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.


9 Responses to “Tuesday Night Vego – pumpkin and ricotta gnocchi with pesto”

  1. Frogdancer January 11, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    Oh good! I’ m glad you mentioned that Linda’s recipe for pesto was a winner.I pinned it for future reference. (Actually not so very future… my basil plants are growing huge.)

    I planted 3 golden nugget plants last year…. grew 1 lone pumpkin. I made sure we ate every skerrick of it though!

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney January 11, 2012 at 8:37 am #

      I used pine nuts in mine though, and realised that my non-organic ones are ‘packed in Australia from imported ingredients’. I did feel a bit apprehensive eating them after reading your pine mouth story!

      I’m not exactly sure why these golden nuggets are so good – they were just Bunnings seedlings planted after my seeds failed. I will have to save some seeds for next year, but it takes effort to ensure the seeds will be true to type. Might have to put in the effort then post about it.

  2. Linda Woodrow January 11, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    I’ve never tried making pumpkin gnocchi, but I have pumpkin going nuts too. Not quite harvesting yet, but I will in a couple of weeks now, and gnocchi sounds like a great way to use them.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney January 11, 2012 at 9:11 am #

      Do you have the same issue with potato gnocchi being a bit chewy? Your recipe seemed to use a similar amount of flour as my pumpkin ones (enough to make a non-sticky dough), yet whenever I do it that way I get a slightly dense result. Maybe I’m doing something wrong.

  3. Liz January 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    I find that the more you work the pumpkin the wetter it gets so the more flour it needs – I would try gently mashing it with the ricotta eggs and parmesan then adding the flour. Also if it isn’t cool at this point it results in a wetter mix. When I make pumpkin gnocchi (I don’t use eggs or ricotta in my recipe – just pumpkin, flour & parmesan) I actually use less flour than above in the recipe itself and that way you can use more to roll it in later.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney January 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

      Thanks for the tips. I love the ricotta flavour with the pumpkin – seriously, the mix was incredible, but I really need to work on the execution. I’ll try it your way next time, and maybe even drain the mix in cheesecloth for a while to remove more moisture.

      • Sarah January 13, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

        A lot of gnocchi recipes use a mouli or ricer to crush the potato, so I guess you get a lighter texture that way. I have a mouli I’ve been meaning to give you anyway, I’ll bring it over next time I visit.

      • Liz January 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

        It sounds lovely – next time i make it I’ll include the ricotta!


  1. Harvest Monday – 16th January 2012 « 500m2 in Sydney - January 16, 2012

    […] Golden Nugget pumpkins (approximately 400g each) Some of these were used in gnocchi and dhal, but most were given away. My friend Sarah turned them (along with some of my monster […]

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