, , , , ,

This recipe is from the July edition of Taste magazine and showcases a lovely recipe from one of my favourite inner-city restaurants, Bizerca Bistro (you can read my review here). I have made a few changes to the toppings as well as including a paleo variation which is wheat and gluten-free. In the Paleo variation the almond flour adds a delicious nuttiness to the flavour and texture of the gnocchi. As the almond flour is a bit heavier/rougher in texture compared to ordinary flour I found that the frying of the gnocchi greatly improved the overall enjoyment of the dish. If you are making the original version it’s not necessary to fry the gnocchi in the last step. After boiling, just refresh in iced water and serve. The frying does however add a delicious crispy texture to the gnocchi, and if you have the time, do it! The original recipe suggests serving your gnocchi topped with grated parmesan, carrot balls, cherry tomatoes, asparagus cuts, rocket and pumpkin seeds.

Serves 6

1 kg butternut, halved and seeded (to make 750 g pulp)
30 g butter
240 g flour (substitute with almond flour for wheat free version)
2 free range egg yolks (add 2 more yolks for the wheat free version)
salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
olive or mixed seed oils, for pan frying

To garnish
crispy bacon (oven-roasted till crispy)
1 roll chevin (goats) cream cheese
baby rosa tomatoes

For the tomato coulis:
150 g butter
6 quartered very ripe plum tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 red chilli, seeded and diced
salt, to taste
1 sprig rosemary

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Roast the butternut for 30 minutes, till soft. Remove the pulp (750g).
(You can now roast the bacon in the heated oven till nice and crispy)

To make the coulis, heat the butter untill it turns a hazelnut colour, then add the tomato, garlic, chilli, salt and rosemary.
Simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Blend with a stick blender till smooth.
Pass through a muslin cloth or sieve (which I didn’t do and it was still delicious!!!).

In a saucepan, melt the butter, then add the butternut pulp and cook till dry, stirring frequently.
Stir in your choice of flour, then cook for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove the saucepan from the stove. Add the egg yolks and season.
Divide into small pieces and shape the gnocchi as desired.
Cook in lots of boiling water. The gnocchi is cooked when it floats to the surface (usually 2-3 minutes).

Heat some oil in a saucepan, enough to be able to immerse the gnocchi in the oil 1/5 of the way. Fry the gnocchi in batches, turning after a few minutes, till brown and crispy on both sides.

To serve, divide the coulis between the bowls, then top with the gnocchi. Scatter over the cherry tomatoes and crumble the chevin. Top with crispy bacon.