The pairing of sweet pumpkin with piquant Gorgonzola cheese is a match made in heaven. This is a traditional Italian recipe for gnocchi, a dish that's perfect for autumn entertaining.
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For the gnocchi
350g potatoes, skin on
1 tablespoon salt
1 pinch nutmeg
200g '00' flour or plain flour
For the sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
200g gorgonzola or any other blue cheese, cubed
5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
Method Prep:1hr › Cook:10min › Ready in:1hr10min
Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4 and line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Slice the pumpkin and remove seeds; lay on the baking tray, cover with more foil and bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork. Remove from the oven, let cool and spoon out the flesh. Mash it, squeezing out excess water.
While the pumpkin cooks, cook the potatoes in boiling water until you can easily pierce them with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain, cool slightly, then peel. Mash the potatoes in a bowl.
Dust a work surface with flour. Place mashed pumpkin and potatoes on the surface, then mix till combined. Add egg, salt, nutmeg and flour. Knead for few minutes, adding more flour if the dough is too soft. The final result will be a smooth, firm but still soft dough.
Take a small piece of dough and cover the rest with a cloth so it does not dry out. Roll dough into a long, thin rope. With a knife cut small pieces of the 'rope', about 2cm long. Then roll each piece against a fork's tongs to get the traditional indentation, which will help the sauce cling to the gnocchi in the finished dish.
Once ready, transfer gnocchi to a plate dusted with flour, spread apart so that they don't stick together. Proceed in the same way with the remaining dough.
Put the gnocchi in the freezer and bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. The gnocchi needn't freeze, but placing them in the freezer for a few minutes will help them keep their shape.
Prepare the sauce: In a saucepan fry the sage in butter for few minutes. Add blue cheese, stir and let it melt a bit. Pour in the milk and cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring until well combined.
Add the gnocchi straight from the freezer to the boiling water and cook until they float to the surface. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the gnocchi to the saucepan, then toss gently to coat in the sauce.
Serve straightaway with some grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled over each plate.
00 flour is typically used for making pasta in Italy. You can find it in larger supermarkets or speciality shops. In a pinch, plain flour is fine to use.