I have always loved gnocchi. Whenever I went out to a restaurant and they had gnocchi on the menu, my choice was made. I never knew how they made it or what it had in and then I started my research journey a few years back and started exploring. The majority of gnocchi I tasted was made from potato, then the aha moment came when I started tasting gnocchi made from pumpkin, sweet potato and even mushroom. I am by no means an Italian chef, but over the years I figured out you needed a base, flour, salt, sometimes the odd spice and a binder to make some gnocchi. This recipe is based on butternut gnocchi that I made but please feel free to explore with different bases. I love to always roast extra potatoes, pumpkin and even mushroom whenever I cook and then make sure to puree then separate by adding some cream, milk, coconut milk or yoghurt (basically whatever I have been freezing or if I have anything extra that I can use). Once it is a nice puree consistency I either make my gnocchi immediately or I portion it out and freeze it and make my gnocchi on another day. I love to make a lot of gnocchi at a time as I would freeze the rest and use them as I need them as they heat up very quickly for an easy meal.
- 450g base (I used roasted butternut puree)
- 300g flour (I usually use a 50/50 split between all-purpose flour and wholemeal flour.
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg as a binder. If you want a vegan option you could use a vegan egg replacer, 1/4 cup silken tofu blended smooth, 1/4 cup mashed banana, 1/4 cup coconut or soy yoghurt or 3 tablespoons aquafaba.
- 1/8 teaspoon spice or to taste. I used nutmeg with the pumpkin base.
- Make sure you have a pureed base and that it is a thick consistency.
- Combine all your ingredients together. I like to use my dough attachment with my Kenwood and mix everything together.
- Remove a piece of the dough and roll it into a small ball. If the dough is still very sticky, add a little more flour to your mixture and mix well.
- If the dough is no longer very sticky, prepare a cutting board with a little flour and divide your mixture into eight balls.
- Dust it with a little bit of flour and start rolling it into long strands (1-1.5cm in thickness).
- Cut the strands into small pieces (1-1.5cm in length). Once you press down on your knife they look almost cube-shaped. If you want to be fancy and make all sorts of shapes with it you can by using a fork and pressing down on them while rolling. This takes some time therefore I usually just go with the square shapes.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and place the first batch of gnocchi squares in the pot. I only place enough squares in my pot to almost cover the bottom of the pot, but still, allow for a little bit of space in between that they do not stick to each other.
- After a few minutes, you will notice that the squares are rising to the top. They are now ready to remove from the water. Place in a colander and strain any remaining water. Repeat this process till all the squares are cooked. (You can keep the water, cool it down and use it to water your plants.)
- If you want to enjoy your gnocchi the same day, select enough for how many people you will be serving and place them in a medium to a hot heated pan with some butter or oil until they have a little bit of golden brown edges and then and a sauce of your choice. Turn the heat down a little will your sauce is warm and serve with a dash of grated cheese on the top.
- If you have some gnocchi squares leftover or if you want to freeze the gnocchi for another day, place them on a cutting board or plate and freezer. Once they are frozen I will place them in a large stasher and use them as I need for future gnocchi dishes and repeat the heated pan and sauce step.