Home-made gnocchi are a revelation and, while an investment of time, manufacture is kind of therapeutic, so pour yourself a drink, put the radio on and roll up your sleeves. You may never buy the supermarket stuff again.
Pork Chops with fried Pumpkin Gnocchi and a Creamy Cider Sauce
For the Gnocchi
- 150 g baked squash about a 1/3 of a small one – freeze the rest or make soup
- 150 g baked potato
- 1 egg
- 50 g grated parmesan
- 1/4 tsp salt
- grating of nutmeg
- plain flour
- a knob of butter
For the Sauce
- 100 ml cider (or apple juice if preferred)
- 50 ml cream (single or double, or even sour)
- A handful of spinach
- A dash of Worcestershire sauce
- 4 pork chops (or 2 large ones, taken out of the fridge about an hour before cooking)
- Oil and butter for frying
- Heat the oven to 50C (just to keep the gnocchi warm)
- Scoop the flesh out of the potato and squash andput them through a ricer (or mash gently without squishing too much) and leaveto cool a little.
- Add the egg, the grated parmesan, salt, nutmegand add enough plain flour to bring it to a manageable dough.
- Dust a clean surface with flour. Knead and divide thedough into 6 to 8 balls. Roll them into ropes about 2cm thick and cut intosmall pillows, 3 cm long.
- Roll the pillows lengthways down the tines of afork with your thumb so they curl around it and place on a floured tray.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to boil. Cook thegnocchi in batches (ready when they rise to the top), removing with a slottedspoon – this takes only minutes.
- Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan until frothyand fry the gnocchi in batches on a medium/high heat until golden and place inthe oven to keep warm.
- In the same pan, heat a tbsp oil and a knob ofbutter until really hot. If the chops have a thick layer of fat, it’s a goodidea to make three snips in the fat along the length of the chop- this stopsthe chop form curling inwards. Season the meat well and place in the pan, twoat a time. If the pan is overcrowded, it will lower the heat and the chops willstew rather than fry.
- Remove from the pan and set aside to rest.
- Add the cider to the hot pan, scraping any pork juices and sticky bits from the sides into the cider. Reduce, bubbling for aminute or two, removing the acidity, then lower the heat and add the cream, reducing again on a low heat for a minute or two until thick. Season and add the spinach. Cook the spinach until wilted and finish with a splash of Worcestershire Sauce.
- Return the chops and gnocchi to the pan and serve.