This was my second attempt at homemade gnocchi, early on during lockdown 1.0 I tried my hand at some rather successful sweet potato gnocchi, and I have to say once you have the hang of it they are pretty easy, quick and fun to make, the perfect cathartic kitchen activity to enjoy while sipping on a glass of wine.
I adored the final composition of the dish - whipped ricotta (a game changer when you usually have it straight out of the tub), topped with the heavenly pillows of pumpkin and cauliflower goodness, even more flavourful than the sweet potato version I made, and honestly what is a better combo than butter, sage and garlic as the ultimate finishing touch to this autumnal flavour bomb.
There are ways to cut corners here. There is of course my new favourite pumpkin puree (though it is easy enough to make pumpkin puree from scratch as you can see here) and instead of tackling a whole cauliflower - cutting it, cooking it and pureeing it, I used the newest low carb lie that is "cauliflower rice" which you can get at most big supermarkets now and which basically is finely shredded cauliflower that you can simply whack in the microwave for five minutes, mash with a fork a little and then instantly use for the gnocchi mixture, a little lazy, I know, but ultimately it eliminates unnecessary mess and hey I can't be making everything from scratch, even during a lockdown!
This was restaurant level good which I guess makes the current situation of not having the option to go to one a little easier to stomach - trust me this is a keeper kind of recipe!
- 1 1/2-2 cups cauliflower florets (or 1 cup cauliflower
- rice, steamed in the microwaved and mashed with a fork)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups flour, more if needed
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 250g ricotta, whipped in the food processor
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 cup raw hazelnuts
- If not using the cauliflower rice: bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add cauliflower florets and cook until tender, 10 minutes.
- Drain well.
- Add the cauliflower to a food processor, pulse until smooth (or simply mash well with a fork).
- Measure out about 1 cup mashed cauliflower and transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the pumpkin, 2 1/2 cups flour, the parmesan, egg, and salt.
- Stir the mixture until just combined.
- If the dough seems wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time, until it can be formed into a ball.
- Generously flour a clean counter and scrape the dough out onto it.
- Cut the dough into four equal pieces.
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into a rope about 1 inch thick and cut into bite-size pieces.
- Repeat this process with the other pieces of dough.
- Place the gnocchi on a baking sheet that has been dusted with flour. At this point, the gnocchi can be kept covered in the fridge for up to 1 day, and then boiled just before you are ready to eat. Or boiled right away.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Boil the gnocchi until they float to the top and are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the gnocchi using a slotted spoon or spider strainer. Reserve about a cup of the gnocchi cooking water.
- To make the sauce: heat the butter, garlic, sage, and hazelnuts in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook butter until it begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the nutmeg, 1/4 cup of the reserved gnocchi cooking water, and season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a simmer.
- Drop the gnocchi into the sauce, gently tossing to combine.
- Spread the ricotta cheese into the bottom of each individual serving bowl. Spoon the gnocchi and sauce over the ricotta and enjoy!
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