FOOD: Butternut and ricotta gnocchi with sage butter

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A lot of people are intimidated by gnocchi, concerned the end result will be an inedible, leaden, chewy bit of dough! However, with the recipe below there’s no need to worry. The gnocchi are soft, light and pillow-like, with the rich, buttery flavour imparted from the butternut and browned butter sauce. There is a strange phenomenon in my household where my kids will eat pumpkin/butternut in any other form except its natural state! Whether it be as a soup, fries or the recipe below, they simply wolf it down! Anyway, this is a simple recipe, resulting in melt-in-your mouth gnocchi, great for even the most confidence-lacking cooks. Enjoy!

PREP TIME:  10 MINS

COOK TIME:  1.5 HOURS

SERVES:  4 PEOPLE

INGREDIENTS
GNOCCHI
1 butternut (about 1kg)
1 egg, whisked
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 cup flour (plus a little more for dusting)
Salt to season

SAGE BUTTER
5 tablespoons butter
15 fresh sage leaves
Pinch sea salt

METHOD
1. Pre-heat oven to 180degC. Cut the butternut in half, length-ways. Wrap in tin foil, place on a baking tray and cook for an hour to an hour-and-a-half, until tender all the way through.

2. Remove from oven and let cool before scraping out the seeds. Next, scrape out the pulp and place onto a clean tea towel, and twist it to squeeze out most of the juice.

3. Next, in a large bowl, place the pulp of the butternut, ricotta, the whisked egg, parmesan and salt, and combine until smooth.

4. Now add in the flour and, with a wooden spoon or one hand, mix until just combined. Don’t over-mix or the gnocchi will be tough.

5. Divide the dough into four even pieces, and pop into the fridge for 15 mins. Take out and roll each piece into a long rope, about 2cm in diameter. Cut each rope into 2cm pieces, and place onto a lightly-floured tray until ready to cook.

6. Heat a large pot of salted water until boiling. Add in the gnocchi and cook for 3 mins, until they’re floating. Drain immediately.

7. Place the butter for the sauce into a large pan and melt on a medium heat before adding in the sage leaves. Once these are starting to crisp, tip in the gnocchi and brown on both sides.

8. Divide evenly amongst four bowls, and pour over the remaining sauce. Serve immediately.