Hey, hey, hey folks, so we have done it, Christmas day has gone and if you are anything like me you have gorged on meat for the last few days and have more of the same heading your way over New Year. Well my recipes over the Christmas lull are vegetarian and focus on pumpkin and more specifically pumpkin puree… I usually have a bowl of pumpkin puree knocking around at this time of year and this pumpkin gnocchi recipe is the perfect way to give it a lift. It would be easy to think that it is the law to serve pumpkin with ubiquitous pumpkin spice but I think there is an even better combination flavours with this seasonal vegetable. This Pumpkin Gnocchi with Roasted Chestnuts and Blue Cheese makes the most of two things that I think just make pumkin sing, nuts and blue cheese… That savoury crunch alongside the astringent saltiness of blue cheese just makes the sweetness of the pumpkin stand out and it is this combination of ideas that will form the next two recipes.
For the record I have nothing against pumpkin spice, it is lovely, but in the same way that ‘oranges aint the only fruit’ pumkin spice aint the only flavour to rock with pumpkin. So much so that I have dishes like Burmese pumpkin Curry that go heavy with tamarind to contrast against the sweet pumpkin and of course a good kick of heat. But give these pumpkin gnocchi a try to get started, the flavour profiles are great and you can double or quadruple this recipe with no difficulty and the gnocchi freeze fabulously, just cook in boilin water then cool and freeze. When you want them just defrost and reboil, they will just need to come to temperature and off you go.
But for now I am off to a thermal spa, the excesses of the last few days have left be exhausted and all bleurgh, unfortunately we have no snow but it is as cold as a cold thing out there and really beautiful. There is just something magical about sitting in naturally heated mineral rich waters at 38°C as the the sun sets in temperatures a few degrees below zero… Getting out of the water definitely feels less magical and the trot of shame back into the changing rooms is definitely not a pretty site, although there is always forralt bor on offer, or mulled wine as it is known to most of you 😀
Pumpkin Gnocchi with Roasted Chestnuts and Blue Cheese
Pumpkin Gnocchi with Roasted Chestnuts and Blue Cheese, AKA as the taste of winter on a plate a really satisfying winter warming treat.
1Pumpkin.I usually use a small butternut squash.
1TbspCoarse Sea Salt.
Preheat your oven to 200°C
Cut your pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and then rub the oil into the cut face of the pumpkin, sprinkle over the salt and roast for an hour and a half or until soft.
Meanwhile cut a cross in the skin of your chestnuts and then place in a small roasting tin and cook in the oven with the pumpkin for 20 minutes.
When the chestnuts are cooked allow to cool a little and then peel, slice and set aside.
Once your pumpkin is cooked, scoop out the flesh and pass through a vegetable mill or mash to form a puree and set aside to cool completely before making the gnocchi.
Take 300g of the cooled pumpkin puree and put in a bowl with the beaten egg, Parmesan cheese and mix.
Sift in the plain flour and stir until you get a soft dough, you do not want to work this dough too much or your gnocchi will be like bullets.
The amount of flour you will need will depend on the amount of liquid given off by your puree so be prepared to adjust the recipe.
Set aside this dough and allow to relax for 30 minutes.
When ready take your dough and roll into a sausage about 2cm in diameter (do this in batches),cut these into 3cm lengths, the pressure of the knife should make them turn into little pillow shapes.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, when at a rolling boil throw in the gnocchi and boil until the float, this should take 3-4 minutes, do this in batches.
Meanwhile melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium high heat and when it stops foaming and begins to colour add in the sage leaves and cook for 30 seconds, set aside anduse these to garnish your dish.
Now add the chestnuts and cooked goncchi to the butter and toss to cover and serve.
Finally crumble over the Roquefort cheese and the sage leaves and serve hot.
You will make far more pumpkin puree than you need but it will save in the fridge for a week or freeze really well and it is great served along side roasted meats, stirred through a risotto or pasta. Of course you can make excess gnocchi, after boiling and cooling they freeze wonderfully.
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