Pumpkin, Blue Cheese, Spinach & Pancetta Sauce for Gnocchi and Pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon flakey salt
- Pepper to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2/3 cup dry, white wine
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 600ml pouring cream
- 750g peeled and chopped pumpkin
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 sprigs sage
- 200g spinach or silver beet leaves
- 100g pancetta, sliced thinly
- 200g blue cheese, crumbled
- 50g shaved parmesan
Heat the oil in a pan to medium and sauté the onion with the salt and pepper until transparent. Add the garlic, cook for a minute or two before adding the white wine, thyme and bay leaf. Simmer gently until the wine has reduced by half. Add the cream, and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow the flavors to steep for 15 minutes then remove the bay leaf and thyme sprig. Blend until smooth with a stick blender.
Meanwhile chop 500g pumpkin into 2cm cubes, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the nutmeg, sugar, rosemary and sage. Fry on top of the stove for 5 minutes to give the pumpkin color then roast in a medium oven for 30 minutes.
In a pot of boiling water, immerse the spinach leaves and blanche for 1 minute then drain.
In a flat pan, fry the pancetta for 5 minutes or until crisp. Remove and place the pancetta on absorbent paper.
When your pasta or gnocchi is almost cooked, add the blue cheese, spinach and pumpkin to the cream sauce, bring to a simmer with 1/2 cup of the pasta water and half of the pancetta, crumbled.
Add the cooked pasta or gnocchi to the sauce, fold gently and serve with the remaining pancetta, which has been warmed in the oven, and shaved parmesan as a garnish on top.