Autumn means it’s pumpkin season. Pumpkin is one of those foods I sometimes love and then I really don’t. At the moment I like it, so when I got a (pretty premature) pumpkin, I searched Comfort Foods for a recipe, just to make sure the project that made me start this website stays on track. Back to the topic: luckily the book had a recipe with pumpkin sauce so I made gnocchi with squash sauce for lunch on a Saturday.
Oh, gnocchi. A funny little food and word. I think (hope) that I’m not the only one who struggled to pronounce it right for the first time. If this is not the case, please forget my last sentence, of course I knew how to pronounce gnocchi all my life, I mean, come on…
Anyways, back to the recipe. Naturally, I had to change a few things, because of course I couldn’t find any Parmesan in the WHOLE TOWN (OK, maybe I should have looked harder and longer, but who got time for that?) – the charm of small towns, am I right? The pumpkin I used wasn’t the right one either, but we liked it anyway. By the way, cutting up a pumpkin of this size is an art, three of us worked on it. So, I guess I’ll never make a recipe the way it should be…
Making this recipe ended up being a family event, and it was probably the best part of it. Three of us tackled the pumpkin, and we also shared our efforts when making the gnocchi. And the best part? Almost everything I used was grown locally which made it all a lot better. But enough of this sentimental talk: let’s see the recipe I adapted from Jamie Oliver’s book (you can also watch it here).
What you’ll need for the squash sauce:
- 1 butternut squash (you’ll need about 1kg of its gut)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 4 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 fresh red chili
- Olive oil
- 500 ml boiling water
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- Parmesan cheese (I used cheddar, but Parmesan is the real deal)
- Cut the squash in half and de-seed it (or peel the thing in whole and slice it after), slice or chop it thinly.
- Chop the peeled garlic, chili, and rosemary leaves, and then fry them in a large casserole pan for about a minute with a splash of olive oil.
- Add in squash and crumbled stock cube, and then pour in the boiling water.
- Cook it slowly with the lid on, for about 30 minutes. Stir it often. Salt it to your taste. You can help the squash a little by using a blender once it is cooked.
What you’ll need for the gnocchi:
- 1,5 kilograms potatoes
- 2 egg yolks
- 150 grams flour
- 1 nutmeg (for grating)
- 1 pinch of salt
- Wash the potatoes, then put them on a large baking tray, and bake for about an hour in a preheated oven.
- Allow them to cool a little, then half them and scrape out the centers, or simple pull of the skin. Mash them as well as you can.
- Put the mashed potatoes on a large board; make a well in the center. Pour in the well your yolks, flour, salt, and grate in about a quarter of the nutmeg. Meanwhile put on a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Fold the mix together, but don’t overwork it, try not to add too much flour. Cut it into quarters, and roll each quarter into a 2 centimeters thick log, then cut them into 2 centimeters long pieces, flour them slightly. Then push their tops with a fork to make little grooves where the sauce can sit comfortably.
- When the water is boiling, cook the gnocchi in batches (about a quarter at a time) – as soon as they start to float on the surface, take them out, and put them into the sauce.
- Grate some Parmesan on the gnocchi mixed with sauce, ix it again, and then sprinkle with some more Parmesan before serving.
Making this course wasn’t stressful at all, there was no need to hurry, and you can’t really go wrong, so, all you lovely people, grab your friends and family and make some gnocchi together, because it’s fun. And that’s the main thing about cooking, isn’t it? Don’t just cook (and eat) because you have to – let’s enjoy it!