Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Butternut Gnocchi in a Gorgonzola Cream

This dish is of Lombard tradition: heavy and loaded with fats from the cheese and the butter, it’s the perfect dinner when it’s cold outside.
The butternut squash gives these gnocchi a rather sweet flavour, perfect for the beginning of Autumn.

Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 25 mins | Cooking time: less than 2 mins
  • Butternut squash: 500 g
  • Potatoes: 250 g
  • Milk: 250 ml
  • White flour: 200 g
  • Gorgonzola, sweet or taleggio: 100 g
  • Walnuts: 80 g
  • Butter, unsalted: 30 g
  • Eggs: 1
  • Nutmeg: to taste
  • Salt: to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Cut the pumpkin in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Do not peel the pumpkin yet, but cut it into pieces and put it on a tray lined with baking paper. Cook it in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes; the pumpkin is ready when the pulp is soft and you can easily prick it with a fork.

Do not boil the pumpkin instead of using the oven: it’s important for the pumpkin to lose its water, or else the gnocchi mixture would turn out too liquid.

Once the pumpkin has cooked, separate the pulp from the skin; use a potato masher to mash the pulp and eliminate any remaining water. Leave the pumpkin to cool down for at least 5 minutes.

Boil the potatoes in unsalted water, without peeling them first. Once they are soft and you can easily prick them with a fork, drain them from the water. Mash the potatoes.

Tip: The best potatoes for this recipe are the ones with a white flesh, particularly if they are a bit old.

Beat up the eggs in a bowl and add the potatoes, the pumpkin, the flour, the nutmeg and a pinch of salt. Mix everything thoroughly until you get a soft dough.

Lightly flour your work surface. Take a teaspoon of dough and roll it in the flour to create a ball. You can keep the gnocchi round or else give them the shape of a rectangle. Proceed in this way until you finished all the dough.

Leave the gnocchi to rest for at least half an hour.

Finely chop up the walnuts and set them aside. Dice the gorgonzola in small cubes. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the milk and the gorgonzola. Stir continuously, until the cheese melts completely. Add the walnuts and keep stirring for a few minutes, then turn off the heat.

Bring to boil a pot of salted water and throw in the gnocchi. They should cook in about 2 minutes, and they will be ready once they come up to the surface. Don’t drain the gnocchi by pouring the water away, but instead pick them up from the water in small groups with the help of a skimmer.

Add the gnocchi to the gorgonzola cream and stir thoroughly.

Garnish each plate with a couple whole walnuts and the gnocchi are ready to be served.

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