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Butternut squash gnocchi with wild mushrooms and walnuts

Made at Le Caprice | Serves 6

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250g wild mushrooms, cleaned
Extra virgin olive oil for cooking
30g walnuts, halved and lightly toasted in the oven
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the gnocchi
500g floury potatoes, skin on
1 large butternut squash, skin on
320g plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
50g parmesan, finely grated
Pinch of salt

For the cheese sauce
500g mascarpone
250ml double cream
115g grated Parmesan

To make the gnocchi
Leave the potatoes whole. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until soft. At the same time, preheat the oven to 180˚C / 350F / Gas 4. Cut the butternut squash in half and remove the seeds, wrap in foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until soft.

Whilst the potatoes are hot, peel them and pass through a fine sieve or mouli, ensuring that you leave no lumps in the bowl. Once the butternut squash is cooked, scoop out the contents and discard the skin, then repeat the same process by passing through a fine sieve. If the butternut squash is wet, place it back in the warm oven to dry out, making sure it doesn’t colour.

Place the potato and butternut squash onto a work top and combine, adding the eggs, salt, parmesan and some of the flour. Mix the ingredients together, adding more flour to make a smooth soft dough that can hold together. It shouldn’t feel sticky and can be easily shaped. Move the dough to one side and cover with a kitchen towel.

Clean down your worktop, then cut off a piece of the dough (approximately the size of a tennis ball). Recover the remaining dough with the kitchen towel so it doesn’t dry out. With the palms of both hands, roll out the piece of dough on the floured worktop into a rope shape that’s a ¾ inch in diameter. Then take a sharp knife and cut the rope crosswise every ¾ inch. Place the pieces of dough on a large floured tray, making sure they don’t touch. Repeat until all the dough is used, sprinkle with flour and keep to one side.

For the cheese sauce
For the sauce, add the cream and mascarpone to a pan and bring to the boil, then add the parmesan and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring all the time. Season the mixture to taste and blend in a liquidiser until smooth.

To serve
Before you cook the gnocchi, reheat the cheese sauce in thick bottom pan and keep on a low heat, stirring from time to time making sure it doesn’t burn. In a sautéed pan, add olive oil and cook the wild mushrooms until soft at the same time.

For the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Gently shake away any excess flour from the gnocchi and cook in the boiling water for 2-4 minutes, until they float to the top. Gently remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon, drain well and toss them in the hot cheese sauce. Place in a serving dish and top with sautéed wild mushrooms and roasted walnuts.

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