My birthday is coming up. May I make an early wish?
I want a little helper. Somebody who’s tech-savvy and patient enough to save my cell and computer’s memories from exploding on me – I’d like all files transferred & copied on multiple devices and not on a cloud, thankyouverymuch. That’s priority #1. THEN, it would be so darling if he/she could recover all my old photos from my crashed external hard drive – that’d be like a huge patch on my broken little heart. It definitely wouldn’t hurt if my little helper happened to be a web designer with great social media skills.
While I wait to hear that improbable knock at my door, my short-term goal is to not to let my technology-related issues drive me insane and save myself from singing ♫ it’s my paaarty and I’ll cry if I waaant to ♫ this weekend. My long-term goal is to be better at filing and storing pictures, to not let my perfectionism beat me down, and to bite the bullet while climbing the food blogger’s steep learning curve.
Thankfully, there are good things to be cheerful about. Like this successful batch of pumpkin gnocchi! If in the past I achieved inconsistent results, I now finally figured the correct pumpkin/flour ratio (and also remembered to weigh both ingredients). The recipe for these fluffy gnocchi is yours to have. Hurray! I love, love, love, their pillowy texture and delicate flavors. I could eat this for lunch Every Single Day and not get tired of it.
Yet again, this is a traditional dish from my lovely Friuli Venezia Giulia…what can I say? I do love my regional cuisine and it really shines during this season. I’ll post more awesome recipes from Friuli Venezia Giulia soon, I promise. Oh, by the way, did you know Lonely Planet included this little corner of Italy in the region category of its “2016 Best in Travel”?
I’m one proud Friulana.
- 1 kabocha squash (about 2 pounds)
- 5.2 oz (150 g or 1 scant cup) "00" flour
- 1 large egg (about 65 g)
- a bit of nutmeg
- 5-6 sage leaves
- ¼ cup (60 g) butter
- a sprinkle of cinnamon
- smoked ricotta to shave on top
- Cut the squash in half. Remove seeds with a spoon and cut each half into rough pieces. Place squash pieces on a baking tray and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 360°F for about 40 min (or until pulp is tender). Your baked squash shouldn't look too moist.
- Remove squash from the oven and let cool. With a spoon, scrape pulp from the skin and discard the skin. Use only 1.1 lb (500 g) of the pulp -- that's the amount needed for this recipe.
- Pass pulp through a potato masher and into a big bowl. Add egg, then flour, salt, nutmeg and mix well until all lumps are dissolved. The mixture consistency should look like cake dough. Let dough rest for about 20 minutes.
- Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil and then turn heat to medium-low. In a separate small pot prepare sauce by melting butter. Add sage, turn heat off and keep sauce warm.
- Test the gnocchi consistency: using a teaspoon, drop a small piece of dough in the boiling water. If the mass doesn't hold together, add a bit more of flour to the dough. Taste test cooked gnocchi and, if necessary, add more salt to the dough.
- To form the gnocchi, wet two teaspoons and form a quenelle (see photo); drop gnocchi in the water by lightly banging the teaspoon on the side of pot. Repeat same steps and keep teaspoons wet at all times so that the gnocchi will slide off the spoon more easily. The pumpkin gnocchi are ready once they come up to the surface (it'll take about 4 min). Do not cook more than 15 gnocchi at a time.
- Transfer the first batch of gnocchi onto a serving dish and pour butter and sage sauce on top. Continue until all dough has been used. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top. Let guests shave the desired amount of smoked ricotta on top of their dish.
If you decide to use a different squash, you may get a very moist or soft mixture. If that's the case, gradually add a bit of flour until you get the right consistency.
I used "00" flour, but you could also use all-purpose flour.
If you can't find smoked ricotta at your local specialty store, you could use Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.