I wanted to finish the week off with one last in theme recipe and that was with a gnocchi! Now I was super nervous to do this one because I have only ever made gnocchi with eggs, as a vegan that's moved in and out of how strict I am, I do not consider eggs to be the devil if they come from private farms or whatever, however, I go through phases where I don't want anything other than a plant based diet. So I didn't want to add this until I was sure it would have the right texture because by using Sweet Potatoes or Yams in place of Potatoes, the final texture is wetter. So here is a super tasty and nutritious gnocchi that is egg free and I'll talk you through the details!
- Sweet Potatoes (Baking)
- White Flour
- Eggs (or Baking Soda)
- White Onion
So to begin with, get some floury potatoes or baking sweet potatoes, prepare them by washing, peeling and boiling. They're very temperamental vegetables so I honestly would say that you need to watch this one to create a texture that's super smooth. You do not want any lumps at all, so bring the boil up and then simmer, keep it going for fifteen minutes and you'll be able to check with a knife how soft it's getting.
Drain and begin to mash, if you want to cheat use a blender. you need the texture to be completely smooth. Next we get to the egg replacement. A great substitute is mixing a table spoon of olive oil, with a teaspoon of baking soda and then a table spoon of water. It's not gonna be the best texture as the egg would be, but it will hold it together.
Then beat in a cup of white flour, you can set this aside for later, but instead of mixing it into the potatoes as you would with egg, you really need to mix this into it's own paste now so it works as a binder. So combine your replacement egg paste with the potatoes, and here we go in with the texture. If the potatoes feel too wet, keep adding white flour to them until they feel more firm.
I popped some peas, broccoli and chopped onions into a pan and began to add some olive oil and a splash of water. I popped the lid over them to steam and keep it on a middle temperature so they cook without loosing the texture. Here you can see the combined potatoes and flour, I used bread flour which had some seeds in to give it a little bit more texture than regular white flour but use what you have. Now because the final mixture can come out closer to a 'pancake' texture would, what I would recommend doing is using a baking trey with these cake sections as shown below. Add oil so they don't stick. I can make these amazing vegetarian meatballs in a similar way, they keep everything in the right size and stop them from cooking and spilling into each other.
So the trick is, cook the gnocchi until it has a film around it and becomes more malleable like a real potato gnocchi would be. It takes about five minutes. Flip the gnocchi over and another five minutes.
Here you can see as I flipped it over, they are forming more of like a play dough texture by just cooking them lightly at this stage and that's the worst thing ever with gnocchi, because without all that cheese or eggs to bind them they really fall apart.
So adding some olive based butter to my broccoli, chilli and garlic I let them fry off on a higher heat. I cut the baked gnocchi in half and formed them with a fork. You normally make them like super neat by curling the fork around them. Then we can get to the final combination of the two, adding the gnocchi to the pan!
So here is the final dish, it is very delicious and great for those days you wanted comfort food. It's not as heavy as a potato version would be and you have to do a little bit more work because of the lack of an egg.
Fry them off for about another five minutes in the garlic butter you've created, serve as is! Or as you can see in the left I added my Arrabbiata sauce from this weeks pasta to the final to create more of a spicier option!
Let me know if you try these at home and enjoy.
So here is a second variation where I did a bake, instead of a pan version. This also includes fresh figs and a cheese sauce which I think came out delish! I have a full recipe on how to prepare a roux, it's basically a simple cheese sauce base in my other recipes!
You can prep the gnocchi, I did not make sweet potato this time. Boil the broccoli and slice up some figs. I used a brand new type of parmesan cheese to finish the dish with a drizzle of hot sauce and assembled in a dish.
I roasted this for 20 minutes and it is beyond! Figs are low key a yum fest & cut through the vegan parmesan like nothing else.
Hope you enjoy!