Saturday, November 10, 2007

Gnocchi di Zucca

The recipe for these very Northern Italian gnocchi were found on Chef Blog.
It is a winner combination between the sweetness of the pumpkin and the smoked bacon, to be appreciated with wine, red or white. Good Parmesan cheese is also essential in this dish.
It is recommended to cook the gnocchi as soon as the dough is ready.

For 2 persons:

- a piece of 800-850gr pumpkin (to yield 500gr pulp when processed)
- 100gr flour
- 1 egg
- Parmesan cheese
- salt, pepper, nutmeg
- about 100gr thin strips of bacon
- butter, sage (fresh is better but dried is OK)

Remove the seeds and the skin from the pumpkin and chop it into small bits (more or less 1x2x2cm).
Divide them into 3 portions and microwave them until soft (covered with cling film, at 600W for 3min each round should do it). You can also simply bake them in an oven at 160-170deg for 20-30min (we have not tried that but it should work). Also, it is not recommended to boil the pumpkin for this recipe because it would take up too much water.

Chop the bacon into thin slices and set aside.
Pass the cooked pumpkin through a potato masher or a sieve. This step should yield about 500gr of a smooth pulp.
Add 1 beaten egg, a handful of grated Parmesan, a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of salt and pepper, the flour, and mix well. The dough will be relatively soft.
The gnocchi are cooked in a large amount of boiling salted water.
There are two ways to do this. You can either fill a pastry bag (poche a douille), or you can use two teaspoons, taking a small heap with one of them and scooping it into the water with the other one. This will take more time though.

Give the gnocchi about 2-3min to cook. Meanwhile, heat up 2 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan and saute' the bacon. Add the gnocchi and a bit of sage and give a quick stir. Serve with a generous topping of grated Parmesan cheese.

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