A hearty and warming autumnal dish, inspired by drooling jealousy over a similar dish that a fellow Cheesemonger brought in for lunch recently.
Serves 2-3 as a main course or 3-4 as a side dish.
1x Medium Pumpkin or Butternut Squash
500g Packet Gnocchi
1 x Banana Shallot
50ml Dry White Wine
2 x Tsp Dried Sage
150g Cream Cheese
100g Soft Blue Cheese e.g. Gorgonzola Dolce or Beauvale
150g Parmigiano Reggiano
100ml Double Cream
100g Crushed Roasted Hazelnuts (optional)
1 Tsp Grated Nutmeg
Sea Salt Flakes
Cracked Black Pepper
1. Pre heat the oven to 200’. Cut the squash, or pumpkin into chunks, discarding the seeds and ‘innards’. Place in a large oven proof dish. Drizzle in a generous glug of olive oil, the dried sage, a little sea salt and the pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 mins and put to one side to cool.
2. Meanwhile, finely slice the shallot, warm a little olive oil in a frying pan and then slowly soften your shallot until translucent. Add the wine and cook off the alcohol but don’t let the liquid reduce too much. Turn the heat of your pan down to a minimal heat and add your cream cheese to the pan. Stir slowly until it becomes a sauce. Crumble your blue cheese into the sauce and continue stirring until the cheese is melted. Then add the double cream, stir through and remove from heat.
3. Once your roasted pumpkin or squash pieces have cooled, scoop the softened flesh out. Discard the skins and return the flesh to the oven proof dish. Add your packet of gnocchi directly to the oven proof dish and mix the pasta dumplings through the soft orange flesh so they are well distributed.
4. Pour the cheese sauce over the top of the gnocchi and pumpkin and mix well. Scatter the crushed nuts and breadcrumbs over the top and then smother in grated Parmesan and nutmeg. Return to the oven for 15 minutes at 200’, switching to grill for a further 5 minutes if you like a crispier top.