Pumpkin & ricotta gnocchi

By Chef Melanie Robinson

Pumpkin & ricotta gnocchi

Ingredients

225 grams full fat ricotta
225 grams pumpkin purée
2 Oz grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg + 1 yolk
1 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg

For the sauce:

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion diced small
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 cups heavy cream
4 Oz Gorgonzola
4 tbsp grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
3 tbsp minced fresh parsley

Method

Using 2 pieces of cheese cloth, put ricotta in one and the pumpkin purée in the other, twist & tie off and let stand for approx 15 min to withdraw some of the moisture out of each. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan , eggs, salt, nutmeg and mix thoroughly until smooth. Food on the flour with a spatula/spoon until combined. The mixture should hold together and still be tacky. If too wet add a tablespoon of flour until a little drier if necessary. 

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead the dough for a few moments using a light touch until combined and no visible streaks for flour. 

Cut into equal sections and using your finger tips, roll and gently pull the dough to create a snake like shape. 

The dough should be approx 1/2 inch thick. Using a knife, cut along the roll in 1/4 to 1/2 inch cuts. Once the whole roll has been cut, gently dust with flour and set aside on a floured baking tray. 

Repeat the process until all dough has been cut.  You can leave the shapes as is or use a gnocchi board or the back of a fork to create the groves in your dough, but plain is also just fine. 

Fill a medium pot full of water with 1 tbsp of salt and place over med high and bring to a rolling boil. 

Drop the cut of dough into the boiling water, to avoid burning yourself use a slotted spoon to lower into the pot. 

Stir gently after adding the dough. When the dough is ready it will float to the top. Scoop out the dough as it floats and place on an oiled pan to prevent sticking. 

After the dough has been boiled off you have 2 options. 1) add the gnocchi straight into sauce after boiling or 2), pan fry in oil & butter until crisp/browned on both sides and then add to sauce, you choose!

Sauce

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, adding the onion and garlic and cook for 2 min. Add the heavy cream and bring to a full boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, then continue to boil rapidly for approximately 20 minutes or reduced by half ( all stove tops vary) , until thickened like a white sauce, stirring occasionally.

Off the heat, add the Gorgonzola, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and parsley/chive. Whisk rapidly until the cheeses melt and serve warm. If you must reheat, warm the sauce over low heat until melted, then whisk vigorously until the sauce comes together.

Add cooked gnocchi to sauce, and cook in pan or pot for 3-5 min until all are coated. When plating, add chopped herbs on top. 

Feeling adventurous, try adding crunchy items like toasted walnuts or pine nuts, toasted bread crumbs, lemon zest, or any flavoured oils to add crunch, colour and flavour. 

Be creative and use what you have on hand! 

Enjoy.