I’d never tried gnocchi before I was 22. Scratch that. I didn’t even know what gnocchi was before I was 22. No, wait. I had never even heard the word “gnocchi” before I was 22. My friend Chantel was working at a restaurant on campus and she gave me a free order of gnocchi. I had no idea what it was, but it sounded awesome (as in, the word itself was really fun to say), so I was like, “okay!”
I’m not sure what’s more fun about gnocchi — the fact that it’s beautiful, pillowy little potatoes of goodness, or that the word is so fun to say.
Anyway, I’m still working up the courage to make my own gnocchi, but in the meantime, I’ve been developing a few great gnocchi recipes. See, the thing about eating vegan and loving pasta is that it’s hard to find anything nice and thick that sits heavy and long in my belly making me feel totally full for several hours without adding some sorta faux-meat, which is why gnocchi is my number one favourite pasta right now.
This dish is definitely one that would be more suited for summer, but like my various smoothie creations, I can’t help but debut it right now in hopes that it will bring a beautiful summer sky. I happened to make this last Sunday, when it took myself and my partner several hours and lots of crying to get my car boosted because it was so cold outside. And yet, we had a ton of fun cooking this up and even enjoyed it with a few (maple) whiskey sours!
- 1 5oo g pack of gnocchi (or make your own). I used a gluten-free brand.
- 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2/3 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower florets (you really don’t have to use coloured cauliflower, I just thought it looked neat and it was on sale)
- 1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup spinach
- Nutritional yeast, to personal desire
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Warm 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large nonstick pan on very low heat. Add the garlic and tomatoes and let sautee gently for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium-sized saucepan with a steamer attachment, bring about 2″ of water to a boil and steam the cauliflower and broccoli. This should take about 10 minutes. Once it’s done, drain it in a colander.
- Now cook the gnocchi. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the gnocchi — once it starts floating, it should only need a few more minutes.
- Once that’s cooking, chop your remaining veggies.
- After 15 minutes of sautéeing, add the onions and parsley to the pan and raise the heat slightly.
- Add the broccoli and cauliflower to the pan.
- Finally, add your gnocchi to the pan and add the spinach. Toss the veggies together and remove from heat once the spinach is wilted.
- Sprinkle on salt and pepper and nutritional yeast to your liking and enjoy with someone you love. Or a cat. Yeah, a cat.