Monday, November 11, 2019

pumpkin galore

October and November in Turin are the months of the pumpkin but no matter when pumpkin season is where you live, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving Day or you just like its flavor, do it like us and make one of these amazing recipes of ours. You'll surprise and entice your family and friends and most definitely, you'll gratify yourselves 😋

Porta Palazzo market: the farmers' section

Pumpkin risotto

Pumpkin risotto is always an elegant and impressive idea in any given menu. Short or long grain rice won't really matter, even if in Italy we use the short grain variety for accessibility issues as these are our native variants.
in the first sautéing phase, beer, wine or your choice of liqueur, everything will do to twist a risotto, however, we recommend a delicate and fruity white wine or a blond beer to avoid overpowering the pumpkin flavor.
Gin, vermouth and vodka can be used too, as well as green tea for a different flavor. In the kitchen creativity is always your best friend.
Cheese can play a bigger or a smaller role too, depending on the final result you want to achieve. Cream cheese, goat cheese, parmigiano reggiano and any mild and fresh cheeses are always to be preferred; however, if you are thinking of making risotto patties the day after... well then, there's no limit to your fantasy.

For our 101 risotto post, click here.

Risotto usually comes al dente and for this reason it doesn't need any extra crunchiness but you can certainly add some pumpkin seeds to garnish as well as some turmeric or even saffron to enhance the yellow color.
You can also add some dried mushrooms, especially porcini will be particularly tasty or some Jerusalem artichokes for a more Fall and potassium and magnesium packed dish.

Pumpkin baked fries or chips

You can very easily roast pumpkin French fries or chips as an addition to you aperitif menu: you will just need some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), any herbs you love and fleur de sel or regular salt.
Cut your pumpkin into chips-like or French fries-like pieces, keep in mind they will shrink in the oven, so cut them twice as bigger as your final desired size.
Wash them, dry them and cover them in EVOO plus herbs, roast them in the over at 220F /105C for 25/30 minutes. 
Turn your oven off leaving your pumpkin chips inside for another 25/30 minutes to help dry any extra moisture and make them crunchy.
Sprinkle with fleur de sel or regular salt (and grounded cinnamon)

Is there an healthier and more seasonable snack?

Pumpkin gnocchi

To bring everyone to your table and make them all happy, just make pumpkin gnocchi!
This is a very therapeutic dish as it involves a lot of relaxing hand work that can be shared with one or more friends or family members - you won't believe how much you'll gossip and laugh till it happens 😄.
Needless to tell you, this prep also makes a great romantic activity with your date😇
As we are yogis, a note about the pumpkin orange color that reminds us of the sacral chakra located about 2 in/ 4cm below your navel. This orange chakra is associated with our emotions, creativity and sexuality 😜

If you already have a potato gnocchi recipe you like, you can simply make 50% potatoes and 50% pumpkin. We tried mixing 50% pumpkin and 50% lentils and the only pumpkin version.

Our recipe calls for only pumpkin and no egg to make it vegan friendly and lighter.

  • 600gr / 1.3lb of pumpkin pulp
  • about 300gr /2 cups regular white flour or rice flour if there are any gluten issues or a mix of white and farro flours to twist the flavor. Bear in mind you might need more according to the moisture of your dough 
  • some turmeric, pepper to enhance the color and the nutrient content
  • fresh ginger, nutmeg and herbs (optional)

Peel, cut, wash, dry and roast the pumpkin in the oven at 200C/390F for 15/20min or ventilated oven at 180C/350F 10/15min. Using parchment paper on your baking dish you won't need to add anything. When you see the edges of your pumpkin pieces getting slightly dry, it is time to get them out of the oven and cool down.
After cooling down, purée the pumpkin with turmeric, pepper and fresh ginger and other spices and herbs you like.

On a silicone mat pour some flour, add the pumpkin purée and start mixing and kneading. Slowly add as much flour as you need to get a nice, elastic dough ball that doesn't stick to your hands.
With a stainless steel scraper or a knife cut the dough into 6 or 8 small sections.
Roll them down one by one into a 1cm/0.5in thick sausage. Cut each sausage into dumplings. Remember that while boiling they will double their size. To add the ridges you can push and roll down each one of your gnocchi on the back of a fork or you can simply boil them without ridges.

As the gnocchi are ready, rest them on a floured surface and distance them so they won't stick up together into their original dough ball.
If you need to, you can freeze them for 2 hr on a silicon mat before placing them into a ziploc bag and have a bunch ready for a future occasion.
Otherwise, when it looks like your 4 portions are down, boil a huge pot of salty water, drop them all in and stir occasionally.
When ready, the gnocchi will float up to the surface for you to scoop them out - we love to use a Chinese skimmer.

Serving these pumpkin gnocchi is very easy as they are naturally good just with EVOO and balsamic, or if you added the fresh ginger, you might want to let some soy sauce get absorbed making them savory.
They also go extremely well with creamy goat cheese or any mild fresh cheese.
Otherwise, do it the traditional Italian way: melt some butter and add a couple of fresh sage leaves. When the leaves are lightly friend and you can smell their scent this aromatic butter is ready to be poured over each gnocchi portion making it the epitome of any mid-season specialty.

These are all delicate flavors calling for wines that respect these dishes without overpowering them.
Any delicate and aromatic white wine or blond beer will do.
In Piedmont we love to serve them with:
the Alta Langa bubbles are great with the pumpkin chips

and if you can get tour hands on a fruity Grignolino and young Barbera d'Alba, these two red wines will also pair perfectly with your gnocchi.

50% pumpkin and 50% lentil gnocchi with goat cheese

Just remember: by midnight the pumpkin will transform, so your plates must be empty or the spell will take place 😂

To add a gnocchi-making class with lunch in Turin with us, e-mail Lucia:

No comments:

Post a Comment