Julia Busuttil Nishimura's Pumpkin Gnocchi With Butter and Sage
Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favourite home cooks. For this instalment, cookbook author and food writer Julia Busuttil Nishimura, shares her recipe for her pumpkin gnocchi with butter and sage.
There's no doubt Julia Busuttil Nishimura knows how to make great classics even greater. From her fig and pistachio tart to her famous spinach and feat pie, her recipes prove time and time again that you only need a few ingredients to make incredible dishes to impress any guest. To add to this list, she now shares her classic pumpkin gnocchi.
Despite any concerns you might have, making and rolling the gnocchi dough is incredibly simple (not to mention enjoyable) - and once you have that part done and dusted, the finished dish will be on the table in no time.
Topped with crunchy pine nuts and sage leaves, this vibrant dish will become a household favourite.
For the gnocchi:
- 800g Japanese or Kent pumpkin
- 400g firm ricotta
- 2 egg yolks
- 60g grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 200-250g 00 flour, plus extra for dusting
For the sauce:
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 200g lightly salted butter
- 20 sage leaves
Trim the pumpkin and cut into 4cm pieces (it should weigh around 500g). Steam until tender then place onto a muslin or paper towel-lined strainer. Allow the pumpkin to drain, squeezing out any excess liquid. I like to do this over a few hours, changing the paper towel, until the pumpkin is very dry. You should have approximately 150g of pumpkin once it has been properly drained.
In a large bowl, add the ricotta, egg yolks, parmesan, nutmeg and pumpkin. Season with salt and pepper and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add most of the flour and mix well.
Tip the mixture onto a floured bench and use your hands to bring it together to form a rough ball. Add more flour until a soft dough forms.
Divide the ball into quarters. Working with one quarter of the dough, roll it into a log 1.5cm in diameter. Cut the log into 1cm pieces, dusting generously with flour. The gnocchi can be left as they are, or you can roll them on a gnocchi board to create lovely ridges. Set the gnocchi aside on a tea towel dusted with flour and repeat with the remaining dough.
Cook the gnocchi in batches in a pot of salted simmering water. Once the gnocchi float to the surface, wait 30 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a tray while you cook the remaining gnocchi. Reserve the cooking water.
In a large pan, toast the pine nuts over a medium heat until lightly golden. Set aside. Return the pan to the heat and add the butter. When the butter begins to foam, add the sage leaves and continue to cook until the butter is golden and the sage leaves are crispy. Return the pine nuts to the pan and gently add the gnocchi, stirring to coat. Add a little of the reserved cooking water, simmering for a minute or two until the sauce is silky and coats the gnocchi. Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan.
For more from Julia, follow her at @juliaostro.