Pumpkin Gnocchi


My family made these from my book on Venice 'Venezia' - Pumpkin gnocchi with sage butter They used a delica pumpkin. If you make this, choose a nice, sweet & bright orange one. There is no potato here- pumpkin & just enough flour to hold it together so you can 'quenelle' using 2 spoons into gently boiling water. The trick is to use as little flour as possible.

Serves 4

1.1 kg pumpkin
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
200g all purpose flour
oil for dipping
125g butter
handful of sage leaves
a good grating of nutmeg
lots of grated parmesan

Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Line a baking tray with paper.

Peel & remove seeds from the pumpkin, cut into largish slices & roast for about 30 minutes till tender but not too browned & crisp as this will compromise texture. Cool a bit, puree to as smooth as possible. When cool mix in a beaten egg & 1/2 tsp salt.

Add flour - about 200g all purpose. Try to put as little as possible- this will depend on how much moisture your pumpkin has, but less flour will result in beautifully soft & delicate pumpkin puffs. The cooled mixture should hold a gentle shape on a spoon.

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Have an oven dish ready with a little oil or butter to hold the ready gnocchi. Using 2 tsp form quenelles by passing a spoonful of the pumpkin mix back & forth between the 2 spoons to shape. Test one to see that it doesn't fall apart in the water. If necessary mix in a little more flour.

Gently lower them one by one as they are ready into softly boiling water. Lift out with a slotted spoon when they bob up to the top & keep warm in your dish in the oven until they are all ready.

Melt a good amount of butter & a handful of sage leaves in a frying pan. Keep adding blobs of butter to stop the butter burning & to crisp up the leaves.

When the gnocchi are all ready, serve up onto warm plates, dribble the warm sage butter & crisp leaves over & around. Give a grating of nutmeg, black pepper, & a shower of parmesan.