There is a little bit of work involved in this recipe, which makes it the perfect dish to cook on a slow, rainy weekend in Autumn.
Spelt & Pumpkin Gnocchi
400g pumpkin (grey skin)
800g desiree potatoes
1 tbs butter + extra
350g white spelt flour or plain flour
1/2 bunch sage, leaves torn
1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
grana padano to serve
Peel the pumpkin and grate it into a saucepan and add 1 tablespoon of butter, pop the lid on the saucepan and cook gently on a low heat for 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and mushy. Puree with a stick blender and set aside.
Put a medium sized pot of water on the stove, add a generous pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Meanwhile peel and chop the potatoes into even sized pieces. Add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes or until soft and starting to fall apart. Drain the potatoes and add them back to the hot saucepan to dry out a little. Press the potatoes through a potato ricer or sieve while still hot.
Add the pumpkin to the potatoes and then the flour. Mix with your hands until the mixture comes together. You may need to add more flour if the dough is still really sticky. Dust your work surface with more flour and cut the dough into 3 logs.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and roll out one log at a time into a thin sausage and cut off small pieces. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook until it rises to the surface (30 seconds or so) remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place them on greaseproof paper. Repeat this process, 1 log at at a time until all done.
Gnocchi is best eaten on the day it is cooked, if you are serving it later, transfer the gnocchi to a tray or a plastic container and drizzle with olive oil. Seal and refrigerate until ready to use.
To finish the dish, I like to cook it again in batches so each batch gets enough buttery sauce. Add a good sized knob of butter to a deep frypan, add some sage and cook for minute, add some hazelnuts and some gnocchi and pan fry for a minute or until golden. Spoon into bowls and shave some grana padano over the top. Autumn on a plate.