Pumpkin & Ricotta Gnocchi with Pecans, Broadbeans and Sage

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Happy spring to you, friends! I hope this post finds you happy and well in your corner of the world. We  have been working hard on our little veggie patch, and it’s excitement central at the moment as we are reaping our first harvests. Rocket, snow peas, kale, spinach, cauliflower and the latest addition this weekend were the broadbeans. There is something about being able to eat produce that has only been picked a short time earlier that is so fabulous. Not just in flavour, but in the vitality of the food. Growing your own produce, even if it is a few herbs in pots, puts inspiration and flavour at your fingertips. Plus it automatically reduces food wastage as you are only picking what you need at the time. Pretty cool, eh!

We have been waiting for our broadbeans, and although they can be a bit of work to prepare, I definitely wanted to cook with them this weekend. They have a lovely amount of fibre and protein, and that colour – so vibrant! We also had an abundance of butternut pumpkin, and in light of the non-soup weather, gnocchi was the popular choice. This pumpkin and ricotta version is delicious, and lightly pan-frying it at the end seals the deal. Gnocchi can be super filling, so I love to serve it with a salad or plenty of greens. I hope you enjoy!

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[headline]Pumpkin & Ricotta Gnocchi with Pecans, Broadbeans and Sage[/headline]

Serves 4

1 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin, or pumpkin puree

1 cup ricotta, well drained

1 free range egg

1 cup spelt flour

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tbs butter or ghee

1/4 tsp (freshly ground if possible) nutmeg

2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped

1 tbs fresh sage leaves

1/2 cup shelled broadbeans *see note

1/2 cup pecans

Pop the pumpkin, ricotta, egg, flour, cheese, salt and pepper into a food processor and process until combined.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Take 2 teaspoons, spoon out a portion of the pumpkin mix on one spoon, and pass the mix back and forth between the two spoons a couple of times to form a dumpling-like shape – or a quinelle. You really don’t need to be too fancy with this, I just find it much easier to make your gnocchi shapes with the spoons in this recipe as the mixture is quite sticky. Continue making your gnocchi until you have used up all the mixture, and place onto a plate or some baking paper if you prefer.

Once your water is boiling, add the gnocchi one at a time, but as quickly as you can. In a short time they will begin to rise to the surface. Let them cook in the boiling water for one minute once they have risen to the top, then remove them with a slotted spoon and place in a sieve to drain.

Place the butter/ghee into a frypan over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for one minute and add the nutmeg and sage. Next add the gnocchi to the pan. You might need to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan. Cook for a few minutes until nicely golden, turning pieces occasionally to get some lovely caramelisation on each side.

Throw in the pecans and broadbeans and stir to combine. Divide into serving bowls and serve on a bed of rocket or green leaves, with some extra black pepper. Yum!

*Note: Once you have removed the broadbeans from their pods, they will still have a waxy coating. Blanch them for a minute in boiling water, then drain and run under cold water to stop them cooking any further. You should now be able to remove their coating easily.

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