COLOURFUL Vegan GNOCCHI

I have to say that making 3 different colour gnocchi took a bit more effort than expected, but fun and I can honestly say worth the try as they all tasted different. 

These little balls of joy are very simple indeed, main ingredients being potatoes, flower/ semolina and flavouring mix all together, and all you have to do is cut and shape them before boiling for few minutes. No silly egg needed to keep these guys intact, but I did add some extra semolina to make them a bit stiffer.

Since it’s slightly time consuming, I think it is worth making more and freezing some in batches. That way you can enjoy these in a quick meal tossed in some pesto with a side salad.

To achieve 3 different colours I have used:

  • White- generic potato
  • Red- sweet potato
  • Green- green peas

I bet I could make these in purple with some beetroot, so will try that some other time. Here are some pointers on easy home made delicious gnocchi without too much hassle.


Classic

  • 500 grams potatoes
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1/2 cup of semolina
  • salt

Technique

Cook potatoes with a bit of salt, mash it well to make sure there are no lumps and let it cool or leave overnight. When ready add the flour and semolina while mixing well. If the dough is to sticky add more flour. Divide the dough into 4 and roll each quarter out so you can cut about 2 cm squares. Use extra semolina to make sure the dough does not get stuck to the surface. Shape with a fork by placing in the downside up and rolling the small pieces of the dough over the top. For simplicity, I would suggest keep it simple and leaving them as squares. Dust the surface with some more semolina or flour before placing the gnocchi to rest before cooking it. I suggest punting cloth over it to stop it from getting too dry. Cook it in boiling ware with a bit of salt until all pieces start to float. Rinse with cold water and toss in a spoon of olive oil to prevent them from sticking.

Sweet Potato

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 1/2 cup of plain flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • salt

Technique

Microwave the potato until soft inside. Make sure to prickle the potato and cover it with a damp paper towel. You can also boil the sweet potato like you would normal ones but you will have to rinse them and leave in pan over heat for more water to evaporate. Sweet potato are naturally softer when cooked. Mash well and leave it to cool or overnight. When ready add flour and semolina and mix well, then kneed the dough well. If the dough is to sticky add a bit more flour. Roll out and repeat the same technique of shaping and cooking the gnocchi.

Green Peas

  • 450gm frozen peas
  • 3 whole spring onion
  • zest of one lemon
  • about 900 grams of cooked potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups of plain flour
  • 1/2 cups of semolina
  • salt and pepper

Technique

I have found making the green pea gnocchi very difficult so I followed recipe by Coley Cooks and just made it vegan by removing the egg and adding a bit more pea pure to the mix along with more semolina. When the dough is fully combined cut it into 4, roll out and cut into small squares as cook as previously advised.

My approach to all cooking is that it is flexible. As long as you know your ingredients and how they react with other foods while cooking, then you should be free to add things in, take things out and experiment. The beauty of vegan food is that when you make your switch from either vegetarian or any other diet, the whole new world of foods opens.

While experimenting with the gnocchi I have been adding things and taking them out from normal gnocchi recipes to make these vegan. It always feels good when things do work out.

Out of the 3 I would definitely recommend making the sweet potato version. These were much softer and tasted amazing.

For the sauces I just tossed some in of the gnocchi in some basil pesto I did get from the shop, and then I have also made some creamy mushroom and spinach sauce.

Fast Delicious Creamy Cashew Sauce

  • 250 grams of cashews
  • around 400 grams of mushrooms
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt, pepper and 2 spoons of nutritional yeast is desired for flavour
  • 3 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley for garnish
  • about 3 tablespoons of lemon juice

Boil water in the kettle and pour over the cashews in a medium-size bowl. The option here is to add some salt into the water, as you will be using that later. Let them soak for about 30-45 minutes. Remove the cashews from the bowl and place into a blender along with about 50 ml of the cashew water, garlic, only a pinch of salt and pepper to flavour and the nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, start adding a bit more water until it’s almost like a runny creamy texture. Leave it on the side for later use.  

Prepare mushrooms by slicing them into desired shape and size, place in a deep pan and add a little water to help them cook. If you’d like to add some oil than about 2 tablespoons should do just fine. Also, by adding a little salt, this will help them soften sooner. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Roughly chop the spinach and add into the pan. Cook for another 3 minutes before adding the blended cashew mixture. Mix it all well and after about 2 minutes you should start seeing the sauce thickening. If it’s too thick add more water or soy milk until it’s all nice and creamy. At the end add the lemon juice and the parsley to finish it off. Best served with pasta or your homemade gnocchi 🙂