Little fluffy pillows with the addition of homemade Vegan ricotta...
Gnocchi is one of those things that can seem intimidating to make yourself. This is an easy recipe that's just a little more interesting than it's regular potato sibling because of the addition of the extra ingredients. The ricotta is from the recipe below this one on the blog, ricotta.html but without any of the extra additions - so just the soy milk, apple cider vinegar processed as per the recipe and then strained. To prepare the butternut squash and potato elements, cut up roughly half a butternut squash into large chunks (leave the skin on), lay on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Add a couple of whole medium sized potatoes to the tray and roast at 180C until the potatoes and squash are tender. Once cool, remove the squash and potato skins to just leave the flesh. This recipe uses roughly a cup of each, either passed through a potato ricer or mashed well until very smooth.
1 cup mashed potato
1 cup mashed butternut squash
1/2 cup ricotta
Self raising flour (I use gluten free as it makes a lighter gnocchi)
Zest of one lemon
Salt and Pepper
Place your potato, squash, ricotta and lemon zest into a large bowl and mix well to combine. Season really well with salt and pepper and give it a taste. Add more salt if you feel it needs it. The flavour will be knocked back a little when you add the flour. Add your flour half a cup at a time and gently mix to incorporate it into the squash and potato mix. I use my hands for this part as you can gauge the texture better. You're looking for a dough that when pressed, leaves an indent, but isn't sticky. Use as much flour you feel you need to, as the wetness of the squash and potato mix can vary greatly. Set aside to rest for a while.
Flour your work surface and take roughly a third of your dough and gently roll it backwards and forwards with the palms of your hands on the floured surface until you achieve a long even sausage shape. Use a sharp knife to cut even sized pieces from the dough. Place onto a floured plate or board.
Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil. Gently drop in your gnocchi in batches of about 10. Keep the water boiling and as soon as the gnocchi rise to the surface, they are done. Use a slotted spoon to lift them out of the water and press the spoon onto a few sheets of kitchen paper to drain any excess water off before transferring to a plate or similar. Repeat with the rest of the gnocchi.
You can now serve these as they are or, as I like to do, pan fry them in a little Vegan butter to achieve a lovely colour and a crispy outer. They are great with a rich tomato sauce, a pesto or just simply with some sage butter.