Updated: Jan 27
With halloween becoming a distant memory, as well as my fading enthusiasm for the world wide event (a given as one grows older and is less inclined to give up arms to the unlimited supply of sweets) one thing still excites me about this time of year - and that’s the pumpkin.
Charmingly orange and standing out vividly on the supermarket shelves, pumpkins really do steal the show and have been doing so for years... what a sight it must have been to stumble upon a wild pumpkin in Mexico, in 7,000 BC! With over 45 different varieties of pumpkin and 43 of them currently being tested in different types of lattes (pure speculation) it's not hard to get lost in all the wonderful dishes that can be made with such a magnificent fruit.
Native to Central America and Mexico, pumpkins are celebrated in the autumn and can warm your stomachs through the Christmas season and beyond. With the ability to grow on every continent apart from Antarctica, pumpkins have sung there songs of taste and comfort from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean.
This recipe is simple but exciting, and by far one of the easiest to cook in the great outdoors. It’s colourful and warming, seasonally charming and just as as rewarding in the forest as in your kitchen. Which is what The Wilder Kitchen is all about: breaking the boundaries of 'comfort zones' and sending you into a new realm of the creative outdoors before you have even realised what is happening, connecting you to the land once again and encouraging you to welcome the rain as you would the sun. So now, the next time you head outside, grab a pumpkin and get ready to enjoy this delicious and easy dish while breathing in the fresh air of our natural world!
1 cooking pumpkin
1 standard pack of dried gnocchi
1tbsp of plant based butter
Large handful of fresh parsley (finely chopped)
1/2 block of Vegetarian parmesan (grated)
1tsp of chilli flakes
1tsp of dijon mustard
Large handful of walnuts (crushed) note - save some for the topping!
Salt and pepper to taste
To prepare the pumpkin -
Firstly, let’s cut the pumpkin... now I know this can be slightly daunting but It’s a great little skill to learn and will boost your confidence when using a knife!
1) Cut the Pumpkin in half, removing the seeds and pulp with a spoon - you can wrap the other half up and save it for another exciting dish, why not try a chunky soup?
2) Slice the pumpkin in half again making two quarters.
3) Cut the pumpkin in to medium strips, and then into small cubes.
4) Now remove the skin from the cubes.
To prepare the sauce -
1) Bring a large pan of water to boil with a little salt.
2) Add in the pumpkin cubes and cook for 6 minutes.
3) Remove the pumpkin from the pan and transfer into a bowl - keeping the water for the gnocchi.
4) Now add the butter, fresh parsley, parmesan, chilli flakes, dijon mustard, crushed walnuts and salt and pepper in to the bowl and mix well with a fork until all the ingredients have intertwined with the pumpkin.
For the gnocchi -
1) Return the pan of water to the heat and bring to boil.
2) Meanwhile, give the gnocchi a rinse to remove any starch and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until they begin to float to the surface.
3) Drain the water and return the gnocchi to the stove, on a small-medium heat.
4) Add the pumpkin mixture in with the gnocchi and on a medium heat - cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently!
5) Top with the left over walnuts and enjoy!
Thank you for reading!