Unlike many other years, 2020 held our breaths till the Biden-Harris' victory. Now we all can finally move on and think about our Thanksgiving Day or Holidays menu.
This can be a delicate issue as families have their staple dishes and expats around the world don't always have access to certain ingredients. For one, Italian turkeys are different animals and taste different from the north American ones. Also more people have decided to go vegetarian, or even vegan, or to detox their system. In view of all these considerations, we are sharing two of our successful recipes to give an Italian twist to your Turkey Day table: pumpkin gnocchi and pumpkin chocolate bread as we talked about in our last Italian class:
2020 Cheesy Pumpkin Gnocchi
You can find our basic pumpkin gnocchi recipe here together with our other pumpkin suggestions: pumpkin risotto, pumpkin chips and great suggestions of white wines from Piedmont to pair them with.
Our 2020 pumpkin gnocchi recipe includes:
- about 450 gr / 1 cup of pumpkin purée*
- 1 cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano or any hard cheese of your choice or ricotta
- 3 cups of farro and buckwheat flour with flex seeds or any whole wheat flour
- regular white flour, as much as you need to make a gnocchi dough
- optional: 1/2 tsp of turmeric, a bit of pepper to activate it, some chopped or grated fresh ginger as you like it, or chopped fresh herbs. You can also add 1 egg as in your regular gnocchi recipe.
This recipe makes about 3 portions. We also recommend:
- a stainless steel scraper
- a silicone mat
- Chinese skimmer
When cool off, put the cubes into your food processor and puré them.
At this point add the fresh ginger, the turmeric, the pepper, the parmesan cheese or the fresh herbs, so that they fully blend in with the pumpkin purée.
Take off the blade or move to a bowl and fold in the farro - buckwheat flour with a spatula. If you are used to, add the egg now and then fold in some regular flour.
When well incorporated, start adding 1 cup of white flour and move to a floured kneading table. Add as much white flour as you need to achieve the normal elastic gnocchi dough.
With a stainless steel scraper cut the gnocchi dough into 4 to 6 portions and start rolling one down into a 1 inch / 2 cm thick snake or sausage. Cut your gnocchi with the scraper or a knife and roll the ridges on the back of a fork, or simply flour them and place them on a silicone mat.
To freeze them: move the silicon mat to your freezer and make sure the gnocchi are well distanced. After 1h, when hard at the touch, you can portion them in ziplock bags.
Fresh or frozen they cook on the stove in a large pot of salty boiling water.
Fill a big pot of water up to 3/4, add 1 tablespoon of Kosher (coarse) salt. When the water boils throw in your gnocchi portion(s) and gently stir them every once in a while.
Cook them at medium heat, when they float they are ready to be plated: scoop them up directly into your bowls with a Chinese skimmer - the best kitchen tool to pick up the gnocchi while draining all the water.
As these gnocchi are very delicate, we love them simply with some EVOO, soy sauce and a generous dust of medium grated parm on top. But if you used fresh herbs, you may want to consider making a pesto with some pecans or other nuts to top them with. If you have some balsamic vinegar glaze or a soft mild cheese they will do the trick too 😋
Gnocchi always give us plenty of pastabilities, are easy to make and also an easy way to involve everyone in the preparation of your family meal. Needlesss to add they can be also very romantic to make together with you SO.
Best wine pairings from Piedmont: Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Gattinara or Freisa.
If you don't have access to any of our delicious Piedmont DOC and DOCG wines, we recommend you try a: Sauvignon, Shiraz or Pinot Noir. A blonde Belgian beer or a red one will be good too, as well as hardcider. Nothing will compare to our Piedmont wines though, but it'll be better than Coke 😁
Chocolate Pumpkin Bread
To make a 9x5in. loaf:
- 1 cup pumpkin purée (see above for our recipe to make it at home)
- 1/2 cup of fat plain white yogurt, we use Müller cream of yogurt, but Greek yogurt or canola oil will do it too.
- 1/2 cup of water
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of flour
- 2/3 cup of chestnut flour for the best castagnaccio flavor, or any other flour: hazelnut, almond, whole wheat, even farro and buckwheat
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2/3 cup of muscovado sugar or cane sugar
- 1/3 cup or regular white sugar
- 1/2 cup of pure Dutch cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
- 1/4 tsp cloves (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts: we use hazelnuts and peanuts, pecans will be great too
- 1/2 cup mixed seeds but you can also try raisins
Buona Festa del Ringraziamento a tutti, amici 💃 Happy Thanksgiving Day you all 🙆
Stay safe and positive!
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