Pumpkin Gnocchi and Blogging Blushes

It’s the morning after a great wedding.  I’m aching and my toes and arms are covered in dark bruises: a sure sign of a night of ceilidh dancing!  If you have never been to a Scottish ceilidh before then add it to your list of things to do before you die.  Enormously fun.  🙂 

Question: do you fellow bloggers tell people you meet about your blog?  I don’t.  Ever.  And I’m not very sure why.   I bring this up as last night D and his sister outed me to several people (including the head chef of the renowned Three Chimneys) and my shyness about both blogging and my love of cooking took me by surprise.  I blushed.  I became vague.  I muttered. 

Why should I be so reticent about something that I enjoy so much? 

No time to reflect today as I’m taking D to Glasgow.  He’s flying out to New Zealand tomorrow; abandoning me for four weeks of serious snowboarding.   🙂

Before I hit the A9 I want to share the following recipe for pumpkin and parmesan gnocchi.  It’s my attempt to recreate a dish I ate in Finland several years ago, though that dish was smothered in a velvety blue cheese sauce.  Delicious but I found the sauce a little overpowering.  No point in making pumpkin gnocchi if you can’t taste the pumpkin. 

Having had several gnocchi failures in the past, I consulted La Rousse, Simon Hopkinson (who also makes pumpkin gnocchi), Marcella Hazan and Leith’s before embarking on this culinary adventure.  It paid off.  They were delicious.  🙂  Highly recommended. 

Pumpkin and Parmesan Gnocchi 

(makes approx 25)

500g floury potatoes, skin left on

500g pumpkin, deseeded and cut into big chunks

75g parmesan

100-150g plain flour 

50 g butter

Tspn Chilli flakes

2 cloves of garlic

Chopped parsley 

  • Preheat oven to 190oC. 
  • Place pumpkin in a roasting tin and cover with foil (this prevents the flesh from caramelising).
  • Prick potatoes a couple of times (to let the moisture out) and bake in the oven, with the pumpking, for 1 hour and 15 mins or until potatoes are entirely soft.
  •   Leave to cool.
  • Remove potato flesh from skins and mash really really well.  If you have a potato ricer, use this instead. 
  • Remove pumpkin flesh from skin.  Place in a clean tea towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  • Whizz pumpkin and parmesan in a food processor until smooth. 
  • Combine pumpkin mixture with potato and dust with flour.  Knead.  Keep adding flour until mixture forms a pliable dough.
  • Roll into long 2cm wide sausages and cut into 3 cm pieces.  Press lightly with a fork (this enables the cooked gnocchi to hold sauce in the grooves).
  • Drop half a dozen or so of the gnocchi into rolling water and stir with a spoon to create a gnocchi whirlpool.  Boil gently until the gnocchi start to float.  Cook for 30 seconds more then remove from water and drain. 
  • Meanwhile melt butter until foaming and add chilli and garlic.  Fry gently for 30 seconds. 
  • Remove from heat and drizzle over warm gnocchi.
  • Sprinkle with parsley.

24 thoughts on “Pumpkin Gnocchi and Blogging Blushes

  1. You have a wonderful blog and should be proud of it! I tell everyone about mine and I even have made me some business cards with photo and blog info. I pass these out to almost everyone I meet. It really strikes up some good conversation. Also some folks have websites I would not have known about unless the conversation pops up! Go for it! When you start talking about it and folks look at you like you have 2 heads, then you can back off. But I find it really gets the subject hopping!

  2. I really enjoy reading your blog! I don’t know how you found mine, but I’ve enjoyed your recipes since you commented!

    Are you in England or Scotland? We are going to both next week to see friends. I live in Colorado in the U.S. .

    Nice to “meet” you.

  3. I tell some people, but, usually not. Don’t know why, I’m usually not shy about anything… must think on this!
    When I have mentioned it I get blank stares… that may have put me off. Blog? What’s a blog?
    Love the gnocchi. I grow pumpkin in my garden – which means I’m always looking for new ways to use it.
    I bake it, like you did, and freeze it for winter use. Something new for next winter….

  4. I tell people about mine. It often sparks a conversation about food (which everyone can talk about) and blogs (which everyone has an opinion about).

    Great recipe. I can’t get enough gnocchi.

  5. Good old Leith’s. Love that Simon Hopkinson book too.

    You know, I’m quite conscious of keeping it quiet too. I only told my best friend about it a few months ago – nearly 12 months in – who, naturally (being a best friend) loved it.

    But strangers? Polite company? Guess it depends on who they are. I even went to a food and wine conference and kept my hand firmly down when they asked if there were any food bloggers in the audience.

    But Christina’s right – blogging does create a spark of conversation.

    God, hankering after your gnocchi and it’s not even 9 am…

  6. Wendy, have a wonderful time snowboarding! This recipe sounds great. I will try this over the weekend. I love pumpkin, so I’m sure that this will become a regular in my kitchen. Thanks!
    p/s 1: don’t be embarrased about your blog, if someone mentions it to others, it must because they like your blog a lot and want others to know about it.
    p/s 2: I responded to your meme today about the 7 random facts.

  7. I tell people, I give out Moo cards with my blog on it as well as addresses. If they give me a funny look I assure them that blogging’s the biz and that they’re not living if they don’t join in. All apparently tongue in cheek – but they can take what they like from it!

    Besides – I’ve had meals with people whom I previously knew only because of blogging, and we felt we already knew each other really well. Go for it!

  8. Of course Wendy! Life’s too short to be shy. But seriously, I’m trying to get as many people cooking Indian foos as possible so I figured that my blog and word of mouth were two very good ways to do it. You have a great blog that you invest time and energy into – so don’t hold back!!

  9. Deb – Thank you. And I WILL take your advice.

    Deana – Hi! Don’t remember how I found your blog but I do remember those lovely photos of the evening sky. I’m in Scotland: Inverness, to be precise. Where are you visiting when you are across?

    Katiez – I know! I have to think on this too. The “what is a blog” question came up on Sunday night too. Not easy to explain. I just discovered its roots. Web Log = blog. Ahhhhhh.

    Christina – Glad you liked the recipe. I know everyone has an opinion on food. Will have to try them on the blog issue.

    Lucy – “I even went to a food and wine conference and kept my hand firmly down when they asked if there were any food bloggers in the audience. ”
    Really? I understand your reaction completely but your blog is so wonderful! Bet there were people in the audience who knew your blog well.
    Leith’s is my absolute favourite. Hopkinson’s first book is wonderful; his second, a bit sniffy for my liking! 🙂

    Nora – Let me know if you like it! Looking forward to reading your meme.

    Chris – Off to google “Moo card”. Done. I’m impressed! Fabulous.

    Mallika – Thank you! And you are right, life is too short to be shy. 🙂

  10. Wendy, I can imagine your feeling a little bashful about having such a gorgeous blog, but you really should mention it to people! It’s such a treat to read, and these gnocchi look so damn good.

    As for ceilidhs, they really are my favorite kind of party on earth, and I’m very envious right now! But similarly flustered too. The mere mention of the world ceilidh can’t help but summon up a certain black velvet and electric blue taffeta Laura Ashley number, circa 1989, purchased at the Edinburgh Laura Ashley, bien sur. Nothing there yet to hold it up, lots of drunk little boys spinning me about, and the sudden realization that the velvet bodice was around my waist…ahhh the agony.

  11. your gnocchi looks great – love anything with pumpkin!

    re telling others about their blog, I do because I feel I am pretty hopeless at keeping up with people and my blog is one way to keep up – it has been very gratifying to hear a few family and friends say they enjoy it. It is also a nice little memoir of dinner with friends.

  12. Hi Wendy, thanks for dropping by my blog. I do hope you come back to visit sometime.

    I really do understand what you mean about being shy about your blog. I actually get paid for my foodwriting and yet am shy about telling people about my work or that I have a food blog. I am not sure why… 🙂

    You have a very nice place here and I’ve added you to my feeds so that I never miss another of your posts.

  13. Figs Olive Wine – Hillarious!! I’ve seen plenty of true Scotsmen revealing their bums when their kilts fly up mid reel but, as of yet, no flashing women! Bet you livened up the night! 🙂

    Johanna – That’s a very good point actually. Going to let more extended family members know about it for that reason.

    Cynthia – Welcome! I’ll definitely be back to your site. 🙂 Really should figure out how to work feeds…

  14. I’m not shy about my blog even though I do get quite a few baffled looks, especially from the farmers I like to write about! It’s amazing how many people, even journalist friends, don’t really know what a blog is or why anyone would bother writing/reading one. But my blog has put me in contact with so many lovely people (like you!) that I can’t help but talk about it. Maybe there should be an Internet support group for closet bloggers?

    I’ve had a few disasters with pumpkin gnocchi myself so am looking forward to trying yours!

  15. Hi Wendy,
    What a good idea! I like the flavour combo!
    Don’t mention parmesan! I managed to break my expensive micrplane grater, while grating some parmesan last night! Very upset 😦 But my ricer is still in one piece, thankfully!

  16. Telling peeps about my blog: it depends…if they are complete strangers without any “internet relationship” I won’t, but I tend to to potential catering or pastry clients who want to see more of my work.
    This pumpkin gnocci recipe is great. Will try it soon!

  17. now this i gotta make
    as soon as it dips below 8o degrees or so – farenheit that is… which may be awhile here in the south usa –
    BUT i am filing this one away as a MUST.

    sounds wonderful

  18. Saw your interview (grand!), and backtracked to here. Love the idea of pumpkin gnocchi, but can only deal w/ one veggie in the dough at a time right now – it is so fussy!

    I rarely tell anyone about my blog; I either get the blank stares Katie mentioned or worse yet, the rolled eyes of journalists (most of our friends are journos). Blogs have a built-in anonymity so when you let others know, you blow your cover. I can relate.

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