Archive | 9:13 pm

Tuesday Night Vego – pumpkin and ricotta gnocchi with pesto

10 Jan

I’m joining Linda today (and as often as a I can manage this year) to make simple vegetarian meals for dinner on Tuesdays. Today Linda posted a recipe for potato gnocchi with zucchini and pesto, but I thought I’d mix it up a bit and make pumpkin and ricotta gnocchi so I could use some of my multitude of golden nugget pumpkins and a tub of ricotta cheese that has been languishing in the fridge, use by tomorrow.

Golden Nugget is supposed to be a bush pumpkin, growing in a similar way to zucchini. Unfortunately no-one told this to my golden nuggets, and they have started traversing my front lawn. Productive doesn’t really cover these pumpkins – they have been prolific. I have 2 other plants like the one above, and I am up to pumpkin #30 (actually I’ve lost exact count, but that’s about right), with no signs of the end of the season.

Pumpkin and Ricotta Gnocchi 

Makes 3 family-sized servings (I froze 2/3 of the batch)

4 Golden Nugget pumpkins, peeled, quartered and deseeded (approx 400g each).

500g ricotta cheese

40g parmesan cheese, grated

3 eggs, lightly beaten

600g plain flour

4 golden nuggets, average 400grams each

Peel, quarter and de-seed the pumpkins. Roast at 180 degrees until tender.

Pumpkin and ricotta mash - delicious on its own.

Mash the pumpkin with the ricotta cheese.

Add the parmesan and eggs to the pumpkin mash, then work in the flour to form a very soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured bench and form into long thin sausages, then cut the dough into 2cm lengths, flattening with a fork to make a gnocchi shape. The stickier the mix, the better the final texture, but sticky is a pain to work with.

Leave the formed gnocchi to dry on a floured tray for up to a few hours before cooking in plenty of rapidly boiling water.

The texture of my gnocchi was a little dense. This was because I really added too much flour during the shaping process. In my experience, the best finished gnocchi comes from a mixture that’s a bit of a sticky mess, but that’s no fun to work with.

I froze the remaining gnocchi on oven trays, then bagged and vacuum sealed them once they were frozen. If you try it any other way they will stick together. To cook at a later date, simply put the frozen gnocchi onto boiling water, the same as fresh.

I served my gnocchi with basil pesto, make from Linda’s recipe, which is delicious. The batch filled an old Sacla pesto jar that I had saved, but tasted a bazillion times better than heat-canned stuff that was originally in there. I’ll keep the remaining pesto in the fridge under olive oil for use over the next few weeks.