Butternut + Parmesan Gnocchi with Green Beans and Mushrooms


 Prep Time : 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : A Bit Fiddly

Butternut + Parmesan Gnocchi

I’m all pumpkin, all the time when it gets to autumn. My favourite these days is butternut. The skin is easy to deal with, the flavour is great and the flesh isn’t watery when it’s cooked. Which is perfect for making gnocchi. Gnocchi might seem daunting and fiddly, but it just takes a little bit of practice to get used to the texture of the dough. Be patient with yourself and the pasta! Remember it’s not supposed to be perfect and uniform, it’s supposed to be rustic and delicious. Soft pillows of gnocchi, coated in creamy sauce, nestled with crunchy beans and topped with fresh herbs, parmesan and nuts? Sounds like something you are about to make and feel awesome about!

Start by cooking the pumpkin sometime earlier in the day so it is cold by the time you come to make the gnocchi. I usually cut the pumpkin into large hunks and microwave it in a bowl with a plate on top for 5 to 10 minutes until soft. If you already have the oven on the night before then you can roast it in large pieces.

I have never had success trying to make gnocchi in advance. The uncooked dough will just collapse into a sticky mess so allow enough time before serving to make and shape the gnocchi. Weigh the pumpkin into a large bowl and mash it thoroughly. Add all the other ingredients.

Butternut + Parmesan Gnocchi -2

Mix with a fork to bring the dough together a quickly as possible. It will be very soft, and you can add a little more flour at this stage if it’s unworkably sticky. Don’t add too much, and mix it in as gently as possible. Avoid the temptation to beat it too vigorously.

Butternut + Parmesan Gnocchi -3

Tip the dough out onto a well floured surface. Dust it will with flour and divide into 3 or 4 pieces. Do not knead the dough. It will be soft and smushy and you will need to use more flour than you think you should to dust and help shape the gnocchi, but don’t work it into the dough or they will get tough. Gently roll each piece of dough into a sausage about an inch in diameter.

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Using a sharp knife, cut of pieces between half and inch, and an inch long.

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Keeping the work surface well floured continue until all the dough is cut up. It is totally fine if they are a little higgledy piggledy and not all the same size. Using a fork dipped in flour, press each piece about halfway down to create ridges. These help sauce to stick and give them a bit more texture.

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Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. While that’s happening, put plates into a low oven to warm. In a large skillet/frypan heat a small amount of vegetable oil over a medium-high heat and add the trimmed beans.

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Season with a little salt and pepper and cook until still crunchy but they have little char patches on the outside. Transfer the beans to the warm plates.

Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. By now your water should be boiling. Gently lower the gnocchi into the water several pieces at a time.

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So right now you should have beans on plates, gnocchi starting to poach and a skillet waiting to be heated. Slice the mushrooms thinly and keep to one side. Heat the skillet over a medium heat so the butter melts and starts to sizzle. By now the gnocchi should have cooked through and risen to float on the top of the water. This should take less than 5 minutes.

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Using a slotted spoon, lift the gnocchi out of the water and transfer them to the hot skillet. Don’t try to scrape them up with a spatula too quickly or they will tear. Just jostle the pan every 30 seconds or so until the pieces move around on their own. By the time this happens they should have a nice bit of crispy texture on one side.

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Gently flip them over and add the sliced mushrooms. Cook for a minute or two turn of the heat and add the cream, parmesan and season with salt and pepper.

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Toss to coat. Serve on a bed of green beans, garnished with fresh parsley and toasted pinenuts or sliced almonds.

Butternut + Parmesan Gnocchi

Sure your hands got sticky and you made a bit of a mess but who cares? You’re about the eat the freshest hand-crafted pasta you’ve ever had. All thanks to you.

Butternut + Parmesan Gnocchi with Green Beans and Mushrooms


Prep Time : 30 mins | Cook Time : 20 mins | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : A Bit Fiddly | Serves : 2 as a light main

Soft pillows of gnocchi, coated in creamy sauce, nestled with crunchy beans and topped with fresh herbs, parmesan and nuts.

Ingredients for Two (scale up as necessary):

For the gnocchi dough:

  • 2oo grams cooked, peeled pumpkin
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup (100 grams) all purpose flour, plus a little extra in case
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan

For the vegetables:

  • 2 small handful of green beans, trimmed
  • 2 medium portabello mushrooms, clean and peeled if needed

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) butter
  • 1/4 cup (60 mls) double cream
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste

To finish:

  • Flat-leaf parsley
  • Toasted pinenuts or flaked almonds
  • A little extra parmesan

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Large stainless steel or non-stick skillet
  • Large saucepan
  • Slotted spoon

Directions:

Start by cooking the pumpkin sometime earlier in the day so it is cold by the time you come to make the gnocchi. I usually cut the pumpkin into large hunks and microwave it in a bowl with a plate on top for 5 to 10 minutes until soft. If you already have the oven on the night before then you can roast it in large pieces.

I have never had success trying to make gnocchi in advance. The uncooked dough will just collapse into a sticky mess so allow enough time before serving to make and shape the gnocchi. Weigh the pumpkin and mash in a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients.

Mix with a fork to bring the dough together a quickly as possible. It will be very soft, and you can add a little more flour at this stage if it’s unworkably sticky. Don’t add too much, and mix it in as gently as possible. Avoid the temptation to beat it too vigorously.

Tip the dough out onto a well floured surface. Dust it will with flour and divide into 3 or 4 pieces. Do not knead the dough. It will be soft and smushy and you will need to use more flour than you think you should to dust and help shape the gnocchi, but don’t work it into the dough or they will get tough. Gently roll each piece of dough into a sausage about an inch in diameter.

Using a sharp knife, cut of pieces between half and inch, and an inch long.

Keeping the work surface well floured continue until all the dough is cut up. It is totally fine if they are a little higgledy piggledy and not all the same size. Using a fork dipped in flour, press each piece about halfway down to create ridges. These help sauce to stick and give them a bit more texture.

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. While that’s happening, put plates into a low oven to warm. In a large skillet/frypan heat a small amount of vegetable oil over a medium-high heat and add the trimmed beans. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook until still crunchy but they have little char patches on the outside. Transfer the beans to the warm plates.

Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. By now your water should be boiling. Gently lower the gnocchi into the water several pieces at a time.

So right now you should have beans on plates, gnocchi starting to poach and a skillet waiting to be heated. Slice the mushrooms thinly and keep to one side. Heat the skillet over a medium heat so the butter melts and starts to sizzle. By now the gnocchi should have cooked through and risen to float on the top of the water. This should take less than 5 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, lift the gnocchi out of the water and transfer them to the hot skillet. Don’t try to scrape them up with a spatula too quickly or they will tear. Just jostle the pan every 30 seconds or so until the pieces move around on their own. By the time this happens they should have a nice bit of crispy texture on one side.

Gently flip them over and add the sliced mushrooms. Cook for a minute or two turn of the heat and add the cream, parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Serve on a bed of green beans, garnished with fresh parsley and toasted pinenuts or sliced almonds.

 – Eat it straight away. It can be reheated for lunch tomorrow, but will have absorbed the sauce and will be much more dense and firm – 

© 2016 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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