DDD #96 – Vegan Parsley Herbed Potato Gnocchi

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image about to watch the gnocchi video.

OK – spicy marinara is really arrabbiata – I know.  And I have posted many versions of simple pasta sauce before but I am just gonna go ahead and post another here.  Pasta sauce is so easy – there is no excuse to buy bullshit jarred sauce at a far greater price.   HERE is one you can make in the time it takes your pasta to cook.  But – in a pinch – your favorite jarred sauce will do.

I used some wrinkly sad cherry tomatoes in my sauce.  Every time I consider whether produce is still edible, I think of the Diary of Anne Frank.  They lived on sub-par or rotting produce.  For years.  So, I am usually guilted into finding a way to use the questionable items.

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Gnocchi are remarkably easy to make, too.  Once the potatoes are baked – it can all come together pretty quickly & so incredibly delightfully.  This recipe should feed 4 pretty easily but if you want to save a bunch for the future – simply put uncooked gnocchi on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Put the sheet in the freezer & once the gnocchi are frozen, put them into sandwich bags in the freezer.  When you want to eat them – boil them frozen or they will get gooey.

In the past, I have made these with eggs but this recipe is vegan & they came out SO LIGHT & PILLOWY!   I will never use eggs in gnocchi again.  I had to subsidize my Russet potato quotient with some random yellow potato.  It didn’t hurt anything.  But try to use Russet because of the starch & moisture factors.

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Vegan Parsley Herbed Gnocchi with a Spicy Basil Marinara

INGREDIENTS

for the gnocchi

3 lbs Russet potatoes

1 TBS olive oil

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 cups (plus more) flour

S&P to taste

for the spicy basil marinara

1 6 oz can tomato paste

2 28 oz crushed tomatoes

30 grape or cherry tomatoes – quartered

1 TBS olive oil

6 garlic cloves – chopped

1/2 cup chopped basil

1-3 tsp crushed red pepper – optional

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

for the spicy basil marinara

Heat the olive oil over medium heat & saute the garlic for about 30 seconds.  Add the tomato paste & fry another minute or so.  Add the crushed tomatoes, chopped tomatoes & basil & about 1 cup of water.  Add the crushed red pepper – if using.

Simmer covered on low for the hour it takes to bake the potatoes.

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for the parsley herbed gnocchi

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Bake the potatoes (directly on the rack) for an hour or until soft.

Halve the potatoes & let cool a bit & then peel them.  If you have a ricer – rice the potatoes.  Otherwise – mash’m up good with a potato masher.

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Mash in the olive oil, parsley & some S&P.  By hand, incorporate the flour 1/2 cup at a time until you get a dough that you can handle without it being too sticky.  Depending on the sort of potatoes you used & their moisture – this might take more or less flour.

Roll out chunks of the dough into snakes less than an inch thick & cut into gnocchi.

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You can leave them like that or roll them on a fork or a gnocchi board to get little grooves on them.

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I like the little gnocchi board so that is what I used.  They are super cheap – if you decide to buy one – like maybe $5.

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Now – you can either freeze a bunch as I explained above or get to cooking them up.  I let mine sit out an hour or so.  It didn’t harm them.

Boil some salted water & when it is rolling – add the gnocchi.  They are done when they float & stay at the top.  Scoop out with a slotted spoon & serve with the marinara & more basil.  Add some cheese or vegan cheese – if you desire.  YUM!

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Oh – and remember to buy my book!  IT IS HILARIOUS!  www.BathingBook.com

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Super Easy 5-Ingredient Homemade Frascatelli Pasta with Mustard Greens & Parmesan Cheese (Vegetarian or Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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My Farm Fresh to You delivery came today & there were mustard greens in there.  I’ve never cooked with them so I Googled them for some inspiration.  And did I find it!!!  The mustard greens in a recipe – sure.  But the revelation is the FRASCATELLI!    I had never heard of frascatelli before & I was intrigued.  It was the photo below (from Bon Appetit) that caught my eye. Looks like gnocchi.  I read more & discovered it was a 2 ingredient pasta that required no tools or resting time.  I had to try it.  Immediately!

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Incredibly, frascatelli is as easy to make as the instructions suggested & I am certain I will be making this stuff over & over again.

The process is to spread out 2 cups of semolina flour & splatter it with water.  Then scoop it up, put it in a colander & shake it around.  Tiny dumplings form & the rest of the semolina falls back to the work surface.  Repeat.  When all my flour was used up – I manually pressed some of the teensy bits into larger dumplings but that is not necessary.  And guess what?  You can cook it immediately & it is done in 30-60 SECONDS.  Yes – seconds.  You MUST try this.  It would be a great thing to make with kids.  I think they would love the process.  Here are the directions from Bon Appetit:

  • Spread semolina flour in an even layer in an 8x8x2-inch baking dish. Fill a small bowl with 1 cup water and set next to dish. Working in 4-5 batches, gather your fingertips and thumb of 1 hand together and, working quickly, dip into bowl of water, lift hand from bowl, and splatter water over semolina. Repeat several times until surface of semolina is dotted with ragged wet patches about the size of a nickel. Let stand until water is absorbed, forming individual dumplings, about 5 seconds. Using a fish spatula or slotted spoon, turn dumplings over to coat with semolina, then transfer to a sieve. Shake gently over same baking dish to remove excess semolina; transfer dumplings to a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining semolina and water until all of the water or all of the semolina has been used (there may be some water or semolina left over).
  • Working in 3-4 batches, cook dumplings in a large pot of slowly boiling salted water (if the water is boiling too rapidly, it may break up the dumplings), gently swirling water once or twice to prevent sticking, until al dente, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer frascatelli to another large rimmed baking sheet.

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Frascatelli is like a softer cavatelli or a chewier & more dense gnocchi.    Worked great with the cheese & mustard greens but a red sauce or cream sauce or anything would work with this stuff.  Just amazing!  I have no idea how frascatelli was not on my radar until today.

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5-Ingredient Homemade Frascatelli Pasta with Mustard Greens & Parmesan Cheese (Vegetarian or Vegan)

Serves 2 very well

INGREDIENTS

2 cups semolina flour

1 bunch mustard greens (or collard greens or spinach or arugula or chard) – ribs removed & chopped

2-3 TBS butter (or vegan butter or olive oil)

1-6 garlic cloves – chopped

1 cup Parmesan – vegan or otherwise (or any other cheese/vegan cheese you like blended into pasta)

OPTIONAL  – Crushed red pepper, S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Make the frascatelli & set aside.

Prep the other ingredients.

Bring a pot of salted water to a slow boil & immerse the frascatelli.  Stir so it doesn’t stick.  Scoop out a cup or two of the boiling pasta water & reserve it.  In 30-60 seconds – drain the frascatelli & set it aside.

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Heat the butter (or vegan butter or olive oil) in a large saute pan.  Add the frascatelli.  Warm it through – stirring but trying not to crush or mush the dumplings.  I added some crushed red pepper here – about 1 TBS.

Add the garlic & greens.  Stir in a little of the reserved pasta water to wilt the greens.

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Add the cheese & some more pasta water (only use as much water as you need to melt & blend the cheese).  I added a bit of salt & a bunch of pepper.

Serve with extra cheese.

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Blue Apron Vegetarian Dinners – Night One – Spring Pea Gnocchi

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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First of all- CONGRATULATIONS to the LGBT community!  The Supreme Court upheld gay marriage so – now – we can finally just say MARRIAGE, for everyone.  That Jesus meme, above, really reduces the objections to gay marriage for the farcical horseshit that they are.  So – bravo to the LGBT community for a win over bigotry!

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Now – on to this gnocchi.  My good friend, Jackie O, VERY GENEROUSLY gifted me three meals from Blue Apron.  Thanks, Jackie O!   You gifted me a food adventure!  AND – at least three blog posts that require no thought or inventiveness from me.  Whew!

They have a meat or vegetarian option so, obviously, I chose the vegetarian.  Here is what showed up at my door yesterday:

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Organized!  Pretty!  Exciting!!

I decided to make the Spring Pea Gnocchi.  There were lots of fresh ingredients portioned perfectly to make this dish for two.  They gnocchi were fluffy & soft & I wanted to eat them at their freshest – hence my selecting that recipe first.  I had never heard of or seen garlic scapes – which are, basically, scallions that taste like garlic.  I assembled & prepared the produce as instructed.

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I boiled the gnocchi & drained it & made the sauce.  My first issue was the suggestion of two tablespoons of olive oil to saute the scallions & scapes.  That seemed high to me so I used only 1 TBS.  When it came time to add the grated Parmesan – the portion they provided also seemed high – and I am a gal trying to drop a few LBs – so I cut that cheese in half, too.  I did not, however, think to cut the water by half so the sauce was pretty thin & I could never get the Parmesan to fully melt & incorporate…maybe my fault for tweaking the ingredients/directions.

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Another direction I ignored was the suggestion to use a non-stick skillet to brown the gnocchi.  I like my chrome-looking pan more & it photographs well – so I used that, instead.  Mistake.  Before the veggies could soften – I was burning the fuck out of the gnocchi & at risk of mashing them into a mashed potato thing.

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So – I transferred it all to a non-stick pan & completed the cooking process.  I plated a single serving (because each recipe is for two) and did my best to photograph it on my stove top.  I was starving & taking photos was the last thing I wanted to do but – if you wanna blog you gotta photograph.  It is a curse.

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It tasted pretty good – I will admit – but it has a pretty high calorie count at 560 per serving and, I must say, the cooking process was no simpler than any other recipe I might make – except that the portions are pre-measured.   It took about an hour before I was eating & then a good twenty minutes of clean-up, afterward – and that burned pan is still soaking.

So – is it easy – easier than just making your own recipes?  Only if measuring things makes you want to shoot yourself in the face. I guess you get to skip the shopping for things – which is nice – and you have no leftover portions of stuff to leave until they rot in your fridge.  But – on the down side – the vegetarian version offers no options or opportunity to customize the selections – so your menu is set & inflexible.  Plus – vegetarian meals often cost less that the $10 per person you pay for each meal on this plan.  HERE is the menu I will be getting next week – Black Bean & Red Quinoa Enchiladas, Fried Green Tomato Burgers & Mozzarella & Barley Stuffed Zucchini.  I am pretty sure I could make all those things at home for less than $20 a meal.   Another issue for me is that I live alone.  Which means I eat each meal 2x – meaning my dinners are booked 6 nights a week.  As a blogger – a food blogger – that shit ain’t gonna cut it.

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So – while it might work for you – Blue Apron is not a fit for me.   I mean – my other menu items THIS week are a Grilled Brie Sandwich & Szechuan Tofu & Long Beans.  One – I am not a huge tofu fan – despite the success of my awesome Vegan Tofu Chilaquiles with 5-Minute Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce – seen below.

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And two – I would never eat so many heavy meals in a week & I pretty much never eat bread – which brings me to the nail in Blue Apron’s coffin: they delivered 4 – count’em FOUR – loaves of bread.  Airy, chewy & totally unyummy bread.  The kind that has absolutely no crispiness or flavor.  Look at it.

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It is exactly as lame as it looks.  Not even worthy of being made into garlic bread.  Yet, after I cleaned up from the gnocchi – it was like 9:30p – shockingly late for me to be doing my post-dinner settling in – and my brain began quietly flashing the word BRIE in my head.  Brie….brie.  SHUT UP – I told my brain.  Brie.  Brie.  STOP IT.  BRIE.  BRIE.  Fuck off!  BRIEBRIEBRIEBRIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    Then- I realized.  The brie was not calling from my head.  It was calling from INSIDE THE HOUSE!  There was brie – IN MY FRIDGE!  Brie for the Goddamn Grilled Brie Sandwiches I was supposed to eat two times in the next few days.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

That cunting brie in the fridge was calling.  BRIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!  Coaxing.  Taunting.  Demanding to be acknowledged.  To be heard.  To be EATEN!

And I am weak.  I would never be foolish enough to stock my house with things like bread & cheese – especially after my admitted obsession with tortilla cheese pizzas.  I never buy junk food because red wine, a weak will & junk food under the same roof are a calamity waiting to happen.  I know.  I have seen the carnage.  Carnage like the roof of my mouth seared by Family-Size Bag Dorito-induced chemical burns or hanging in shreds from an orgy of reduced-fat chips & shitty powdered onion dip (made with yogurt to save calories).  Yes – of course – the champagne involved typically dulls my sense of shame in the immediate aftermath of these blood baths but my scale is always there in the morning to bear witness to my gluttony & chide me for my shallowness of character.

So – yeah.  Fuck it.  Fuck you.  I got up & got that brie out of the fridge and without even the decency to let it warm to room temperature – I placed it on the table & sat down in front of it.  I tried to rip off a chunk of the uncrustiest bread ever but it moved in my hands like a Stretch Armstrong – rubbery & flexible.  But it was no match for me.  I had low-end, hard & cold brie in front of me & I was going to eat it.  Just SOME of it – settle the fuck down.  I dug a nail into a loaf to create a perforation in the defiant bread & ripped like a strongman tearing a phone book in two.  The bread was no mach for my brie-frenzy.  It gave in – and tore – jagged & ugly – revealing just how much of the loaf was just a honeycomb of air & thready dough – but with the resiliency of a particularly stubborn cobweb.  My mouth was already hanging open in anticipation – and my fatty Memphis was table-side to catch any errant orts that might fall his way.  The brie – like a jaded hooker on the job too long – was too cheap to even pretend to want to spread & the bread was too flaccid to gain any leverage to use against the brie – so I just placed a hard slice atop the porous carbs and crammed them into my pie hole.  There may have been unsavory sounds, groans or slurps, as I ingested the stuff – I can’t rightly say – but I can say the bread & cheese combo was underwhelming to the extreme – as if it had come from 7-11.  Even the plastic container I was eating the cheese from (because who had time to bust out a plate?) – screamed 7-11.  It was just awful.   Absolutely just the worst sort of emotionally-unsatisfying, empty calories.

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So, as you likely could predict, I ate the rest of it.  All of it.  Well – almost all of it.  Out of decency & for appearances  – I left that little bit there – which actually looks bigger than it was.  I say was – because I promptly ate it – in one tiny bite – early this AM.  But know that it was no larger than one from a standard pair of dice.

So, yeah, Blue Apron.  You can suck it.  I worked all evening to prepare a calorie-dense gnocchi, I still have a charred pan still soaking in my sink and I am cramping up at work from a belly-full of what was meant to be two more meals.  What did I eat last night?  2000 calories?

So – I will go home tonight & make the Szechuan Tofu & Long Beans – and I might report on them in the near future.  Also – I canceled too late – so I will get the menu for next week, too, and likely share the results but – the bottom line is that Blue Apron it not safe for a single old lady with no willpower & who is happy eating tortilla pizzas & curling up with a bottle of red every night.  It is just NOT SAFE!  You have been warned.

Vegan Parsley Herbed Gnocchi with a Spicy Basil Marinara

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

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OK – spicy marinara is really arrabbiata – I know.  And I have posted many versions of simple pasta sauce before but I am just gonna go ahead and post another here.  Pasta sauce is so easy – there is no excuse to buy bullshit jarred sauce at a far greater price.   HERE is one you can make in the time it takes your pasta to cook.  But – in a pinch – your favorite jarred sauce will do.

I used some wrinkly sad cherry tomatoes in my sauce.  Every time I consider whether produce is still edible, I think of the Diary of Anne Frank.  They lived on sub-par or rotting produce.  For years.  So, I am usually guilted into finding a way to use the questionable items.

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Gnocchi are remarkably easy to make, too.  Once the potatoes are baked – it can all come together pretty quickly & so incredibly delightfully.  This recipe should feed 4 pretty easily but if you want to save a bunch for the future – simply put uncooked gnocchi on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Put the sheet in the freezer & once the gnocchi are frozen, put them into sandwich bags in the freezer.  When you want to eat them – boil them frozen or they will get gooey.

In the past, I have made these with eggs but this recipe is vegan & they came out SO LIGHT & PILLOWY!   I will never use eggs in gnocchi again.  I had to subsidize my Russet potato quotient with some random yellow potato.  It didn’t hurt anything.  But try to use Russet because of the starch & moisture factors.

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Vegan Parsley Herbed Gnocchi with a Spicy Basil Marinara

INGREDIENTS

for the gnocchi

3 lbs Russet potatoes

1 TBS olive oil

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 cups (plus more) flour

S&P to taste

for the spicy basil marinara

1 6 oz can tomato paste

2 28 oz crushed tomatoes

30 grape or cherry tomatoes – quartered

1 TBS olive oil

6 garlic cloves – chopped

1/2 cup chopped basil

1-3 tsp crushed red pepper – optional

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

for the spicy basil marinara

Heat the olive oil over medium heat & saute the garlic for about 30 seconds.  Add the tomato paste & fry another minute or so.  Add the crushed tomatoes, chopped tomatoes & basil & about 1 cup of water.  Add the crushed red pepper – if using.

Simmer covered on low for the hour it takes to bake the potatoes.

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for the parsley herbed gnocchi

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Bake the potatoes (directly on the rack) for an hour or until soft.

Halve the potatoes & let cool a bit & then peel them.  If you have a ricer – rice the potatoes.  Otherwise – mash’m up good with a potato masher.

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Mash in the olive oil, parsley & some S&P.  By hand, incorporate the flour 1/2 cup at a time until you get a dough that you can handle without it being too sticky.  Depending on the sort of potatoes you used & their moisture – this might take more or less flour.

Roll out chunks of the dough into snakes less than an inch thick & cut into gnocchi.

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You can leave them like that or roll them on a fork or a gnocchi board to get little grooves on them.

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I like the little gnocchi board so that is what I used.  They are super cheap – if you decide to buy one – like maybe $5.

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Now – you can either freeze a bunch as I explained above or get to cooking them up.  I let mine sit out an hour or so.  It didn’t harm them.

Boil some salted water & when it is rolling – add the gnocchi.  They are done when they float & stay at the top.  Scoop out with a slotted spoon & serve with the marinara & more basil.  Add some cheese or vegan cheese – if you desire.  YUM!

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Oh – and remember to buy my book!  IT IS HILARIOUS!  www.BathingBook.com

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Pan-Fried Lemon, Goat Cheese & Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato & Basil & Fresh Mozzarella

1 Comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

I posted a pumpkin gnocchi in February with three different sauces.  Those gnocchi came out more dense than I liked.  These new guys are not dense at all – but I experimented with pan-frying them rather than boiling them & I am uncertain how I feel about the results.  Rather than caramelizing – as other bloggers said would happen – they sort of fried up like French fries – with the exterior sealed & the interior soft.  I am not sure if this is because I was pan-frying cheese gnocchi rather than a potato gnocchi – but they were tasty all the same.  I am just not sure if I think the additional calories involved are worth it.  I will boil some up soon & report back on how they stack up against the pan-fried.  Here is how they looked after frying & draining on a paper towel.

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This recipe makes about 6 servings of gnocchi but the tomato & basil sauce is only for two servings.  So – be prepared to freeze some for later use.  To do that, line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper & put the fresh gnocchi on it & freeze them like that.  Once the gnocchi are frozen solid, pick them off the cookie sheet & put them in individual zip lock bags in your freezer – each containing a single serving (or in larger quantity – as you desire).  To cook frozen gnocchi – put them in boiling water directly from the freezer & boil until they float to the top.  If you let them thaw first, they will become a gooey mess.

Gnocchi is pronounced “Nyawkki,” for those that are unsure.

 

Gnocchi can be rolled on one of these (inexpensive) little rollers

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for a result like this

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or just cut into cubes like this.

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If you are frying them, do not bother with the board rolling.  The frying will dissolve the grooves anyway.  Also – frying in clarified butter (or ghee) is better because it is harder to burn but regular butter will work.  HERE is how you clarify your own butter.

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Feel free to just boil them.  They are done when they float to the top.

You can do this will all goat cheese or all ricotta.  I just happened to have the ratio of cheeses I posted here.

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Pan-Fried Lemon, Goat Cheese & Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato & Basil & Fresh Mozzarella

INGREDIENTS

For 6 servings of gnocchi

3/4 cup (5 oz) goat cheese

1 1/4 cups whole milk ricotta

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup grated Parmesan

2 egg yolks

2 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp salt

If frying – you will need 4 TBS clarified butter (or regular butter) and 2 TBS olive oil

For 2 servings of tomato & basil & mozzarella sauce

1 lb tomatoes – diced small (I used cherry & Roma)

olive oil

4 cloves garlic – minced

1 1/2 cups chopped basil

S&P to taste

Fresh mozzarella balls (in quantity you think suits 2 servings) – sliced

DIRECTIONS

For the gnocchi

Gently blend together the flour, goat cheese, ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest & salt.  Add half the flour.  When well incorporated, lightly dust a counter with flour & transfer the dough there.  Add the rest of the flour & gently pinch it in.  Try not to over-knead or add too much flour.  You might need more or less flour depending on certain factors such as the size of the yolks & the wetness of the ricotta.

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When done and not still sticky – store in the fridge for at least an hour – covered in plastic wrap.

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When ready to make the gnocchi, take sections of dough & roll them out to 3/4 inch thick snakes.  I used my fingertip as a measuring device to cut the gnocchi into cubes.

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You can opt to roll them on a gnocchi board or not.

For the tomato & basil & mozzarella sauce

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a pan.  Add the minced garlic & saute 30 seconds.

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Add the diced tomatoes & bring to a boil.

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Reduce heat to low & add MOST the basil – reserving some for garnish.  Simmer for 15 minutes or so.  Add S&P & leave on a very low simmer.

To assemble

If boiling the gnocchi – boil them until they float.  Remove with a slotted spoon & add to the sauteing tomatoes.

If frying the gnocchi – heat the butter & oil in a pan & fry the gnocchi – shaking the pan and/or turning the gnocchi until browned on all sides.  They can then either be drained on paper towels & then added to the tomatoes or just added directly to the tomatoes.

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Raise the temperature on the tomatoes to a serving temperature.  Divide between to plates & garnish with the sliced fresh mozzarella, grated Parmesan & reserved chopped basil.

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Homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi with Three Sauces: Orange Cream, Pumpkin-Sage & Pistachio Pesto

4 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I used a 29 oz can of pumpkin for this recipe & it made a BOATLOAD of gnocchi.  Gnocchi is pronounced “Nyawkki,” for those that are unsure.

At any rate – this recipe will produce three cookie sheets of raw gnocchi – like this:

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I would say each of those sheets represents four very healthy servings.  You might want to cut this recipe in half.  Not wanting to turn orange from pumpkin consumption, I opted to freeze the bulk of these.  To do that, I put the entire cookie sheet in the freezer & when the gnocchi were frozen solid, I chipped them off the cookie sheet & put them in individual zip lock bags – each containing a single serving.  To cook frozen gnocchi – put them in boiling water directly from the freezer & boil until they float to the top.  If you let them thaw first, they will become a gooey mess.

Another note, these gnocchi are vegan.  In the past, I have made potato gnocchi & they required eggs.  These do not & I like any opportunity to skip the use of eggs & dairy (though there is lots of dairy in two of the sauces).  However, the resulting gnocchi were more dense than the potato variety – even though I was careful not to over flour them & even rolled & cut the dough while it was still a bit tacky.  I am not sure if that is true because of the lack of eggs or maybe the wet pumpkin just combines differently than baked potato – but – just know these are pretty substantial – maybe even a tad chewy.  I will make potato ones soon, which come out a bit lighter.

As to the sauces I made – I wanted to avoid the traditional fried sage & brown butter sauce, mainly because it is how pumpkin things are always served.  These sauces might have photographed better with a white gnocchi beneath them (especially the green pistachio pesto which wasn’t pretty on the orange gnocchi) – so do not be thrown by the images here.  I must confess, I underachieved in the photography department here partly because I had color combos that were not ideal and, primarily, because I had three different gnocchi to photograph & I wanted to EAT them before they got cold.  I had my friend Mike taste all three sauces with me.  He liked the lemony pistachio pesto & the orange cream best.  I thought the orange cream was a tad sweet, despite the fact that there is no sugar added.  Maybe the California Cutie I used was too sweet for this recipe – and a regular orange would have been better.

I liked the pumpkin cream sauce but, in the future, will add much more fried sage (which I can eat like chips).  I liked the pistachio pesto – but I think it might be better served with a more neutral flavored gnocchi.  All the sauces are VERY easy to make & all would do well over pasta – so – if they sound good to you but an hour of rolling gnocchi does not – just open a box of penne or something & use the sauces on that.

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Homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi

INGREDIENTS

1 29 oz can pumpkin puree

1/2 tsp nutmeg

5 1/2 – 6 cups flour

1/2 tsp each of S&P

DIRECTIONS

On a floured surface or in a bowl – combine the ingredients, adding flour incrementally just until the dough is no longer sticky.  Knead the dough for several minutes until it is soft & pliable.

OR – stick everything in your bread machine & run it on the pasta dough cycle.  This is what I did.

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Divide the dough onto sections about the size of a child’s fist & roll each out into snakes that are about 3/4 inch thick.  Cut the snakes into pieces (under an inch) and either use them as they are or roll them over fork tines to get a texture or use this awesome tool I got on Amazon for a few bucks.

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Let them rest on a lightly floured surface (or refrigerate) until you are ready to cook them.

To cook – simply boil water, add gnocchi & boil until they float to the surface.  Drain & top with your sauce & devour!

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Orange Cream Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1 orange – zest & juice

2 TBS butter

3/4 cup vegan heavy cream

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Zest the orange – set zest aside.  Juice the orange – set juice aside.

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Heat the butter in a sauce pan & add the zest – reserving some for garnish later.  Let this cook on medium heat until it begins to thicken.  Add the cream & cook until it begins to thicken.  When it reaches a consistency you like – add S&P.

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Pumpkin-Sage Sauce

INGREDIENTS

olive oil

2 TBS butter

20 fresh sage leaves

1 small onion – diced

3 cloves garlic – minced

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

3/4 cup vegetable (or other) stock (I use water & veggie bouillon)

1/2 cup vegan heavy cream

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DIRECTIONS

Heat  butter with a little olive oil in a frying pan.  When hot – add the sage leaves & fry for a minute of two – until they begin to brown.  Drain on paper towels.

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Add onion & garlic to the pan & saute until they soften.  Add the pumpkin, stock & cream & simmer until it thickens.  Reserve the fried sage to top the gnocchi as garnish.

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Pistachio Pesto

INGREDIENTS

2 cups fresh basil

2 garlic cloves

3/4 cup shelled, roasted pistachios

1/3 cup vegan Parmesan cheese

1 TBS lemon juice

1/4 olive oil

1 tsp each S&P (or to taste)

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DIRECTIONS

Blend all ingredients in a food processor to create a paste.  Add water if you feel it is too thick.

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To assemble your gnocchi, just top hot gnocchi with either the orange cream garnished with orange zest or the pumpkin-sage sauce & the crumbled, fried sage or with the pistachio pesto with some crushed pistachios as garnish.  Get likkered up & gorge!

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