With Halloween looming it is, yet another, brilliant excuse for a dinner party! And who can resist a great Italian classic? The puttanesca! This sauce has a very colourful history known especially for its easy preparation and fast cooking time. Paired with a smooth and light pumpkin gnocchi this dish is set to impress.
Pumpkin Gnocchi – 4 servings
jap pumpkin, 300 g cut into even 5 cm chunks (or 300g left over roast pumpkin)
medium red desiree potatoes, 600 g peeled and quartered (or left over mash potato)
plain flour, 300 g (see Note)
pinch of nutmeg
parmesan, 40 g finely grated
egg, 1 whisked
hot salami, 8 pieces sliced into ribbons
black olives, 1/4 cup
capers, 2 tsp
red challot, 2 finely diced
garlic, 2 cloves finely diced
heirloom tomatoes, sliced into rounds
red chilli, finely diced
parmesan and parsley
- Preheat oven to 200ºC. Toss the pumpkin in oil, season and place on an oven tray. Set aside. Lay your potatoes on a rack and place in oven for 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin and cook for 30–45 minutes or until potatoes are soft, but not over cooked and the pumpkin is soft and mashable. NB: you want to make sure that the potato is soft a fluffy inside.
- Once ready, pass the pumpkin through a ricer or coarse sieve and straight onto a floured bench. Then you can carefully scoop the flesh from the potatoes and pass through the ricer, discarding the skins.
- Sift 200g of the flour over the top, sprinkle with some salt, nutmeg and a good amount of white pepper, then scatter over the parmesan and pour over the egg.
- Use your hands to bring everything together and gently knead until a soft dough forms. If it feels to sticky you just keep adding flour – be careful not to over work the dough. The idea is to combine all ingredients until you have a firm dough. NB: if you want you could make double this amount of gnocchi and freeze half for latter use. Keeps best in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
- Break off a quarter of the dough and start rolling into a 2 cm log. This can be hard but try to maintain equal pressure across all fingers as your roll the dough out. Using a butter knife cut the dough into 3 cm pieces gently flicking each piece away as you go. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- To cook simply bring a large pot of water to the boil, season generously with salt and cook the gnocchi until they float to the top. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the gnocchi into a lightly oiled or butter dish as cooked.
- Serve! A simple burned butter sauce works so well with pumpkin gnocchi – here I have served it with my all time favourite Puttanesca. Generous amounts of parmesan and parsley…of course.
Puttanesca sauce: in a large fry pan saute the red shallot and garlic in a splash of olive oil. Add salami and keep stirring. Then add olives, capers, some chopped parsley, chilli and passata. Allow this to simmer for 2 min and serve.
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