I am on an eternal adventure (aren’t we all?) but my mission on said jolly jape is to encourage all men, women, children & beasts to eat more vegetables. And to be confident in their culinary abilities.
It’s a two-fold exercise but I think I am up to the job.
I will however hold my hands up & share this fun little fact about myself; I always thought gnocchi was the most complicated thing to make, so I NEVER did. But guess what …it turns out these little pillowy potato pals of pasta are in fact the most (almost ridiculously so) easy bites of delight to whip up.
I’m not kidding.
There is always an issue when it comes to gluten free recipes in that we’ve lost the binding nature of gluten if using a grain based flour, so I have turned to the wonderousness of chickpea flour instead, combining it with brown rice flour to keep things from becoming heavy & dense. I’ve also chosen sweet potato for a little extra nod towards antioxidants but you could use squash or pumpkin if you prefer.
And then we come to the hummus pesto sauce which by all shakes of a lambs tale is a masterpiece. I do hope you make these & enjoy them as much as I do!
For the gnocchi
For the hummus pesto
To make the pesto: Add the parsley & broccoli to a food processor, pulse to chop. Add the garlic, chickpeas & lemon juice & blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as required. Finally blend in the nutritional yeast/Parmesan, taste & season.
Decant into a jar & refrigerate for 2-3 days or freeze for 3 months (you can easily make this in advance)
Then to make the gnocchi: Chop your sweet potatoes into chunks (no need to peel, just wash well). Steam for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Leave to cool (you want the steam to escape or you’ll end up with an overly sticky dough).
Put through a potato ricer or blend in a food processor until you have a smooth purée. Add the egg, seasoning, chickpea & 1/2 cup of rice flour. Mix/blend until combined.
You want a dough that is soft but not overly sticky, if too wet add more rice flour until you are able to pick up a piece of the dough & roll it into a ball without it covering your fingers. (The warmer your potatoes the wetter they will be, hence why we want them to steam off as much moisture as possible)
Sprinkle a surface with rice flour & pull off small handfuls of dough, roll gently into a 2-3cm thick sausage (don’t make them too flat or thin) then chop 2cm gnocchis, placing them on a floured board whilst you repeat with the rest of the dough. Use the tines of a fork to make the characteristic lined marks if you want (just gently press on the top).
At this point they can be frozen for up to 3 months or just pop in the fridge & use within 3 days.
To prepare the pictured dish: Chop the root & tough stalk ends off of your leek, peel away any really tough outer leaves & rinse any mud from between the layers. Finely slice & add to a pan with 2 tablespoons water, cover with a lid & steam for 2 minutes.
Meanwhile slice your mushrooms. Remove the lid from your leek pan & allow any excess water to evaporate. Add 1/2 tablespoon avocado oil then tumble in your gnocchi & the mushrooms. Spread out into a single layer & cover, cook on a medium heat until they turn golden, then flip & replace the lid so they colour on the other side.
Once crisp & hot all the way through add 3-4 tablespoons of your pesto hummus + 1-2 tablespoons of water to loosen slightly. Warm everything through & serve sprinkled with chopped pieces of sun-dried tomato & extra black pepper.