Pumpkin Gnocchi with Rocket Pesto, Pancetta and Goats Cheese
I wasn’t exactly sure how to follow up Sam’s rather epic Pedra Branca post…. so I’m featuring a pumpkin I found on the side of the road!
Ok so not quite literally on the side of the road, but on my travels to the Huon I came across a stall at Franklin (I think it’s there every Saturday) selling, among other things, turnips, broccoli, garlic and some impressive looking pumpkins. I brought a beautiful golden chunk of pumpkin with thoughts of soup indulgently served with crème fraiche, parmesan cheese and warm bread.
But this is Island Menu and I am pretty certain everyone already has a go-to pumpkin soup recipe (has anyone ever tired it with paprika before? (I’m thinking it would be good.)…..so instead I made pumpkin gnocchi and served it with a rocket pesto, crispy pancetta and some lovely Tasmanian goats cheese from Tongola . Oh and one of those amazing looking potato bread loaves from Sweet Envy in North Hobart (that I have been eyeing off for a while now!). I think it’s a good winter dish that is not too heavy.
Here is the recipe:
Gnocchi 600 grams of pumpkin tossed in olive oil with a pinch or two of sea salt and some fresh thyme baked in the oven at 180 celcius for approximately 35 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft when pricked with a skewer. Allow to cool.
Press the roasted pumpkin through a ricer or metal strainer, add one egg, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ a cup of finely grated parmesan cheesee, 1 ¼ cups of plain flour. Mix to combine, if the mixture appears a little too wet add some more flour, the mixture should be a sticky dough that leaves the sides of the bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Divide the dough into manageable portions and on a lightly floured surface roll into lengths approximately 2 cm thick and cut into 2cm sections with a knife. Place the gnocchi on a tray lined with baking paper and a light dusting of flour. Repeat this process with the remaining dough.
To cook the gnocchi bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil and place in batches, the gnocchi is cooked when it floats to the surface.
Pesto Place two handfuls of rocket in a pestle and mortar along with one clove of garlic and a pinch of sea salt, pound until softened and add a handful of toasted pine nuts and continue to pound. Once done put the rocket mix in a bowl with a handful or grated parmesan cheese and stir in some olive oil to bring the mixture together just enough to make it a nice consistency.
To serve with the gnocchi and rocket pesto pan fry a few strips of pancetta until crisp, remove from pan and chop, roughly crumble with goats cheese on the top.