A dish with complicated flavors doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated to make. Case and point: Chef Melissa Mokarenko’s Pumpkin Ricotta Gnudi. This unique and flavorful dish is easy to prepare and easy on the taste buds. In this segment, Chef Melissa takes us through her recipe.
What you’ll need: 2 cups gnudi, 1/2 cup small white onions, 2 cloves garlic, 4 sun-dried tomatoes, 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 1/2 oz brandy, 50 ml cream (35%), parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp butter, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, 3 green onions, 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock, 2 tbsp basil, chiff
Step 1: Sauté
In a hot, oiled frying pan, combine gnudi, red and white onions (diced), sun dried tomatoes, and garlic.
Step 2: Deglaze
If you’re not familiar with the term, deglazing in cooking refers to adding liquid (wine, stock, water, etc.) to a hot frying pan. In this case, deglaze the pan with a combination of wine and brandy. Stir the wine and brandy in with the rest of the contents of the pan, which will allow for the alcohol content to reduce, as the gnudi, onions, tomatoes, and garlic continue to cook.
Step 3: Puree
Next up: the pumpkin puree. Supplement the puree with cinnamon, cardamom, and coriander, before adding it to your hot pan. TIP If you don’t have pumpkin readily available, or are simply not a fan, you can use butternut squash as a comparable alternative. Tomato paste is another alternative if you don’t have pumpkin or squash readily available.
Step 4: Thicken
After adding vegetable or chicken sauce to your pan, turn up the heat on your pan. To thicken up the contents of your pan, add cream and parmesan cheese.
Step 5: Season
At this step you can take a little liberty, by adding herbs that you find palatable. Chef Melissa suggests a mixture of oregano, parsley, and a bit of green onion. Then, add a small amount of butter to your pan. This will round the sauce out and give it depth.
Step 6: Plate
You are now ready to plate your Pumpkin Ricotta Gnudi. Top it off with some salt and pepper and garnish with green onions.