Pumpkin Gnocchi with Milk Poached Fish

Tapa Style

According to Breadhead, gnocchi is easy to make.  I’m not so sure, but this pumpkin gnocchi tastes amazing, and even if it takes you a little more effort than buying a pack of gnocchi from the supermarket, it’s well worth the effort! One of my all time favourite restaurant meals was a yam gnocchi with beurre blanc at The Red Ochre in Adelaide, but this was equally as good, perhaps even a little better!

This gnocchi can be made in rolls and cooked in cling film, which means it doesn’t fall apart so much during cooking (good for those of us who are not so gifted in the gnocchi area, and tend to add more flour to stop this happening, resulting in pumpkin glue rather than gnocchi).  It also means it can be sliced into rounds for nice presentation.

Breadhead served the gnocchi with a beurre blanc sauce, a chunky tomato sauce and milk poached fish- pretty damn good!  The milk poached fish method is great as you can leave it in the milk for as long as you want and it won’t overcook- this helps to make sure everything is ready at once.

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Milk Poached Fish

For the Gnocchi

400g pumpkin

400g potatoes

Roasted veg

125g plain flour

125g grated Parmesan

1 whole egg

2 egg yolks

3 tbsp chopped chives

salt

1.  Bake potatoes and pumpkin in oven until soft

2.  Scoop out flesh and pass through a ricer (much better than using a food processor as the fast movement releases the starch from the potatoes and makes them gummy, mashing by hand is OK, but not so smooth and very time consuming).

Ricer set up

3.  In a bowl add Parmesan, flour, egg, yolks and chives to potato and pumpkin.

4.  Mix well and add salt to taste.

5.  Take about 2 Tbsp of mix at a time and lay in cling film.

6.  Roll into log shapes, twisting each end of the cling film to seal.

7.  The logs can be stored in fridge until needed, or cooked straightaway.

8.  Cook logs for 10 minutes in boiling water (still wrapped in cling film- don’t worry it doesn’t melt!)

9.  Remove and refresh in cold water.

10. Unroll from cling film and cut into 2cm lengths.

Ready for frying

11.  Dust in flour and fry over a medium heat in butter for 2-3 minutes each side, or until lightly brown.

For the Beurre Blanc.

1/2 shallot

Keeping warm in a water bath

2 tbsp white wine

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

50ml water

120g chilled butted diced

1 heaped tsp mustard

lemon juice

1.  Boil shallot, wine and vinegar and reduce over medium heat in small saucepan

2.  Add water and reduce further

3.  Gradually whisk in butter one cube at a time.

4.  When all butter is melted, remove from heat and add mustard, lemon juice and salt to taste.

5.  Use immediately as it will solidify and separate if its sits around.

The bible

For the Milk Poached Fish.

Fillets of fish (frozen is fine and can be cooked straight from freezer)

milk

1.  Cover fish with milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil

2.  Remove from heat and leave to sit until needed.

For the Tomato Sauce

1  400g tin whole tomatoes

2 dried chillies, diced

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic finely diced

1.  Drain tomatoes, reserving some of the juice

2.  Crush tomatoes with your hands to retain the chunky texture

3.  Fry garlic over medium heat in oil

4. Add tomatoes, chilli, and vinegar and a couple of tbsp of tomato juice

5.  Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.

To assemble

Serve a round of gnocchi, topped with a small piece of fish, and drizzled in sauces for a tapas style dish, or serve a few gnocchi s topped with sauces and a larger piece of fish on the side for a main meal.  This is also good with grilled prawns!

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Meatball Pasta with Spinach, Goats Cheese and Tomato.

Meatball pasta with oozing goats cheese

Meatball pasta with oozing goats cheese

This is a breahead leftover creation, which threatened to be tastier than the original dish!  The meatballs were made using the leftover homemade burgers (see Burgers for your buns) from the freezer, and were added to linguine pasta with a tangy homemade tomato sauce, creamy goats’ cheese and wilted spinach. The result; a delicious rich pasta dish which at the same time is light and fresh tasting.

Meatball Pasta Recipe

1/2 quantity of burger recipe or leftover uncooked burgers

1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp smoky paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 glass red wine

1 clove garlic-chopped

2 tsp herbs de provence

1 tsp dried oregano

400g whole tinned tomatoes

150g soft goats cheese

couple of large handfuls of fresh spinach

Parmesan for grating

100-150g pasta of choice per portion

1.  Roll burgers into meatballs of about 4cm diameter (alternatively use burger recipe and just shape into meatballs instead of burgers)

2.  Heat a little oil in frying pan and seal meatballs giving them a good brown colour.

3.  Remove meatballs and set aside.

4.  In the same pan, add chopped garlic and cook for 30 seconds over medium heat until it dances but doesn’t burn.

5.  Add wine to pan and reduce to 2/3 original volume.

6.  Put tomatoes in a sieve and squish between fingers, then add to wine.

7.  Reduce slightly then add herbs, spices, vinegar and sugar and boil for 5 minutes.

8.  Put meatballs into sauce and cook for 15-20 minutes over a gentle heat.

9.  Check seasoning of sauce and add salt and pepper to taste.

10.  Add spinach to sauce and wilt, keep warm over low heat.

11.  Bring pasta to boil and cook until al dente in salted water.

12.  Drain cooked pasta and add to tomato sauce along with goats cheese crumbled or in cubes.

13.  Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a grating of Parmesan.