I’d been meaning to try this pelushki recipe ever since I got the Monday Morning Cooking Club cookbook. Pelushki is basically a Polish gnocchi, of sorts, and the recipe I’ve based this one on is tossed with onion cooked in oil and butter. Simple yet delicious. I followed the recipe for the pelushki fairly closely but added a few things to tart it up a tad. First of all some fresh beetroot for colour, some garlic with the onions for extra flavour plus fresh sage and parmesan for even more flavour.
I could have stopped there but when I spotted some small pumpkins in the fruit & veg shop I thought it’d be nice to serve the pelushki in a baked pumpkin.
The little dumplings can actually be made in advance, cut and spread onto a floured board, then frozen. Once they’re frozen just gather them up and keep in a sealed container in the freezer. To cook, just drop into boiling salted water as you would with fresh ones.
Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes, add the garlic and keep cooking until golden. Turn off heat, stir through the chopped sage and parsley and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Cut the top third of each pumpkin off and scoop out the seeds. Place the cut pumpkins on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until cooked through and golden.
Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in water until soft. Drain and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Grate the potatoes into a large mixing bowl, add the flour and salt and mix to combine. Beat the egg and grated beetroot together before adding to the potato mix. Mix by hand until a dough forms. Take the dough and knead it for about a minute on a well-floured work surface. If it’s too wet just add a little more flour, but not too much.
Divide the dough into 4 and take each piece and roll it into a long snake that’s 1½ cm thick. Using a knife or kitchen scissors, cut the snake into 1 cm wide pieces. Keep them on the floured bench until ready to cook.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and drop in the dumplings. Allow them to cook for a few minutes once they’ve risen to the surface. While they cook, reheat the onion mixture. Drain the dumplings and toss them into the onion mixture with the grated parmesan, gently mixing to coat them well. Check for seasoning.
To serve, scoop the pelushki into each pumpkin, garnish with a little fresh sage and parsley and serve immediately.