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Gnocchi di patate e zucca con porcini

Gnocchi di patate e zucca con porcini

Potato and pumpkin gnocchi with porcini mushrooms

By Carmine Costantini of Osteria la Passione in Richmond, Melbourne

Serves 6

For the gnocchi
400g Nicola potatoes*
200g pumpkin
125g plain flour
100g parmesan, grated
2 whole eggs
10g salt
Pinch of nutmeg

Roast the piece of pumpkin in the oven at 220°C until soft and cooked through. Once cooked, remove the pulp and place through a sieve. Refrigerate overnight.
Boil the potatoes, skin on, until cooked through. Remove the skin while they are still warm, being careful not to burn your hands, then pass through a ricer, together with the pumpkin. Place onto a marble or wooden board, then add the flour, parmesan, eggs, salt and nutmeg, and combine. Continue kneading until you form a smooth dough. Cut the dough into sections, then use your hands to roll each section into a long, thin rope. Cut the ropes of pasta into small squares to form the gnocchi. 

For the porcini sauce
80g dry porcini (or 150g fresh porcini)
60ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
100g butter
½ cup cream
Salt and pepper

If using dry porcini, soak in cold water overnight. Strain the porcini, reserving the water for later use, then chop roughly.
In a preheated saucepan, add the oil and garlic. Once the garlic starts to brown, add the porcini, salt and pepper and cook for a 1-2 minutes. Add the butter, together with 2-3 tablespoons of the porcini water (if you are using fresh porcini, this is not required). Add the cream and stir through.

To serve
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add a splash of olive oil (this helps prevent the gnocchi from sticking together). Add the gnocchi. When the gnocchi rises to the surface, it is ready. Strain using a colander and add to the pan with the sauce, cooking for an extra 1-2 minutes so that it absorbs some of the flavours. Serve immediately.

* Nicola potatoes are a waxy Dutch variety of potato with a yellow skin and flesh.

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