Meatless Day Challenge #7 – Pumpkin Gnocchi with fried sage and spinach pesto

Meatless Day Challenge #Week7

Meatless Day Challenge #Week7

It has always been a hit and miss when it comes to home-made gnocchi. I had my successes and failures but when I get it right, it gives me a real sense of achievement. And once in blue moon, we find a place that makes really good gnocchi. It is a comfort food but once that requires a gentle touch.

We all love to procrastinate and this has been pumpkin gnocchi is one of the many dishes that I had on my list of ‘To-Do” for the longest time ever. This week’s dish is inspired by the pumpkin gnocchi from the recent visit to Charcoal Lane.

Half the pumpkin

Half the pumpkin

Sliced pumpkin in tray

Sliced pumpkin in tray

Sage fresh from the garden

Sage fresh from the garden

Ingredients:

Pumpkin

  • 800g butter pumpkin, deseeded
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 200g plain flour & extra for dusting
  • Extra plain flour, to dust
  • Thinly sliced almonds
  • 4-6 fresh sage leaves
  • 15g of butter
  • Salt and black pepper for seasoning
Mashed pumpkin

Mashed pumpkin

Little pumpkin gnocchi doughs

Little pumpkin gnocchi doughs

Spinach pesto

  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • 20g whole almonds
  • 30g finely shredded Parmesan
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 11/2tbsp olive oil (adjust as you go)
  • 3/4tbsp of lemon juice
  • Salt & black pepper
Fresh baby spinach leaves

Fresh baby spinach leaves

Method:
  1. To make the spinach pesto, place the spinach, almonds, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice and oil in the food processor and process until well combined. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper. (And/Or with cheese)
  2. Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut pumpkin into pieces and place in a single layer in a baking dish. Cook, in preheated oven for 45mins – 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a skewer. Set aside to cool
  3. Peel away the pumpkin skin and any dark crispy pieces. Mash or fork to mash until smooth. Add salt and nutmeg. Season well
  4. I used approx. 200g of flour but this is where it depends on the person. Just add the flour in slowly and gently knead it. It is ready when you gently press a small dent into the dough and it bounces back up easily.
  5. Divide the dough into 4 even portions. Roll 1 portion out on a lightly floured surface into a long sausage, about 2cm thick. Use a lightly floured knife to cut the dough into 2cm lengths. Gently roll each ball over the back of a lightly floured fork.
  6. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil over a medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the gnocchi and cook, uncovered,until they rise to the surface. Use a large slotted spoon to drain and transfer straight to the hot pan (step below)
  7. Pour some olive oil and add 1/2 the butter into a pan and allow it to heat up. Add the sage and allow it to crisp up. Add the cooked gnocchi and shallow fry till the edges of the gnocchi crisp up or caramelise. Add sliced almond over and mix through till the almonds turn slightly golden brown
  8. Dish up, spoon pesto over the gnocchi, drizzle with good olive oil and serve
Pumpkin gnocchi with spinach pesto

Pumpkin gnocchi with spinach pesto

This photo was taken without the drizzle of olive oil – I forgot to take another after. Terrible blogger I am. Good olive oil is important and will bring this dish up another notch. I used extra virgin olive oil from Wallaby Creek. It has a lovely fruity undertone and worked really well with this dish. It had the little crunchy and caramelised exterior but soft and fluffy inside. The gnocchi itself did not taste bland and that was a good sign. I was pleased with the outcome but with any dish, it can be improved.

@Divinape, @easyrecipe and myself have decided to have a gnocchi ‘party’ despite our geographical distance. Please help us decide on the type of theme by voting below. :) Thanks for your input!

And you can join our party, just add a comment on the blog and we shall be in touch :)