Last summer I roasted, puréed and froze several small pumpkins. While I’ve often used it for ravioli filling, gnocchi came to mind as alternative. Online recipes suggest various ingredients; I opted for just potato, the purée with some nutmeg, and flour. The greens came from some produce I’d picked up in the morning at the Montpelier Farmers Market.
1) Bake potatoes at 425 for 50 minutes. Peel whilst hot and pass through a food mill. Here, I used 6 fist-sized potatoes. Waxy are best; I used whichever came with the Pete’s Greens farm share.
2) Dehydrate pumpkin purée in a pan with a bit of nutmeg over low heat. The purée filled a quart plastic bag to 1/4 – 1/3″ – perhaps 2-3 cups. It was a small pumpkin, halved, seeded, wrapped in foil, and baked at 350 until soft, then passed through a food mill, bagged and frozen.
3) Mix the potatoes and the pumpkin with flour until thoroughly combined with the right consistency. I used a bit more than a cup of white flour; the dough was somewhat sticky and could have used more without difficulty.
4) Cut off a chunk of dough, roll out to 1 – 1.5 finger-widths. If it’s sticky, dust with flour.
5) With a floured knife, cut inch-long sections. I needed to re-flour the knife every 3-4 cuts.
6) Roll each section with your thumb against a surface. I started with a garganelli board, but that got tiresome, so switched to rolling it in the palm of my other hand. the goal is to make little bowls with – or without – some pattern on the backside. Sometimes I just gently mash (or mash and roll) each section with a floured fork.
Ramps, or wild leeks. Anything similar suffices: leeks, onions, shallots, scallions, garlic.
7) prepare the ramps. I discarded the roots, then separated the thicker stems from the softer leaves, so I could cook them separately.
8) Sauté the ramp stems in butter.
9) Prepare the collard greens. I removed the stems and thick central veins. It’s not necessary (though these parts would have to cook longer if left in). Other leaves would work just as well: chard, spinach, bok choi, etc.
10) Add the greens, after the ramp stems have softened a bit.
11) Add the ramp leaves and sauté until wilted. It won’t take long. It looked a bit dry so I added a small amount of hazelnut oil. More butter would have worked, or some other oil, or water.
12) Toss the gnocchi into boiling salted water and cook until done. Bring to a boil, add some amount of salt. Put them in just after starting to sauté the ramps – neither takes long to cook. Give the gnocchi a good stir to keep them from sticking to the bottom. Conveniently, they have a built-in timer: they rise to the surface when done.
13) Drain gnocchi, add to greens, add butter.
14) Add grated parmesan
15) Mix and serve
It turned out better than I expected as I’m not a fan collard greens. I chose them as the farmers market offers few options this early in the season.