Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tis the season...

It's autumn again... and at our place that means, among other things, a big crop of pumpkins. Once again, I can't claim any gardening skills to produce these lovely wonders. They come up of their own accord out of the compost heap, and this year they've been given oomph via pig manure.

It just so happened, that some of my friends were also discussing pumpkins and what to do with them (in Australia, we eat them -- we don't just turn them into lanterns or feed them to the pigs) and I remembered that I have the best ever pumpkin recipe, courtesy of Country Style magazine from a few years ago.
Here it is. I promise you, it's divine...

Ricotta gnocchi with pumpkin and blue cheese

500 g pumpkin
½ cup olive oil
500g rictotta cheese
½ cup grated parmesan
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup plain flour
1/3 whole nutmeg, finely grated
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cup cream
200g blue cheese, roughly chopped
Flat leaf parsley, thyme or marjoram leaves, roughly chopped to serve

Preheat oven to 160C . peel pumpkin and cut into 3 equal sized pieces. Grate one piece and set aside. Cut remaining pieces into 5 cm chunks and put in baking dish. Drizzle with half olive oil and bake, turning occasionally for 20 mins until soft.

Meanwhile, combine ricotta, parmesan, eggs, flour and nutmeg in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix into dough and then turn onto a lightly floured work surface, divide mixture into four portions. Roll each portion to form a sausage shape about 2 cm in diameter and 15 cm long. Cut into 2 cm lengths and press lightly with a fork on one side to create ridges. Transfer to lightly floured board and repeat with remaining dough.

Cook gnocchi in batches in a large pot of salted water for 4-5 mins or until gnocchi rise to surface. Remove with slotted spoon and transfer to a small baking dish.

Preheat oven to 180C. heat remaining oil in large frying pan over medium heat. And sauté onion and garlic for 2-3 mins till softens. Add grated pumpkin and sauté for 3-4 mins. Add cream and simmer gently for 5 mins, or until sauce thickens. Pour sauce over gnocchi in baking dish.

Dot top of gnocchi with roasted pumpkin pieces and blue cheese. Season with black pepper, cover with foil and bake for 25 mins. Remove foil and bake for a further 5-10 mins or until top is golden and bubbling. Scatter with freshly chopped herbs and serve immediately.


Helene Young said...

I'm groaning with delight just at the thought of that! What a wonderful dish for a cold winter's night:)

2paw said...

I don't know why people don't eat pumpkin, it's delicious!! Your recipe sounds wonderful. I am not very good at making gnocchi though I might just have a little test run!! Nice pumpkin by the way!!

Barbara Hannay said...

I should add that the first time I made this, my son Richard was helping and he's a trained chef. We probably worked more intuitively that time, whereas this time, I followed the recipe to the letter and E and I found 200g of blue cheese a bit overpowering.