The Crazy Kitchen: Aged Grana Padano & Pumpkin Gnocchi

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Sunday 21 October 2012

Aged Grana Padano & Pumpkin Gnocchi

A few weeks ago I was invited to attend an event with Grana Padano Cheese and Slow Food Kids. Unfortunately we were unable to attend so we were kindly sent a box of goodies instead.


Along with the goodies I was also sent some recipes (on a handy Grana Padano USB stick) so I thought I would give the Gnocchi a try. I've only ever attempted to make Gnocchi once, I can't remember how long ago it was or the recipe I used, but all I remember was ending up with a pan of cloudy water at the end and the Gnocchi had disappeared. This time I hoped it would be different, after all if 8 year old GG can make it then surely I should be able to?

Here's the recipe by renowned Italian Chef Francesco Mazzei

Aged Grana Padano and pumpkin gnocchi with sage

Ingredients (serves 4):
100g mashed potatoes (use 2 large potatoes)
100g pumpkin mash (1 butternut squash)
100g Grana Padano 21 Months
100g 00 flour
Pinch of Nutmeg
1 egg yolk
50g butter
1 teaspoon shallots
20g Sage (4 leaves)

  • Cook the potatoes and pumpkin in boiling water for 20-25 minutes, or until soft, then drain.
  • Mash well and place in a large bowl.
  • Make a well in the centre and add the egg, salt and freshly ground nutmeg, ¾ of the grated Grana Padano and flour.
  • Mix by hand to form dough, and then knead for a few minutes.
  • Cut the dough into smaller pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a cylinder and cut into 2.5cm/1in pieces.
  • Cook the gnocchi into boiling salted water.
  • When they rise to the top, remove from the saucepan with a slotted spoon and refresh in iced water. Drain, drizzle with olive oil and keep warm.
  • In the meantime deep fry the sage leaves in a deep fryer or in a pan with very hot oil.
  • Separately sweat the shallots and butter in a pan and then sauté the gnocchi.
  • Serve with extra Grana Padano and crispy fried sage leaf.

I Note : I used plain flour instead of 00 flour, omitted the sage leaves and substituted onion and garlic for shallots and served alongside a ratatouille. I also think that my gnocchi were possibly a little on the large side. The Grana Padano has a subtle and less salty taste compared to the Pecorino Romano that I usually buy, which all the children liked - they all ate the Gnocchi too which I was amazed by!

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