PUMPKIN GNOCCHI WITH CHANTERELLE PARSLEY CREAM

Italians love pumpkin and often incorporate it into their dumplings and other traditional pasta dishes as it adds a slight sweet richness. These gnocchi are superb on their own, but they are also great served with meat or game.

SERVES FOUR
INGREDIENTS
  • 450 g / 1 lb floury potatoes
  • 450 g / 1 lb pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 200 g / 7 oz / 1¾ cups plain (all-purpose) flour, plus more if necessary
  • pinch of ground allspice
  • 1.5 ml / ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • finely grated rind of ½ orange
  • salt and ground pepper
For the sauce:
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 175 g / 6 oz / 2½ cup fresh chanterelles, sliced, or 15g/½oz/½cup dried, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes, then drained
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp almond butter
  • 150 ml / ¼ pint / ⅔ cup crème fraiche
  • a little milk or water
  • 75 ml / 5 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 50 g / 2 oz / ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
VARIATION
For a more substantial vegetarian main course, serve the gnocchi with a rich home-made tomato sauce. If you want to make the dish more special, serve the gnocchi with a side dish of ratatouille make from courgettes (zucchini), (bell) peppers, and aubergines (eggplant), cooked gently with tomatoes, plenty of garlic, and extra virgin olive oil.
COOK'S TIP
  • If planning ahead, gnocchi can be shaped, ready for cooking, up to 8 hours in advance.
  • Almond butter is available from health food shops. Alternatively, make your own by blanching 115 g / 4 oz / 1 cup almonds in boiling water, then processing them with 15 ml / 1 tbsp water in a food processor. Beat the almond paste into 225 g / 8 oz / 1 cup softened butter until fully combined, then press through a sieve.
  1. Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Place the pumpkin in a bowl, cover and microwave on full power for 8 minutes. Alternatively, wrap the pumpkin in foil and bake at 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4 for 30 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Pass the pumpkin and potatoes through a food mill into a bowl. Add the egg yolks, flour, spices, orange rind and seasoning and mix well to make a soft dough. If you find that the mixture is too loose, you can add a little more flour to stiffen it up.
  4. Bring a large pan of salted water to a fast boil. Meanwhile, spread a layer of flour on a clean work surface. Spoon the prepared gnocchi mixture into a piping (pastry) bag fitted with a 1 cm / ½ in plain nozzle.
  5. Pipe directly on to the flour to make a 15 cm / 6 in sausage. Roll in flour and cut crossways into 2.5 cm / 1 in pieces. Repeat to make more sausage shapes and pieces. Mark each lightly with the tines of a fork and drop into the boiling water. When they rise to the surface, after 3-4 minutes, they are done.
  6. Meanwhile make the sauce. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the shallot, and cook until softened but not colored. Add the chanterelles and cook briefly, then add the almond butter. Stir to melt and stir in the crème fraiche. Simmer briefly and adjust the consistency with milk or water. Add the parsley and season to taste.
  7. Lift the gnocchi out of the water with a slotted spoon, drain well, and turn into individual bowls. Spoon the sauce over the top, sprinkle with grated Parmesan, and serve at once.
Pumpkin Gnocchi with Chanterelle Parsley Cream