The biggest difference you will see between the UK and the USA/Canada at this time of year are the halloween decorations. Even though the UK was the home of the pagan Samhain which is the father of halloween, it generally passes most people by. In contrast in the US and Canada there were streets of decorations, this is one I found in a hotel in Stowe.
Lighted pumpkin in a window or porch are a key halloween theme across the northern hemisphere as late September, early October is the season for harvesting them, before the first frosts hit.
Personally I prefer to eat my pumpkins than carve them, therefore here is a recipe to do just that.
I tried Gnudi for the first time in Stowe and they were marvellous. Similar to Gnocchi but much lighter and fluffier, being made of ricotta and rolled in a little semolina, rather than the sometimes stodgy potato and flour mix.
Doing some research most of recipes make them a little smaller than I made mine but as that’s how they were served in Stowe I’ll stick with it. They can be flavoured with spinach and served with a variety of sauces although just simple butter and sage seems to be most common.
Prep time: 30 mins & 1-2 days resting
Cooking time: 30 minutes
5 a day: 2
- 500g ricotta
- 40g parmesan grated
- A couple of pinches of ground nutmeg or mace
- Finely ground black pepper
- Up to 500g of course semolina
- 500g pumkin or squash
- 200g cubed panchetta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 10 sage leaves
- Baby spinach leaves
Place the ricotta in muslin bag or fine meshed sieve and leave to drain for a couple of hours. When ready, mix with the grated parmesan and season with salt, pepper and ground mace/nutmeg.
Fill a bowl with 100g of semolina. Wet your hands and take small sections of the ricotta mix and roll in to balls. Roll in the semolina and place in a fridge proof dish. Repeat until all the mix is used. Cover the Gnudi with more semolina. Cover with a lid or clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
When you are ready to cook
Finely peel and dice the squash. Sauté with the oil, pancetta and a couple of sage leaves.
Chop the remaining sage leaves and set aside.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a slow boil. When the squash is nearly cooked add the dumplings a handful at a time to the water and boil for a few minutes until they rise to the surface. Drain and set aside.
When they are all cooked, add to the pumpkin and pancetta mix and fry for a few more minutes to warm through. Serve sprinkled with the remaining sage and some grated parmesan.