Inspired by my recent visit to Nonna Maria’s, I was determined to try my hand at making gnocchi. As I really enjoyed sweet potato gnocchi, that seemed to be the best version to try.
I still consider myself a newbie in the kitchen and can be easily daunted by a recipe. I found a recipe in the The Meat Free Monday Cookbook for sweet potato gnocchi with rocket pesto and was quite pleased that it didn’t appear to be too technical. I can totally do this! So under the watchful and experienced eye of Ma, I gave it a try.
Oh and guess what else? The dish is also vegan!
- 625g sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 15g dairy-free butter
- 75g plain flour
- 100g semolina
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cook the sweet potatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes or until just tender. Drain and leave to cool.
- Mash the sweet potatoes in a bowl until smooth. Add the butter, flour, semolina, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Mix to a dough. Divide the dough into four pieces and shape each piece (on a floured board) into a long roll about 2cm in diameter. Cut each roll across into equal-size rounds.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water the boil. Drop the gnocchi into the water in batches and cook for 3-5 minutes until they rise to the surface.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm while you cook the rest.
- Once all the gnocchi are cooked, stir in the pesto and serve.
The gnocchi turned out really well, better than I expected. Afterwards Ma told me that some people have trouble making gnocchi – I was glad I wasn’t told that beforehand so I wasn’t put off my game!
You really have to make it and cook or freeze it straight away. I made it during the day and took some to a friend’s for dinner that night. Some of the pillows had stuck together while in the fridge but they were easy to reform with a little flour on my hands.
- 50g rocket
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 Tbs pine nuts
- 100ml olive oil
- Lemon juice, generous squeeze
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor or pound with a pestle and mortar to make a coarse paste.
Homemade pesto tastes so fresh and it’s super easy to make! Rocket pesto has a peppery bite, a little different to the basil pesto I made over the holidays.
Double the recipe if you want more for the fridge as it’s great in sandwiches and on homemade flatbread pizzas. Next time I make pesto I’d like to try using different nuts – I think it would be great with cashews.