As an unofficial member of the Zhi Xing (which means activity in Chinese) International cooking, I led the recipe of gnocchi with pumpkin and ragù sauce. Provided with ingredients found in China I had to revisit the original recipe.
Gnocchi are various thick, soft dough dumplings that may be made from semolina, wheat flour, egg, cheese, potato, breadcrumbs, semolina or other ingredients, with or without flavouring of herbs or vegetables.
The word gnocchi may be derived from the Italian word nocchio, meaning a knot in wood,or from nocca (meaning knuckle). Gnocchi were firstly made when potatoes and other vegetables started to come from the Americas.
Gnocchi made of pumpkin come from the region Lombardia.
Ragù is a traditional meat sauce usually made out of minced beef, carrots, celery, onions, tomato sauce(passata) and white wine.
For the preparation of Gnocchi alla zucca with ragù sauce, we followed the recipe my granny Cesira gave to me and the website giallozafferano.com.
- 300 gr of wheat flour + as much as needed to shape the gnocchi;
- 2 normal eggs;
- 500 gr of pumpkin;
- 4 potatoes;
- a pinch of salt;
- 100 gr of cheese (parmesan is the best one, but if you live in a place where you cannot get it, fresh cheese will be fine);
- 500 gr minced beef or pork or both;
- 300 gr of finely chopped carrots;
- 1 onion
- extra virgin olive oil
- vegetable stock cube (Knorr is recommended)
Steps to make the Ragù sauce
- Chop the onion.
- Fry the onion with olive oil and when the onion chops will be gold put the carrots.
- Once the carrots will be cooked add the minced meat and let cook for at least 40 minutes. Add the Knorr cube to make it salty and more tasty, some seasonals like oregan and thyme. You will need at least to add 3 cups of water while cooking.
- As soon as the water evaporates and the sauce is not liquid the ragù sauce will be ready to be used.
Note: do not let the the sauce cooking because it will fry and it will burn! 🙂
Steps to make gnocchi:
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into big pieces. Cut the skin of the pumpkin and cut it in pieces.
- Boil the potatoes and the pumpkin into a pot with a bit of salt and when cooked let them cool.
- Smash the potatoes and the pumpkin with a fork or a potato masher.
- Put the smashed potatoes and pumpkin in a big bowl and add the 2 eggs, the grated cheese, the salt, 100 gr of flour and mix everything.
- Since the vegetables may release water(especially the pumpkin) add flour as much as needed, so it may necessary more than 500 gr of flour. You should obtain a soft dough which can be shaped with your hands.
- To do not the gnocchi dough to your hands, put some flour on your hands before you start working the dough.
- Shape the gnocchi dough into “long thick snakes” and cut every 2 cm ca pieces of the dough.
- Once the gnocchi are made, put water into a large pot of slightly salted water and when the water will boil drop the gnocchi into the pot.
- As soon as the gnocchi rise on the water, drain them and put them into the pan with the sauce(in this case it is a ragù sauce which recipe is found above, but you can also use pesto sauce, butter and sage, fish sauce…).
- Mix, serve with parmesan on the top and enjoy!
Gnocchi description: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnocchi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnocchi Gnocchi history: http://www.dissapore.com/spesa/tutti-gli-gnocchi-ditalia-regione-per-regione/ http://www.dissapore.com/spesa/tutti-gli-gnocchi-ditalia-regione-per-regione/ http://www.vesuviolive.it/cultura-napoletana/48103-storia-ed-origini-degli-gnocchi-patate/ Recipe: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://ricette.giallozafferano.it/Gnocchi-di-zucca.html&gws_rd=cr&ei=uFGcWP7fLMrR0ASn6ZrAAw