I’ve been eating Italian food for as long as I can remember. Out of everything that I found difficult when I became vegan, Italian food was certainly one of the things that I’ve missed the most. Pizza. Good Italian wood-fired pizza. But now with places like Gigi Pizzeria in Sydney, it’s all possible!
I’ve had so many different types of gnocchi, and I must say that there’s nothing quite like making it from scratch at home. I didn’t think that it would be possible to make it using gluten-free flour, as they all have different consistencies, textures, and flavours. I do use an all-purpose gluten-free flour for most of my dishes that call for it these days and find that it works well every time.
I normally make gnocchi when I have leftover mash but using sweet potato gives it more depth in flavour especially when you bake the potatoes whole first. The secret to a great smooth consistency is to blend it in a food processor. I used to do it by hand, but it turns out much better when blended. If you have children, this is a great dish to get them involved in! You can also use regular plain flour for this recipe; it will work just as well.
I originally posted this recipe with roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh rocket, but as we are going through our archives and based on our goal for the year shared in this post, I felt that this recipe needed a refresh. This sauce is so simple, but the flavours achieved are amazing. It doesn’t take extra time to make it as it’s done during the time when the sweet potatoes are in the oven.
- 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
- 3-4 cups all purpose gluten-free flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1-1 ½ red capsicum depending on the size, diced
- 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes + ½ the can water
- 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
- Salt for seasoning
- Pepper for seasoning
- Small handful of basil, torn (optional)
- Nutritional Yeast to sprinkle (optional)
- Fork the sweet potatoes to let out steam when baking. Place on a baking tray. Turn the oven on 180C (350F) and bake for around 40-50 minutes or until soft enough to mash.
- While the potatoes are baking, get started on the sauce.
- In a saucepan, place the olive oil and onion on low-medium heat. Saute until onion is soft and slightly brown.
- Add in the capsicum and place lid part of the way on the saucepan and cook/saute for about 5-7 minutes.
- Add in the canned tomatoes and fill the can with ½ water and pour that into the saucepan as well.
- Add in the garlic, seasoning, and stir in well, leaving it to simmer until the capsicum is soft for about 10-15 minutes on low heat.
- Once the potatoes are done, let cool enough to be able to peel the potato and place in blender with 3 cups of the flour and season. Blend until smooth. If the consistency of the dough is not sticking together well yet and has a doughy texture, add more flour and blend again.
- Sprinkle some flour on the bench and break a large handful of the dough and roll into a long 2-3cm thick log.
- With a knife, cut the gnocchi into 2cm (bite sized) pieces and set aside to cook. Continue rolling out and cutting the rest of the dough.
- Bring a big pot of water to the boil. Place around 20 pieces in and wait until they float to the top. They should cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute before they are done. Taste one and get a feel for how long each batch will take. (Note: As you are cooking the gnocchi, add a little olive oil to the batch that you have cooked and toss through. This will stop them from sticking to each other or if the sauce is finished, add them to that saucepan as you are going, making sure you drain the excess water.)
- Once you have finished all the gnocchi, if you didn't add them to the sauce as you went along, do so now. Stir well and serve.
- You can sprinkle some nutritional yeast on each serve and some hand torn basil if you wish.
It’s pretty simple right? Try experimenting with adding herbs or spices into the dough mix for some extra flavour. This would have to be one of my favourite Italian dishes. How about you? What Italian dish have you transformed into a vegan dish and is a staple in your home?
Last updated 26/01/2018 from original recipe on 20/03/2015.