We have not even officially begun summer, but we had a yearning for some pumpkin. In North America, pumpkin is equated with sweet pumpkin custard pie. The rest of the world pumpkin is usually used as a savory vegetable. One of my favourite television/radio/magazine/cookbook cooks, Jennifer Paterson, once said "Never let an American near a pumpkin is my advice. Terrible things they do. Pumpkin pie!.. which they all seem to adore. Sweet pappy sludge, covered in cinnamon" As of late even here in the colonies many different things are being done with pumpkin. A good thing is if you can not get a fresh pumpkin the stuff in the cans works well. Usually they are 100% puree of pumpkin, nothing added.
1/2 pound/225g of potatoes (anything but waxy potatoes works for this baking/russet/idaho)
1/2 pound/225g pumpkin
1 cup/160g GF flour plus extra for the board to knead (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Mix)*
1/8 teaspoon/.5ml ground mace
1 teaspoon/5ml kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon/.5ml cayenne pepper
1 egg (substitute 2 tsp ground flax mixed with water)
1 bunch fresh basil
2-3 leaves sage
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon/2ml crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon/5ml sea salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup/31g pine nuts
1/2 cup/125ml olive oil
big handful of grated parmesan cheese
Place all of the ingredients except the oil and the cheese, into a food processor or blender. Pulse to break down. Stream in the oil while the machine is running until the a thick sauce consistency is achieved. Add the cheese and pulse to combine.
Preheat oven to 400F/204C/Gas Mark 6
Cut the pumpkin into quarters after removing the seeds. Pierce the flesh of the potatoes. Place the potatoes and pumpkin on a baking sheet. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 40-50 minutes or the vegetables are easily pierced with a fork or knife. While the vegetables are roasting make your pesto. Remove the potatoes and pumpkin from the oven. Let cool enough to handle. Scoop out the flesh from the skin from both vegetables. Place in a large bowl to mash or put through a food mill on the largest disk (do not place in the food processor). Add the flour, salt, mace, cayenne and egg to the potato/pumpkin mixture. Mix well. Place a bit more flour on the counter. Remove the dough and form a ball. Cut into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into long ropes about 1 inch/2.5 cm in diameter. Cut those ropes into 1 inch/2.5cm long pieces. Turn a fork tynes side down on the counter. Roll the dough pieces over the back of the fork. You are making the grooves for the sauce to hold onto and fill. Once you have done this to all of the pieces you can stop here, dust with flour and freeze for later use, or...bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously once it comes to a rolling boil. Place the gnocchi a handful at a time into the boiling salted water. You will do this in 3 or 4 batches making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Wait for the gnocchi to rise to the top-this means they are done. remove from the water and place on a plate lined with a clean kitchen towel to drain excess water. Top with the sauce and serve.
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