Sunday, March 8, 2009

Gnocchi di Zucca

"Gnocchi di zucca" means "Pumpkin Gnocchi", and it's a very old, classic dish from the north of Italy. Like regular gnocchi, it's extremely easy to make if you follow this recipe, and its success largely depends on the quality of the pumpkin itself.

Chop 700gr of pumpkin into chunks as pictured, and place it on a baking tray, together with 6 medium tomatoes and a handful of shallots. Bake at 180°C for about 1 hour or until the pumpkin is soft enough and cooked throughout. Remember to remove the shallots after about 20 mins, before they burn.

Mash the pumpkin with a fork until smooth, then add some salt and 130gr of plain flour. Stir well until there are no lumps left, then beat an egg and add 3/4 of it to the mexture and stir well.

At this point, you expect a smooth, runny dough that you wouldn't be able to roll and handle with your hands. It shouldn't be too watery, but not firm enough for kneeding. Your "gnocchi dough" is ready.
Blend tomatoes and shallots with a couple of leaves of basil into a food processor, add some salt and set aside.

Fill a large saucepan with abundant water, bring it to the boil and add a handful of salt as you would for pasta. Now with the help of 2 spoons, take some of the mixture and shape it before releasing it slowly into the water by scraping one spoon onto the second one. Repeat this until you finish the mixture. While releasing the gnocchi into the water, keep an eye on the ones that raise to the top, as it means that they are ready and they need to be removed gently with a small colander and set aside as pictured.

Heat a wide frying pan, pour a dash of olive oil, then add the tomato sauce and quickly fry for 1 minute together with a bunch of basil leaves, adding salt and a little water if the sauce dries up too much.

Finally, place the gnocchi on a plate, top with the sauce and some optional grated pecorino cheese.


Camemberu said...

Your blog grows more and more beautiful each day! Love the colours you use. I think it's great that you've started cooking more - I'm learning a lot from your cooking posts! Very educational!

amiscell said...

Thanks! That's very encouraging, coming from a professional blogger/photographer like you!
I might start reviewing restaurants again at some point, but since I started cooking I've only just been having my weekly Wahiro and the occasional Chinese... Publishing Italian recipes is a bit "niche", but at least these are produced with ingredients readily available in Singapore.

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