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Gnocchi take a bit of work, but it’s not a complicated process and the results are delicious and filling. It’s a colourful dish for a cold night.
Pre-heat the oven to 205°C / 195°C fan / gas mark 6.
Cut the squash into chunks, roughly 2-3cm, toss in the olive oil and a pinch of salt then arrange on a large baking tray, giving them plenty of space. Roast for 30 minutes or until well cooked and charred at the edges.
While the squash is cooking, sprinkle the grated Parmesan onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment to make a thin layer then bake in the oven for 10 minutes where it will melt together and bubble. Remove and leave to cool. It will harden and turn into a crisp sheet you can snap into shards. Set aside.
After your squash has baked for 30 minutes, give it a prod. The cooking time depends on how much water there is in your pumpkin flesh. It’s important there’s not much water left or the gnocchi won’t hold together, so cook for a few more minutes if it feels soggy. Transfer to a food processor and blitz until smooth. You should have around 300g purée.
Mix the squash puree with the egg yolk, flour and a pinch of salt and knead into a soft dough. Be warned, it’s a messy job but persevere. Once combined, flour your hands and a work surface and roll out thick ropes of dough around 1cm in diameter. Cut the ropes into rectangular pillows and dust with a little more flour to prevent sticking. You can roll the pillows over a fork with your thumb to create the classic gnocchi divots too if you want the traditional look.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the parsley and garlic. Leave on a very low heat while you cook the gnocchi.
Bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil, salt it heavily and add the gnocchi. Once the gnocchi rise to the top (around 2 minutes) leave them to boil for another minute then fish them out with a slotted spoon into a colander.
Toss the gnocchi in the butter, divide between two warmed plates and serve with a few parmesan crisps.
All to be sourced organic where possible
500g peeled and de-seeded squash (roughly ½ butternut squash)