food and drink 16.4.2018 03:15 pm

Recipe: Pumpkin gnocchi with crushed baby tomatoes

Pumpkin gnocchi with crushed baby tomatoes. Photo: Dylan Swart

Pumpkin gnocchi with crushed baby tomatoes. Photo: Dylan Swart

There’s nothing more warming than a bowl of comforting gnocchi.

However, the uncomfortable fullness afterwards can be a bit off-putting. This version is lovely and light – perfect to serve with your favourite pasta sauce.

Ingredients

Pumpkin gnocchi
500g pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes
45ml (3 tbsp) olive/canola oil + extra, to fry
5ml (1 tsp) mixed dried herbs
Small handful sage and thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
125g reduced-fat cream cheese
1 egg
50g ground almonds + extra, to roll
60ml (4 tbsp) psyllium husk powder

Crushed baby tomatoes
300g baby vine tomatoes, halved + a few on the vine, to garnish
Small handful fresh thyme leaves
45ml (3 tbsp) red pesto
Parmesan, freshly grated
Microherbs, to garnish (optional)

Method

1. For the gnocchi, preheat the oven to 190°C. Place the pumpkin in a roasting dish and drizzle with the 45ml (3 tbsp) oil, dried and fresh herbs, and season well to taste. Place in the oven to roast, about 45 minutes – 1 hour, until soft.

2. Allow to cool slightly, then place the pumpkin in a blender and blitz until smooth. Add the cream cheese and egg, and blitz until well combined. Add the 50g ground almonds, the psyllium husk powder and a good pinch salt. Blitz to incorporate. Remove the mixture from the blender (it should be a soft dough) and form into a ball. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate, 45 minutes.

3. While the gnocchi cools, make the crushed tomato sauce by adding a drizzle oil to a frying pan over high heat. Add the halved baby tomatoes and fry, tossing occasionally, 4 minutes. Add the thyme leaves and fry, a further minute or so. Remove from heat and add the red pesto, then gently crush the tomato halves, using a fork. Set aside.

4. Take the gnocchi dough out of the fridge and divide in 2. Using some extra ground almonds to aid rolling, roll one half of the gnocchi into a long cylinder of about 2cm thickness. Using a sharp knife, cut off about 1cm-thick pieces of gnocchi, then do the same with the other half of dough until it has all been cut up into little pieces of gnocchi.

5. Add a big glug olive/canola oil to a pan over medium heat and fry the gnocchi pieces in small batches, turning after 2 minutes per side, until all of the gnocchi pieces are fried.

6. To serve, warm the tomatoes in a pan or the microwave, add your gnocchi and toss it through. Season well, grate over a little Parmesan and garnish with microherbs, if desired.

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