Monday, September 24, 2012
Gnocchi with Roast Pumpkin and Sage
I don’t like gnocchi any other way then pan-fried until it’s crispy on the outside and still soft and light on the inside. I don’t like it smothered in fancy sauce or even dressed in pesto, thank you very much. Just pan-fried crispy golden pillows of goodness paired with sweet caramelised roasted pumpkin, and perhaps drizzled over ever so slightly with sage browned butter.
This is definitely not a quick easy meal for the weekday. It takes time to prepare and may require some practice. I tried the “fresh” gnocchi that can be purchase from the refrigerated section in the shops. However, those commercial packaged gnocchi are heavy and doughy, and sit like rocks in my stomach for hours. I guarantee that once you master making gnocchi, you will never go back to store-brought stuff again.
A tip to getting light fluffy gnocchi is to resist the urge to add more flour to the gnocchi dough. The dough is often sticky, but pliable enough to shape into a log. If not, keep adding a little flour at a time until you get soft pliable dough.
An interesting fact about royal blue potatoes that I learned while making this gnocchi dish- the skin of the royal blue potatoes changes from blue to a normal potato brown after it’s being baked in the oven. Wow. Fascinating. I didn’t know that…
Gnocchi and Roast Pumpkin and Sage
(Adapted from Matt Moran when I get home)
half a butternut pumpkin (I used japanese pumpkin), peeled, seeded and cut into 1cm dice
30 ml olive oil
salt and pepper
30 grams butter, diced
1/2 bunch sage, leaves picked
rock salt, for baking
1.5 kg pontiac potatoes (I used royal blue)
150 grams plain flour
2 egg yolks
extra virgin olive oil, for tossing
Preheat the oven to 180 degree celcius fan force. Place pumpkin on a baking tray lined with baking paper and spray with olive oil spray. Cook for 20 minutes or until tender and caramelise. Remove to a plate, set aside and cover to keep warm.
To prepare the gnocchi, spread a layer of rock salt on a baking tray and place the potates on top. Bake for about 40 minutes until the potatoes are tender (I baked the potatoes at the same time as the pumpkin). Scrape out the soft flesh, mash it, then pass through a sieve. Add the flour, egg yolks and a good pinch of salt and work into a dough on the benchtop. Roll the dough into a sausage shape (approximately 2cm in diameter) and cut into 2cm pieces.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the gnocchi and cook until they rise to the surface (this will only takes a minute or so). Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and refresh in iced water. Drain, then toss with a little olive oil.
Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan, add the gnocchi and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until the gnocchi is golden, then remove. In the same pan, stir in the diced butter until it starts to turn a nutty brown colour, then add the sage and remove from the heat.
To serve, arrange the gnocchi and pumpkin on plate. Drizzle the butter over the top and garnish with the sage leaves and freshly grated parmesan.