen I placed the gnocchi in a freezer bag.
Now I’m ready for the next time Mr GG requests pumpkin gnocchi. Although he had three serves of this dish so I suspect the request may be a little while coming 😉
So what do you think readers? Is this something you would try? Where do you draw the line on requests? Personally I like a bit of bang for my time in the kitchen. I want to produce delicious dishes quickly! As delicious as it was… I probably won’t make it too often.