Serves: 4 as a main, 6 as a starter
Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 90 min
- 1 large Hokkaido pumpkin or butternut squash
- 2 large baking potatoes
- 200–250g plain flour
- 1 large egg
- 200g pancetta, diced
- 8–10 sage leaves
- 150g frozen peas
- Parmesan cheese, to serve
- Preheat oven to 210°C. Slice the pumpkin or squash in half and score vertically and horizontally with a knife to create a square pattern (this will allow the vegetable to cook more quickly). Use a fork to prick the potatoes all over. Place the pumpkin and potatoes onto a baking tray and cook in the oven for an hour, or until everything is cooked and soft all the way through. Allow the vegetables to slightly cool.
- While the potatoes are still warm, press them through a potato ricer and into a bowl.
- Use the ricer to press the pumpkin into a separate saucepan. The pumpkin will have a little extra water in it. Cook the pumpkin purée over medium heat to remove the water. After around 5 minutes, this will become a lot drier. Allow to slightly cool and add into the potato mix. Reserve a couple of spoonfuls of the pumpkin purée for serving.
- Combine the pumpkin and potato mix and then add in a pinch of salt and pepper and the egg. Mix well. Add a little of the flour into the mix and combine gently into a dough. At this point, tip out onto a clean surface and continue to add the flour until you have a soft dough. Take care not to add too much flour or overwork the dough as this will make it tough. Dust a piece of cling film with flour and place the dough on it. Wrap well and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- When the dough has rested, remove from the fridge. Dust a surface with flour, take a quarter of the mix (wrapping up the rest) and roll into a long sausage shape until it is around 1 inch thick all the way through. Using a sharp knife, cut small pieces of the dough around 1 inch long all the way down. Continue this with each quarter of the dough.
- To cook, place a deep pan of boiling water over medium heat. Drop each gnocchi into the pan, one at a time. They will initially sink to the bottom. Give the pan one gentle stir when they are all in and allow to cook for 2 minutes. When the gnocchi float to the surface, they are cooked. I recommend cooking only half the gnocchi at a time.
- While the gnocchi cook, place a frying pan over medium heat and add the pancetta. Allow the pancetta to heat gently and release its own oil into the pan. As it does this, it will become crisp. Now add the sage. Allow this to cook in the pancetta oil. As the gnocchi float to the top, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and add to the pancetta and sage. Toss the gnocchi through the mix so that it is well coated in the oil and begins to slightly crisp. Add in the peas and mix well until they are soft.
- To serve, spoon a little pumpkin purée onto a plate and swirl into a large circle. Top with the crispy gnocchi and finish with the cooked pancetta, peas and sage. Grate a little Parmesan cheese on top to finish.