Pumpkin Gnocchi

Pumpkin gnocchi are best made from small butternut squash, not those huge great gourds which look desperately for edible exits but usually end up as lanterns at Hallowe’en.

Before the flesh is usable for gnocchi or ravioli you will need to get rid of excess water. Cut the orange flesh into lumps and roast it in a hot oven to throw the first lot of moisture, then put it through a sieve to lose the seeds. Finally simmer it in a pan, stirring with a wooden spoon, until you achieve a dry dense mass.

Ingredients

  • 450 g/ 1 lb prepared dried squash as above (you will need to start with about 1.25 kg/ lb of squash)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 egg
  • 150 g/ 5 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • flour, for dusting
  • 15 g/ ½ oz butter

Method

In a large bowl, mix together the prepared dried squash, flour, egg, 115 g/ 4 oz of the grated Parmesan cheese and some salt and pepper. Beat until the mixture holds the spoon, then turn it out on a floured surface, roll it into a sausage shape and cut this into bite-sized pieces. If you want to be presentation-smart, roll these on a fork to make them into a shell shape. If not, just cylinders will do.

Preheat the grill. Poach the gnocchi for a few minutes in lots of boiling salted water. They are done when they bob to the surface, but leave them for about another minute to make sure. Put them in a hot dish, dot with pieces of the butter, strew over the remaining Parmesan and flash under the hot grill. That’s it.

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