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.
75g baby spinach 100g bocconcini, thinly sliced
Pumpkin gnocchi 350g unpeeled butternut pumpkin, deseeded and cut into 6 chunks 650g medium Desiree potatoes, unpeeled salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 110g (½ cup) plain flour, plus extra to dust
Tomato sauce 100g bacon rashers, trimmed and chopped 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes 1 teaspoon sugar 2 tablespoons pouring cream salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
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 2cm in diameter. Cut the logs into 2cm 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 250ml (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.
You can also make this baked gnocchi by using 750g 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.
Prep 25min (+ 2hr chilling, cooling and standing time)Bake 12-15minMakes about 35
Based on a deliciously spiced gingerbread, these fun biscuits are given their personalities through simple decorations... Make them into cheeky gingerbread men or turn them upside down and decorate them as cute, Christmas-themed reindeer.
125g unsalted butter, softened
90g (½ cup, lightly packed) brown sugar
160ml (⅔ cup) golden syrup
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract or essence
375g (2½ cups) plain flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
185g (1½ cups) pure icing sugar
35ml (7 teaspoons) boiling water
Red food colouring
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, or until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup and vanilla and beat to combine. Sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda. Add to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined and a dough forms. Divide the dough into 2 portions. Shape each into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 160ºC (140°C fan-forced). Line two large oven trays with baking paper.
Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out one portion of dough (leave the remaining portion in the fridge) on a lightly floured bench top to 4mm thick. Use an 8cm tall gingerbread man cutter to cut out shapes and then carefully transfer the shapes to the prepared oven trays using a palette knife, leaving a little room between each for spreading. Reroll any scraps to make more shapes. Discard any off cuts from the second rolling.
Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the biscuits are just starting to colour and are cooked through. Stand on the trays for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread dough portion.
To make the Icing, sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl. Gradually add 30ml (6 teaspoons) of the boiling water and mix until smooth. The icing should be a piping consistency (see Baker’s Tips). If it is too thick stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon of boiling water and then test the consistency again. Spoon ¾ of the icing into a piping bag fitted with a 3mm nozzle (see Baker’s Tips) and set aside. Stir a couple of drops of red food colouring into the remaining icing to reach the desired colour. Spoon into a separate piping bag fitted with a 3mm nozzle.
Use the icing to decorate the cooled biscuits to make men and/or reindeer as desired (using the photograph as a guide). Set aside for about 20 minutes or until the icing sets.
To test if the icing is the correct consistency for piping, drizzle a little on a plate and set aside for a few minutes. If it keeps its shape it is ready to use.
If you don’t have piping bags and nozzles you can spoon the icing into a resealable plastic bag, seal and then cut a small hole in one of the corners to pipe through.