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Francesco Mazzei's aged Grana Padano gnocchi is the perfect dinner party dish

 Utilising butternut squash, sage and Grana Padano cheese, this gnocchi is a knockout dish that will have everyone lining up for seconds

Pumpkin gnocchi with sage

Serves 4

Preparation time 40 mins

Cooking time 5 mins

With a career spanning countries, cities and household name restaurants, it's safe to say Francesco Mazzei is no stranger to good food. Now chef-patron of three of London's best Italian restaurants; Sartoria, Radici and Fiume, Mazzei has partnered with Grana Padano to create a series of recipes that centre the Northern Italian cheese. 

“Aged Grana Padano has a rich, slightly nutty flavour," says Mazzei. "It pairs beautifully with pumpkin or squash without overpowering the palate, making it a perfect accompaniment to this gnocchi dish." While making your own gnocchi may seem like an arduous culinary task, it's surprisingly easy and yields the kind of gastronomical payoff that has an unrivalled level of satisfaction. This recipe uses a combination of potato and pumpkin for a decidedly seasonal feel and a touch of sweetness that partners perfectly with nutty Grana Padano. 

Ingredients

  • 100g mashed potatoes (use 2 large potatoes)
  • 100g pumpkin mash (1 butternut squash)
  • 100g grated Grana Padano Cheese, aged for 20 months
  • 100g 00 flour
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 50g butter
  • 1 teaspoon shallots
  • 20g Sage (4 leaves)

Method

  1. Cook the potatoes and pumpkin in boiling water for 20-25 minutes, or until soft, then drain. Mash well and place in a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the centre and add the egg, salt and freshly ground nutmeg, ¾ of the grated Grana Padano and flour. Mix by hand to form dough, and then knead for a few minutes.
  3. Cut the dough into smaller pieces and roll each piece into a cylinder. Cut each cylinder into 2.5cm/1" pieces.
  4. Place the gnocchi in boiling salted water. When they rise to the top, remove from the saucepan with a slotted spoon and refresh in iced water. Drain, drizzle with olive oil and keep warm.
  5. In the meantime deep fry the sage leaves in a deep fryer or in a pan with very hot oil.
  6. Separately sweat the shallots and butter in a pan and then add and sauté the gnocchi.
  7. Sprinkle the extra Grana Padano on top and serve with a crispy fried sage leaf.
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