The term gnocchi is a colloquialism for dumpling, roughly translating as ‘lump’ in English - this somewhat unflattering moniker may be representative of the pasta’s rather rustic or humble shape, but in no way captures the smooth and moreish dumpling, adored by native Italians and international diners alike. While gnocchi recipes can often be somewhat fluid, our classic gnocchi recipe includes egg, rendering it sadly not an option for those following a vegan diet. Conveniently, adjusting this recipe to suit plant-based diners is ridiculously easy, and renders a similarly delicious and chewy bite.
Comforting nuggets of pillowy potato dough are lathered in a garlic, lemon and parsley sauce, which also adorns fresh asparagus and peas. This bright vegan gnocchi recipe is perfect for dining al fresco on a warm spring evening, with a crisp glass of white wine - we’re already salivating at the prospect, and we’re sure you are too!
Our recipe for vegan gnocchi with asparagus, peas and lemon
Prep time: 50-60 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Calories per serving: 445 kcals
For the gnocchi
- 130g potatoes
- 50g ‘00’ flour
For the sauce
- 250g fresh asparagus
- 100g peas (fresh or frozen are both fine here)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 3 tbsp vegan butter (substitute for oil if preferred)
- Fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
To prepare the gnocchi
- Place your potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring to the boil. Allow the potatoes to cook for 20-25 minutes, before straining and leaving to cool.
Chef's Tip: Be careful not to break the skin of the potatoes! You do not want the potatoes to absorb too much water.
- On a clean work surface, form some of your flour into a well (leave a little reserved to one side, should you need to adjust the texture of your dough)
- Place your cooked potato in a ricer, as to remove the skin and mash the potatoes simultaneously. Be sure to do this directly over your flour, aiming for the centre of the well.
- Slowly incorporate the flour and potato, initially using a fork or bench scraper, before graduating to your hands. Adjust here for flour as necessary, ensuring not to use too much, as this will result in a dense and tough dough.
- Once everything is well combined, begin kneading your dough on a floured surface, as you would with ordinary pasta.
- Your vegan dough is now prepared - to make the gnocchi’s signature shape, simply follow our ultimate guide to preparing fresh, homemade gnocchi.
To prepare the sauce
- To prepare your asparagus, firstly wash each spear. Take a single stem in your hand, holding each end of the spear with two fingers. Gently wiggle the spear, and allow the stem to naturally snap, removing the woody base of the asparagus. Repeat for all asparagus spears, and place on a baking tray. Lightly coat the spears in oil, before roasting in an oven preheated to 200℃, for around 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat a tablespoon of vegan butter or olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the shallots and saute until translucent. Toss in the minced garlic, and continue to fry until fragrant and slightly browned.
- Add the remaining butter (or oil) and melt, before adding the peas, and parsley.
- Remove the asparagus from the oven and allow to cool slightly, before chopping into smaller pieces, and adding to the pan with the butter mixture. Add the lemon juice to the mixture, before tasting, and adding salt and pepper as necessary.
- Now all you need to do is add your gnocchi. To cook, take your prepared gnocchi, and add to a pot of generously salted boiling water. Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes, or until all of the gnocchi rise to the surface of the water. Strain and toss in the sauce, allowing to fry for a further couple of minutes, until the gnocchi are a little crisp.
- To serve, sprinkle a touch more parsley, and optionally a dash of nutritional yeast, in lieu of parmesan.
Gnocchi are especially cherished for its powers of sauce-adhesion. They deftly capture hearty vegetable ragú or rustic pesto. In fact, gnocchi pair especially well with the latter - be sure to try your vegan gnocchi with any of our favourite vegan pesto recipes!
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