I seldom cook these days. I am too busy, and there is hardly any need to. My daily meals consist mostly of tofu, veggies and eggs. Occasionally, I have some seafood, but that is usually when I dine out. So my helper does all the cooking now, including for my kids (one-dish stews, fried rice, pastas). She says I am easier to cook for than them, because I can eat the same old dishes everyday for the past year and not get bored. I thought that was hilarious! ;) She doesn't like meat either, so we're a match made in heaven. As long as we have our tempeh and greens, we're happy.
That's why all my recent posts have been about baking, although I love cooking so much more! Well, when I do cook, they are dishes that have either piqued my curiosity or are which my helper doesn't know how to. Like this Pumpkin Gnocchi. Some time ago, my grandma gave me a HUGE pumpkin, and after churning out this tomato-based pasta sauce, I had to think of what I could do with the excess.
Since I had some success making Ricotta Gnocchi, I decided to move my lazy self into the kitchen and try this pumpkin version. Verdict? I much prefer the ricotta one. OK, I am such a cheese person, it's not even a fair comparison to begin with. But hey, the Pumpkin Gnocchi wasn't bad at all! If you like pumpkin, go for it. It's got that sweet and savoury combination that comes with marrying pumpkin and parmesan. And of course, what can possibly go wrong when you drench anything with a glorious sage brown butter sauce? :)
- 500g pumpkin, cut into chunks
- 1 egg
- 150g flour (more for dusting the board)
- Freshly ground nutmeg
- 30g grated parmesan cheese
- 10 sage leaves, picked
- 50g butter, unsalted
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large steamer, steam the pumpkin until soft, around 25 minutes. If the pumpkin feels a bit wet, dry it out a bit by placing it in a large pan over a low heat to remove some excess moisture.
2. Use a potato ricer* to mash the pumpkin in a large bowl then add the egg, flour, nutmeg and parmesan cheese (add some salt and pepper to taste). Using a fork, mix the ingredients together, the mass will look quite sticky. You can add more flour at this point but doing so will make the mixture much more dense and heavy which is not what you want. Remember also to handle the dough as little as possible.
* I used a wire-meshed sieve.
3. Flour a wooden board and line a tray with baking paper. With floured hands, take a large tablespoon of the gnocchi mixture and roll this into a ball and place it on the baking tray. If you want to shape the gnocchi, use a gnocchi paddle or apply some pressure to the gnocchi balls using the back of a fork.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and then lower the heat to a medium boil. Drop the gnocchi pieces and let cook until they start floating to the top. Remove from the water and place on some kitchen paper to absorb the water*. Keep warm.
* I did the extra step of browning my gnocchi so that they would be crisp on the outside. All you need to do is, after removing them from the salted water with a slotted spoon, place them in a non-stick pan (no oil needed) and let them brown nicely on both sides. Don't move them around too much. Once done, arrange them on a plate and drizzle your accompanying sauce over.
5. For the sauce, heat the butter until nicely browned and smells nutty, then add the sage leaves. Pour the browned butter sauce and sage leaves over the gnocchi and serve immediately.