Fun to make and scrumptious to eat, this homemade baked gnocchi combines pumpkin, tomatoes and spinach for a delicious, nutritious meal, made all the more fun by being served in individual dishes. 

Serves
6

Preparation

1hr

Cooking

55min

Skill level

Mid
By
Average: 3.2 (19 votes)
Yum

Ingredients

  • 75 g baby spinach
  • 100 g bocconcini, thinly sliced

 

Pumpkin gnocchi

  • 350 g unpeeled butternut pumpkin, deseeded and cut into 6 chunks
  • 650 g medium Desiree potatoes, unpeeled
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 110 g (½ cup) plain flour, plus extra to dust

 

Tomato sauce

  • 100 g bacon rashers, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 x 400 g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp pouring cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line a tray with a clean tea towel and dust lightly with flour.

Place the pumpkin in an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until tender when tested with a skewer. Set aside to cool slightly. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).

Meanwhile, put the whole potatoes in a saucepan of water, cover with a lid and bring to the boil over medium heat. Boil for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender with tested with a skewer. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Next, peel the warm potatoes, return the flesh to the dry saucepan and mash until smooth. Use a metal spoon to press a third of the potatoes through a coarse sieve or fine colander into a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining mashed potato in 2 more batches.

Remove the pumpkin skin from the flesh and discard. Add the flesh to the potato and mash together. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the flour and use a wooden spoon and then your hands to mix to a firm but slightly sticky dough (adding a little more flour if necessary). Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and roll each out on a lightly floured bench top into a log about 2 cm in diameter. Cut the logs into 2 cm lengths and then roll each into a small ball. Gently roll each ball, one at a time, over the back of a lightly floured fork to form the gnocchi, placing on the tea towel-lined tray as they are finished.

To make the tomato sauce, cook the bacon in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until starting to colour. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the tomatoes and sugar, bring to a simmer and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Remove from the heat, stir through the cream and season with salt and pepper.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add a quarter of the gnocchi and boil for 2 minutes or until they just rise to the surface. Remove from the water immediately with a slotted spoon and place in a colander to drain well before transferring to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi in 3 more batches.

Add the tomato sauce to the gnocchi with the spinach and gently stir through. Spoon the gnocchi and sauce into 6 x 250 ml (1 cup) ovenproof dishes or ramekins, dividing evenly. Top with the bocconcini.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until bocconcini has melted and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven and stand for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Baker’s tips

• You can also make this baked gnocchi by using 750 g bought fresh gnocchi instead of making the pumpkin gnocchi.

• You can also bake this recipe in a 1.5 litre (6 cup) ovenproof dish. The baking time and temperature will be the same.

 

Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish. Creative concept by Lou Fay

Enamel pie dish from Wiltshire.

Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Kids in the kitchen.