The Gnocchi presented here are very special as they have a distinct lovely golden colour. And, I really love their slightly sweet pumpkin taste – a very mild one. The recipe to prepare them is pretty simple but takes some time. I develop it cause I usually buy more pumpkin than I can eat and are left with the thought: “hm, what to do with the rest?”. Well, here comes an original idea.
For the recipe you only need 4 main ingredients:
120g wheat semolina
(a fine grained version – you may need some additional)
60g sweet lupine flour
(this can be substituted by corn or wheat flour according to your tastes and preferences)
2 soup spoons of chia seeds
Additionally, you need some vegetable oil for frying, water and spices (salt, pepper, chillie, and nutmeg).
At least 3 hours before you start the recipe, you need to soak the chia seeds in 100mL water. Add the seeds into the water and than disperse them by a fork. Leave them soaking at room temperature. Chia seeds are important in this recipe due to their neutral taste; non-vegan versions of this recipe containing egg may easily loose the dominant pumpkin taste.
Start the recipe by cutting the pumpkin in small cubes. Add the vegetable oil into a pan and heat at maximum temperature. Once the pan is sufficiently hot, add the pumpkin and fry for 3 minutes. Add some water to cover the bottom of the pan, so that the pumpkin stands in water (but is not covered by it). Immediately, reduce the heat to medium temperature. Cover the pan with a lid and let the pumpkin simmer in the water for 10 minutes. After that time, test whether the pumpkin is soft with a fork. If it isn’t soft, let it simmer some more time. If it is soft, remove it onto a plate and keep the liquid in the pan.
Add the sweet lupine flour (or the substitute of your choice) into the pumpkin/vegetable-oil broth. Add some salt (half a tea spoon), pepper (1 tea spoon) and nutmeg (a quarter of a tea spoon). Let it simmer at higher temperature for 20 minutes. You may need to regularly stir the mixture to avoid it clocking to the pan. Do not cover it and allow most of the liquid to evaporate.
In the meantime put the pumpkin pieces together with the 100mL chia seed dispersion in a mixture. Add salt, pepper, chillie, and nutmeg (0.5 to 1 soup spoon each – depending on your tastes). Mix untill it is a homogenous cream.
Attend the simmering lupin flour after you are done mixing. The water should have evaporated to a degree that only a very thick cream is left. If not, heat it up some more to allow the water to evaporate. Then mix the sweet lupine flour cream into the pumpkin/chia-seeds cream by hand (using e.g. a baking spatula). Dry the mixture by slowly adding the wheat semolina. For this, add one third of the amount of semolina and mingle it completely into the mass. Then add the next third. In the end, you should have a still very moist and sticky mass. If it is too moist for you for further handling you may want to consider additional 40 g of semolina. However, try to avoid this.
Take a little bit of mass and roll it into a ball using the palms of your hand. The balls should be very small with a diameter of a penny (or a Euro Cent piece) up to 10 Euro Cent pieces. Once you have enough balls formed, heat some water with salt in a pot. Once, it starts cooking add the gnocchi and leave them cooking for 5 to 7 minutes. Even if they rise to the surface before that time, leave them in the water. After 5 minutes (or 7 minutes as I said) remove them from the cooking water. They are now ready to be served.
The gnocchi best with with a fresh tomato salsa (just blend tomatoes to a sauce) or some mushroom pestos or any other sauce/pesto you like. Enjoy!