There are moments in our life that stand out because we make promises to ourselves and say:
Then there are moments in our life that also stand out because we say to ourselves:
In 2002 I was visiting my husband in New York and we decided to have dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant with his schoolmates. I forget the name of the restaurant but will never forget reading the menu and feeling a sense of anxiety. For one thing, everything seemed so expensive compared what I was used to, so I decided to order a pasta dish which seemed cheaper than having a main. My cause for distress was from wanting to order something I’d never heard of before, the Pumpkin Gnocchi.
“What the hell is gnocchi?” I thought to myself. I realized I had an even bigger problem – how was I going to order this dish when I didn’t know how to pronounce gnocchi? Was it Guh-noki?, Nyo-chi? I wasn’t too sure and in front of seemingly more sophisticated New Yorkers I was too embarrassed to ask the waiter what was pumpkin gnocchi and even more embarrassed to order Guh-noki (my first guess) out loud. So when the waiter came to take my order I simply pointed at the gnocchi dish and said “I’ll have this one.”
This was my “One Day” moment. I said to myself: “one day” I’ll be able to go to restaurants and be confident about what I’m ordering, never feel ashamed if I don’t know how to pronounce a dish or feel embarrassed to ask what’s in a dish.
I tell you as well, they were just the most tasty morsels of pumpkin I’d ever tried. Think pillows of pumpkin, a hint of cheese, browned butter and crispy sage leaves.
And that was my “Never Ever” moment. I “never ever” thought that I could one day make pumpkin gnocchi.
A few years later I realized that particular “one day” moment had been resolved. It never bothers me now to question waiters about dishes: what’s in the dish, where produce is sourced, how the dish is cooked and even, how do you pronounce the dish.
And last week was the end to my “never ever” moment… at least for pumpkin gnocchi.
- 1 Kent Pumpkin, when cut and peeled around 500 grams
- 1 egg
- 150 grams flour (more for dusting the board)
- Freshly ground nutmeg
- 30 grams grated parmesan cheese
- 10 sage leaves, picked
- 50 grams butter, unsalted
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large steamer, steam the pumpkin until soft, around 25 minutes. If the pumpkin feels a bit wet, dry it out a bit by placing it in a large pan over a low heat to remove some excess moisture.
- Use a potato ricer to mash the pumpkin in a large bowl then add the egg, flour, nutmeg and parmesan cheese (add some salt and pepper to taste). Using a fork, mix the ingredients together, the mass will look quite sticky. You can add more flour at this point but doing so will make the mixture much more dense and heavy which is not what you want. Remember also to handle the dough as little as possible.
- Flour a wooden board and line a tray with baking paper. With floured hands, take a large tablespoon of the gnocchi mixture and roll this into a ball and place it on the baking tray. If you want to shape the gnocchi, use a gnocchi paddle or apply some pressure to the gnocchi balls using the back of a fork.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and then lower the heat to a medium boil. Drop the gnocchi pieces and let cook until they start floating to the top. Remove from the water and place on some kitchen paper to absorb the water. Keep warm.
- For the sauce, heat the butter until nicely browned and it smells nutty, then add the sage leaves. Pour the browned butter sauce and sage leaves over the gnocchi and serve immediately.