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Pumpkin Semolina Gnocchi sounds fancy and complicated, right? I promise, it’s not! You just need time and some patience.
Not many of you know that I work full-time at an organic food cooperative. We have a big fruit and vegetable section and every year I am fascinated by the huge impact the weather has on our fruits and vegetables. For example last year, there were almost no apples. The season was terrible and apple farmers couldn’t deliver. We also had an apple juice and apple sauce shortage. I guess you won’t notice these things when you shop at a regular grocery store because they will make sure that your New Zealand apples are all stocked up. But we did notice. But the great thing is that most of our customers aren’t really bothered by things like this. Usually they are pretty well informed about stuff like that.
After a really hot summer with a very early and long berry season, I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when the first bright orange kuri squashes went into the wooden shelves. It was still about 30°C hot (plus no AC anywere and we were basically turned into raisins at the office, in the store and at home) and now I was supposed to eat pumpkin soup? Because that’s what I associate with winter squashes. But I guess I have got to be flexible and since I have been obsessed with making gnocchi lately, I went for a batch of pumpkin semolina gnocchi.
I used to think this kind of pasta was really difficult to make without eggs. I assumed they’d always come out mushy and wrong textured. But that is absolutely not the case. They are so easy and fun to make! (Yeah, I bet you already knew that.) They are gnocchi alla romana, which means there’s no flour involved. (Okay, I did use a little bit to make up for the omitted eggs).
The recipe is so easy that I’ll have to bombard you with pictures here. There’s not much to write about when it comes to the method.
You need a small red kuri squash (or something similar), which is cut in half. You don’t have to peel it, just get rid of the seeds and slice the squash in stripes. Bake them at 200°C for about 20 minutes or until soft. Let cool and cut of the skin. (Or leave it on and purée the squash.) If you decide to cut off the skin you can just mash the baked squash meat in a large bowl.