As I stated in my November post – I think this dish is perfect for this time of year. Obviously the pumpkin fits well as it’s in season, but the creamy sauce and fluffy gnocchi is also like a big autumnal hug in a bowl, that one most definitely need right now.
The original recipe is great for weeknight comfort, but cooking for my boyfriend on a Friday night I felt it could do with some jazzing up. So this is the elevated Friday night (or dinner party) version for when you want to impress but still keep it fairly simple.
If you can’t be bothered with my whole ensemble of extras, and only want to jazz it up in a simple way then just add the prosciutto crumbs, because they have the biggest impact! And the thyme for some freshness!
And the sage is slightly redundant in itself, but it gives a subtle flavour to that glorious browned butter; you don’t need to put the sage on the plate.
Gnocchi with creamy butternut sauce, browned butter and prosciutto crumbs, serves 2
1/2 butternut squash
salt & pepper
approx 300 g gnocchi, cooked according to the instructions on the packet
50-100 ml single cream
a few thyme sprigs
finely grated parmesan
a few sprigs of thyme
4-6 sage leaves
50 g salted butter
2 slices prosciutto
Peel the squash and remove the strings and seeds. Cut into even-sized pieces and place in a roasting tin. Drizzle with olive oil and season. Stir to coat all the pieces with oil. Place in the oven and roast until the pumpkin is soft, approx 35 mins in 200C.
Cook the gnocchi and keep it warm.
Place the prosciutto slices on a parchment lined oven tray and bake until crispy for approx 5 mins in 200C. Let cool on kitchen towel. Chop coarsely and set aside.
Purée the roasted squash with a stick blender. Add (cold) cream until you have a nice thick sauce. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and grated parmesan. Heat up the sauce in a non-stick saucepan while stirring, if needed.
Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the sage leaves. Remove from pan and drain on kitchen towel. Keep the butter on the hob until it’s browned. Remove from the hob when it smells nutty and has a brown (but not very dark brown) colour.
Mix the gnocchi into the sauce and divide into bowls. Add the sage leaves (if using), drizzle with browned butter and scatter with prosciutto crumbs and thyme leaves. Serve with grated parmesan.