Pumpkin velouté and gnocchi: a light dish for your special dinners on this Holiday Season

   Hey, let’s cheer this November weekend with a tasteful dish that has the fragrance of aromatic herbs, spices and Holiday Season. At the food market I found a big round pumpkin that, for its characteristics, resembled a ‘cappello di prete’ (priest hat): most likely it comes from Mantova, Ferrara or Reggio Emilia areas, places in Italy where, according to history, after WWII, a prolific culinary tradition for the preparation of this healthy vegetable spread in many different ways. In particular, let’s think about the well known local ‘mostarda’ and ‘tortelli di zucca’ (in 1999, these latter were recognized as Italian Traditional Product by the Ministero delle Politiche Agricole).  What is more, because of its shape and tough-skinned surface, after an accurate work of emptying and carving, it might become a beautiful bowl for serving rich meals. Or, at least, if left to dry in the sun for some time, it might be used as water-bottle like in the ancient times people used to do.

     Back to our recipe, as always, simplicity is made of genuine ingredients for making good meals. In this case, one may choose whether to have a delicious soup or a refined course for special events that are going to take place during this Holiday Season. Indeed, we will start by preparing a pumpkin velouté and, in the end, we will also have the possibility to add some homemade potato gnocchi for a richer and more important presentation. So, fry gently some chopped scallion and red onion in extravirgin olive oil, add little cubes of pumpkin (about 500 g for 4 people), a sprinkle of cinnamon, salt, chili pepper and keep on hissing lightly. Perhaps you may add also a fragranced taste of Schwarzwälder Schinken. Pour half glass of wine (for the occasion I have chosen a Spanish white wine, El Coto De Rioja, since it has a fresh bouquet and is excellent for pairing with spices) and, as soon as it evaporates, add fresh rosemary, vegetable bouillon and let it boil until it will be a little reduced and the small cubes will be softer. Then, it will be time for making a velvety cream with your minipimer. According to your taste and preference, you can serve this delicacy to your guests as a rustic light soup (even better with dark rye farmer bread for example) or as a tasteful richer dish by adding homemade potato gnocchi and few slivers of Gouda cheese. I may suggest to decor your dish with leaves of sage. 

      Wish bon appétit and enjoy your weekend!

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