Today I am officially back at work, so expect lots of moaning…except not. I actually had an awesome holiday – all the baking, family, and late mornings! I am twitchy, however, about starting up the structured Masters course and getting work on the roll, so it’s best to get it over and done with and rev up the intellectual engines (which are, shall we say, rusty).
To celebrate the end of the holidays I decided to do something different and try my hand at pumpkin gnocchi, because a) I love gnocchi and b) I’m trying to wean myself off of sweet stuff. I spent five or so years living in Milan, which naturally infused my soul and stomach for a love of pasta, pizza, and all those goodies. I must say, I miss the delicious coffee and little treats one could get at any corner shop, but for my health it’s probably best that I am geographically severed from that haven of yeasty and carb-loaded goods.
In fact, I discovered a wonderful resource last night that made me very glee-ful: it lists what veggies and fruit are in season in South Africa at different times of the year (here is the original post linking to seasonal produce in different areas/countries). Usually when the northern hemisphere are perving over berries or whatever I’m usually left miserable because there isn’t even a whisper of such things on the shelves, but I have just come to terms with saving the recipes and testing them out at a later stage – of course, it means that anyone who may be tempted to try what I link or make will have to also adjust accordingly. Oh well! Still, I think cooking and baking in season is the way to go, especially since one can also freeze ahead (although our freezer is rather cramped with soup provisions).
Anyway! Pumpkin is a staple of mine, no matter the season, and I will pay out of my ears to have it in the fridge – healthy, hearty, and versatile! I simply adore the idea of it being useful in baked, sweet goods, as well as the centrepiece or filling for savoury delights. Therefore there was a natural inclination to testing out pumpkin gnocchi, and I’m glad I did!
I used the recipe from Darth Vegan, because it looked to be the most straight forward. I’d run out of rye flour (sadness), so I used nutty wheat, but I’ll try these again with rye since I find it has a less flour-y or wheat-y taste.
I first steamed my pre-cut pumpkin blocks and then roasted them at 180C for about 20 or so minutes to get rid of the excess moisture, since I didn’t want to use extra flour to compensate. After that I rolled them into snakes, but alas I couldn’t get the gnocchi textured lines right with my fork, so they remained without decoration. I ended up plopping them in the boiling water and them frying them for a few minutes on each side on a hot, non-stick pan, just because I was in the mood for something less uber squishy and more substantive. Yum! I paired it with a fresh radish and roasted cauliflower green salad, as well as grilled marrows and baked tofu in a tomato pasta sauce with tikka curry (splashed with a bit of carrot juice). SUPER yum!
I apologise for the lack of glamour shots but I was getting hungry! One of my resolutions this year is to set up my tripod (which is collecting dust), and get into the habit of taking action shots. Usually I’m in a spin when in the kitchen so there isn’t time to dust or wash off my hands and take snaps, but planning should ease that process.
Whilst I was cooking Man-thing (supported by Gatsby) read aloud from Dune – we’re now at book 2!