Please find below my recipe for the pumpkin gnocchi bake with sage. Sorry that it took me a while to post, but work is taking up a lot of time at the moment. By the way, this dish is not just any recipe, it has to do with my New Year’s resolution for 2020.
Every year, millions of people all over the world make New Year’s resolutions, hoping to continue a good practice, change an undesired behaviour, accomplish a personal goal, or in any other way improve their life. As you can probably guess losing weight is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. It’s widely known that more gym memberships are purchased in January than any other month in the year. That reminds me of a joke I read somewhere: I’m opening a gym called ‘resolutions’. It will have exercise equipment for the first month of the year. Then it will turn into a bar for the remaining eleven months.
It’s also no surprise that number two on the resolutions list falls within the ‘eating healthy’ category. My New Year’s resolution kind of falls into this last category. It’s not that my eating habits are bad, on the contrary. I would however love to try to reduce the meat consumption of my family. I’m not ready to go vegan and I don’t know if that time will ever come, but we will cross that bridge when we get there. My love for yoghurt, cheese and eggs is so big that I can’t imagine going without these ingredients. Reducing the amount of meat I eat however should be doable. I found that January is a great month to start because more and more people are dipping their toes into Veganuary and are sharing their experiences on social media. I think a resolution shared is a resolution halved in this case.
Trying to keep my New Year’s resolution I found out this month that changing an ingrained habit is not an easy task. It’s unbelievable how many times I picked up a piece of meat or fish while shopping and then realizing I need to come up with another recipe if I want to keep my New Year’s resolution.
I also found out that it’s very important when you want to change a particular behaviour to take a step back and get ready before diving into it head-first. In my case that meant I needed to spend some time on the couch with my cookbooks to make a list of recipes that I can cook so I can easily choose one when shopping for dinner. I also browsed the internet for inspiration and found lots and lots of recipes without meat that looked amazing.
I’m aware of the fact that 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. While that number may seem discouraging, I’m sure I will be able to keep my resolution for longer than that. That’s also one of the reasons why I didn’t decide to stop eating meat. I decided to reduce my meat intake, so that means I can still have meat, but not on a regular basis.
That’s how I found myself on a Saturday afternoon ready to go shopping for dinner and thinking about what to cook. I asked the kids what they wanted for dinner and they said the would love some gnocchi with a ‘white sauce’. I checked my vegetables and found a delicious pumpkin. There was also some stilton cheese and mozzarella in the fridge. I then bought some double cream and made this pumpkin gnocchi bake with sage. When I posted it on Instagram some people asked for the recipe so I promised them to post it on my blog. So here it is………………
By the way…………if your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, you might want to skip this one. Losing weight is not my goal with this recipe 😊.
I hope you enjoy this Pumpkin gnocchi bake with sage as much as we did. If you try it, please let me know! Leave a comment, telling me what you think of it. You can also tag your photo on Instagram with @culyzaar or post it on my Facebook page so I can see it. I love seeing your takes on the recipes on my blog!
One last thing about New Year’s resolutions:
New Year’s resolutions are a bit like babies. They are fun to make, but extremely difficult to maintain. Please remember though that a setback does not mean you need to give up on your goal! Keep pushing through and stay focused on how much better your life will be when you stick to your resolution, whatever it is. Good luck!
- 750 g store-bought gnocchi
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 16-20 sage leaves for frying
- 10 gram of sage finely chopped
- 1 small pumpkin (about 750 gram cleaned), cut into 2cm cubes
- 400 ml double cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp finely grated nutmeg
- 125 gram mozzarella
- 150 gram Stilton blue cheese, crumbled
- 50 gram walnuts, to serve
Preheat oven to 220°C.
Toss the pumpkin with 1 tablespoon of the oil on an oven tray; season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes or until tender and golden brown.
In the meanwhile cook the gnocchi according to packet instructions minus one minute (it will cook further in the oven), then drain and rinse under cold water. Don’t skip the rinsing or you will end up with one big clump of gnocchi.
Heat the remaining three tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the 16-20 leaves of sage and cook for 1 minute or until crisp. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Reserve the oil for later.
Combine the gnocchi with the egg yolks, cream, nutmeg, half the mozzarella and 10 grams of sage. Spoon into prepared dish and top with the pumpkin, the remaining half of the mozzarella and half of the blue cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes on 200°C, top with walnuts, fried sage leaves and remaining blue cheese.
Drizzle with the reserved sage oil and serve immediately.
Once upon a time…………. a few weeks ago I was in the mood for a gooey cheesy casserole. As I’m always looking for new pasta dishes I wanted to try a gnocchi recipe. Gnocchi is a small, dumpling-like pasta common throughout the whole of Italy made with semolina flour or potatoes. You’ll probably find them with the fresh or dried pasta in your supermarkets. While gnocchi is traditionally boiled and served with simple toppings such as olive oil and a little Parmesan, this recipe has you frying them for a crunchy twist.
I would not be surprised if this gnocchi dish becomes a regular in our meal rotation. It’s easy, fast and super tasty. I prefer to fry the gnocchi and cook the peas separately, but you could turn this into a one pot meal if you add the gnocchi and the peas into the tomato sauce. Then there will be only a little washing up to do afterwards. Sometimes cooking can be so relaxed, and sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax…….am I right?
My kids loved this gnocchi dish and gobbled it up before you I could say ‘bon appetit’. I’m sure it will also satisfy the carb lovers, the carnivores, the melty cheese eaters and even the veggie lovers in my life.
I usually serve this with a simple green salad but if you want to indulge you can always serve some crusty bread to mop up all the leftover sauce! For a less indulgent meal you can use minced chicken as a more healthy variant. Add spices like thyme and fennel seeds to mimic the seasoning of the Italian sausage used in this recipe.
Don’t you just love italian food? By the way…………did you hear about that italian chef that died?
He pasta way.
We cannoli do so much.
His legacy will become a pizza history.
He ran out of thyme
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. If you try it, please let me know! Leave a comment, telling me what you think of it. You can also tag your photo on Instagram with @culyzaar or post it on my Facebook page so I can see it. I love seeing your takes on the recipes on my blog!
- 500 grams of gnocchi
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 fresh sausages (choose a good brand with Italian spices or make your one)
- 200 grams of fresh baby spinach (or chopped normal size spinach)
- 1 tin of canned diced tomatoes with juices (do not drain)
- 70 ml of water or chicken broth
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp of dried thyme
- 2 tsp of paprika
- 100 grams shredded mozzarella cheese
- 25 grams of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 200 grams peas (fresh or frozen)
- Olive oil
- Salt and peppe
You start by cooking the gnocchi in a pan of boiling water for a couple of minutes (check the package for directions) until they float to the surface. Use a slotted spoon to take the gnocchi out of the water and strain the gnocchi until all of the liquid drains off. Don’t throw them into a hot frying pan immediately, because the water on the outside of the pasta will not allow the gnocchi to develop a nice, golden crust. Drain all the water (in a strainer) and add a drizzle of olive oil to a large frying pan over medium heat.
Put the gnocchi into the pan, and spread them around with the back of a spoon to create an even layer over the pan, this is very important for the crunchy crust. Let the gnocchi fry for a couple of minutes until they turn golden brown. Turn them gently with a spatula, and cook on the other side until brown and crispy. Take them out of the pan and set aside for later.
Cook the peas in a pan with boiling water for 4 minutes, drain and also set aside for later.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large broiler-safe skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until brown which will take approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Take the sausages out of their casing and cut them in little pieces. Add the garlic to the pan and fry for a minute with the onion. Then add the sausage, salt and pepper and cook for 4 minutes while breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon. Add spinach a handful at a time and cook, stirring, until wilted, this will take about 4 minutes.
Then add the canned tomatoes, the water (or the stock) and the dried herbs and spices. Taste and add seasoning when necessary. Mix well and add the fried gnocchi to the pan. Make sure there is enough liquid in the pan and if necessary add a dash of water. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and let it simmer for a while, until the cheese forms a melted gooey cheesy layer on the pasta. That takes about four minutes. In the meantime preheat the broiler of your oven.
Position a baking sheet in the upper third of oven. Broil until the cheese starts to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. This gives the cheese an irresistibly crusty crust. Remove from the oven, top with some chopped basil or oregano if desired.