Potato gnocchi served with a creamy pumpkin sauce and crispy sage. Totally moreish and delicious, with shavings of parmesan. I use the potato skins as an extra garnish but they can be saved and reused in another dish filled with cheese or any fillings you like.
Serves 4 | Vegetarian
500g potato (Desiree are good), raw weight 1100g
175g ‘00’ flour, plus extra for dusting
1 egg yolk
Handful of sage, leaves finely chopped
Handful of thyme, leaves finely chopped
1 brown onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, grated
700g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and finely diced
200ml vegetable stock
20g sage leaves
100g parmesan, grated
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 6. Place the potatoes on a baking tray lined with a thin layer of salt. Bake for 45mins - 1hr or until cooked through and soft in the middle.
Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan with half the butter and a drizzle of olive oil. Cook the diced onion with a pinch of salt, over a low-medium heat until softened but not caramelised, about 10 minutes. Turn up the heat and add the garlic, 1 sprig of sage and diced pumpkin. Cook for 5 minutes until the onion starts to caramelise then add the butter and vegetable stock. Cook until completely softened. Remove the sage and transfer the pumpkin mix to a blender and blitz until you have a smooth puree, consistency of a thick soup or smoothie. Add a little more stock or water if it seems too thick (it will thicken up when you add the gnocchi). Taste and season well, then transfer back into the large frying pan.
In a small frying pan, add enough vegetable oil to coat the base of the pan, 1cm deep. Add the sage leaves and turn the heat high.
Keep an eye as the sage leaves begin to sizzle. Using tongs, carefully flip them over to make sure they cook evenly. When they crisp up and turn a dark green colour, transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them in half and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Break up the skins and place back in the oven to completely dry out for a crispy garnish or save and re-use in another dish later.
Either mash the potatoes until really smooth or pass them through a ricer or sieve. Working quickly while the potato is still warm, add the yolk, ricotta, chopped herbs and seasoning of salt. Add enough of the flour to bring the gnocchi together into a soft dough, which can be handled but is not too sticky. Add more flour if it is too wet, folding and kneading the dough to incorporate, being careful not to overwork the mix.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and use a sharp knife to cut the gnocchi down into uniform 1.5cm cubes. Using a fork or rolling board if you have one, gently press the pillows down with your thumb as you roll them down the board creating a concave shell with a ridged edge. Place the shaped gnocchi on a tray dusted flour and repeat until you have shaped all the gnocchi.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Have the pan with pumpkin puree on a low heat warming up.
Carefully lower the gnocchi into the pan in batches and cook through until you see them float to the surface of the water. Lift them out using a slotted spoon and transfer them to the pan with sauce. If not serving immediately, transfer to a well oiled tray before placing in the fridge to cool and firm up.
Gently stir the gnocchi through the sauce to evenly coat and thicken the sauce.
Divide the gnocchi between 4 serving bowls and top with a drizzle of extra virgin oil, parmesan, the potato skins and sage leaves.