Pumpkin gnocchi for lamb ragu with spices

Pumpkin gnocchi for lamb ragu with spices

Maccheroni di zucca con ragu d’ agnello speziato

By
From
Venice
Serves
6-8
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

These were originally called maccheroni in the Veneto during the medieval period. They have continued to be made to this day, usually with the green fat pumpkins called mantovana. Mario, the chef at Bistrot de Venise, showed us a way to make these pumpkin gnocchi by pushing the mixture through a piping bag and snipping off pieces into boiling water with scissors. He serves them with the equally ancient recipe for lamb ragu with spices. We’ve used readily-available butternut squash instead of mantovana.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1.6kg butternut squash
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
100g parmesan, grated
300g ‘00’ flour
salt
freshly ground black pepper
sunflower oil
Lamb ragu with spices

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Wash the butternut squash and cut into wedges around 5 cm at the thickest part leaving the skin on. Put the wedges into a baking tray and brush over with the olive oil. Cook for 30–40 minutes until soft. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Scoop the flesh off the skins into a food processor. Add the eggs, egg yolks, cheese, flour and seasoning, and blend until smooth.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of well-salted water to the boil. Put the gnocchi mixture into a piping bag with a 2 cm nozzle. Over the pan of boiling water, push the mixture through the bag and snip off the first gnocchi at 2 cm so that it falls into the water. Work fast and continue until a third of the mixture is used. When the gnocchi come to the surface they are cooked. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and put into a warm serving dish coated with some sunflower oil. Brush more oil over the gnocchi in the dish so they don’t stick together. Repeat with the rest of the mixture in 2 more batches, each time coat the gnocchi in the dish with some sunflower oil. The gnocchi can be kept in the fridge or frozen like this, or used straight away.
  3. To serve with ragu, heat the ragu in a large non-stick frying pan and then add the gnocchi. If the gnocchi have been stored in the fridge reheat them by putting them in boiling salted water for 30 seconds, drain and add to the ragu.
Tags:
Venice
Giancarlo
Katie
Caldesi
Venetian
Italian
European
Mediterranean
Italy
Europe
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