Vegan pumpkin and whole rye gnocchi with roasted broccoli and toasted hazelnuts

Gnocchi_integrali_segale_zuccaThe protagonist of this story is a pumpkin with no face. It has undergone several heart pulping without losing the delicious smell of her soul, like all great women do. Our heroine has never smiled or shown funny and grotesque toothless smiles, yet she lived happy and grateful as only a pumpkin escaped from the traditional October’s face’s cutting can be. I love her too much to do that and my Sicilian origins keep me too much away from this tradition. So I present to you a rare example of October’s pumpkin with no face, the muse of history I am about to tell you, the inexpressive squash.

potimarronExpressionless but Oscar winner as best actress at the Our home in winter festival, section dinners by candlelight when it’s cold.

Here’s the poster:

gnocchi_testo_enA few photos of the cast before start filming…



A woman smitten with her sweetheart


Pulped for love


But love, you know, comes in so many shapes


And there is no suffering that a bunch of flowers can not soothe



gnocchi_lunghi_broccoli_nocciolineServes 2

  • the flesh of 1 Hokkaido pumpkin baked in the oven, about 500 grams
  • organic whole rye flour, about 250 gr
  • the peaks of 1 broccoli
  • a few cloves of garlic
  • hazelnuts
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • himalayan salt
  • turmeric
  • nutmeg
  • black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 200 ° C
  • Split the squash in half, deprive it of the seeds and lay it on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper
  • Place the broccoli’ peaks on another baking sheet covered with parchment paper, sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper and a few unpeeled and crushed cloves of garlic
  • Once the temperature is reached, if the size of the oven allow it, bake both pans and cook for about 40 minutes
  • Let the pumpkin cool slightly and keep broccoli warm by covering them with an aluminum foil
  • Toast hazelnuts, shelled and coarsely chopped, in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and set aside
  • Peel of the thin skin of the Okkaido pumpkin, edible unlike that of most pumpkins, but that for the gnocchi is better to remove, mash the pumpkin flesh still warm with a fork, add the salt and spices and let it cool
  • On a floured work surface, knead the pumpkin flesh with 250 grams of whole rye flour until the mixture is compact and easy to handle, try to add as least as possible
  • Shape the gnocchi according to your own taste or habit, I usually opt for the classic shape that I then roll to the tines of a fork; this time I wanted to try this long gnocchi made ​​by rolling on the table small portions of cilindric dough using fingers
  • In a wok or a saltapasta, put extra virgin olive oil with a clove of roasted garlic at medium heat, then add the broccoli and stir to mix
  • Cook the gnocchi in salted water, set aside a cup of the cooking water, and after about a minute or two, when they begin to rise to the surface, drain with a slotted spoon and add them to the broccoli in saltapasta increasing the heat, adding cooking water and stirring just enough to mix everything
  • Serve immediately the pumpkin gnocchi with broccoli and roasted garlic and sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts



I loved this delicious, aromatic, slightly spicy and irresistibly garlic and broccoli smelling dish beacuse of its great combination of textures created by the softness of gnocchi, the fleshly consistence of roasted broccoli and the crunchy texture of toasted hazelnuts. It is also a so balanced and complete meal as to seem almost designed by a biologist and nutritionist … hihihi …;-) Although it is totally vegan, the choice of the variety of pumpkin Okkaido (Potimarron here in France, one of my magical ingredients) with a firm, crispy flesh, low in water, and the baking in oven, allows to obtain a compact and homogeneous dough which consistency is unaffected by the lack of egg and cheese, nor even of the potatoes. The result is pumpkin gnocchi where the flavor of the squash is not covered, indeed is enhanced by the rustic flavor of rye whole flour , very common and used here in the center of Europe. Rye, like oats and amaranth, in contrast to other cereals that are poor of it, it is rich in lysine, an essential amino acid which, in combination with vitamin C (of which broccoli and squash are rich) form L-carnitine, a molecule that allows the muscle to more efficiently use oxygen and to better resist stress and fatigue. Lysine also boosts the immune system by stimulating the antibodies formation, also plays a key role in the process of fixation of calcium in the bones. Hazelnuts, finally, are an excellent source of vegetable protein and, thanks to the high content in fatty acids Omega 9, (of which the most important is the oleic acid present in olive oil, for example) provide a valuable contribution in the control of hypercholesterolemia.





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