I love gnocchi. In fact ‘gnocchi’ was my first word, when I was a baby. I don’t eat it as much anymore since the store-bought gnocchi has heaps of nasty preservatives and usually gnocchi from restaurant are not dairy free. So tonight I decided to make my own. I’m running out of food at the moment, but luckily I had some butternut pumpkin left in the fridge. So I thought I would try using them to make gnocchi. I decided to roast the pumpkin with a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg and bind the dough with a bit of vegan butter and flour. The mixture was very sticky, so I added a truck load of more flour. To form the balls I had to roll them on the board with flour, so that the mixture wouldn’t stick to my hands. Other then being a bit sticky they were really easy to make. I just served them with a simply olive oil, herb and mushroom sauce, so that the pumpkin would be the star of the dish.
Tonight I also made some Cinnamon and Cumin Spiced Pumpkin seeds. The last two batches I have made got severely burned. Luckily tonight I didn’t forget them in the oven and they were a success. I only found out last year that I can cook pumpkin seeds. I use to always throw them out. They are so delicious and healthy and a great snack when you are waiting for dinner.
Lastly, I made my first vegan gelato. I read a while back about making gelato with frozen bananas, but I never got around to it. Luckily last week mum had a whole heap of bananas, which were going brown and I remembered to put them away in the freezer. I was a bit skeptical that frozen bananas could be turned into gelato. However, I was pleasantly surprise. I can’t believe how much it tasted like real gelato. After living in Italy for 5 months and eating gelato just about every day, I certainly know what it taste like. This recipe gives the same texture of gelato, which is like a custard that is cold but not quite frozen. So if you haven’t tried this I really recommend it. Now all I can think about is all the new flavours I’m going to try to recreate.
Butternut Pumpkin Gnocchi (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)
800 g butternut pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons vegan butter
2 cup unbleached plain flour (use gluten free flour if you prefer)
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup dry shitake mushrooms (pre-soaked for 15 mintues)
handful of herbs (I used sage, tarragon and thyme)
sea salt to taste
Chopped pumpkin, before roasting
1. Preheat the oven 200 degrees.
2. Chop butternut pumpkin into thin slices and place on a tray with baking paper.
3. Add olive oil and sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. Cover the baking tray with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for 30 mins or until pumpkin is soft.
4. Wait until pumpkin stops steaming (I put mine in the fridge for 10 mins) then put into the processor with 1 cup of flour and vegan butter. Blend until all the ingredients are combined into a dough.
5. On a floury board, add more flour to dough so that it is not too sticky. Then form small balls and place on baking paper. Press a fork on the top of the balls so that they form an oval.
6. In boiling salted water cook gnocchi for 3 mins or until they are floating on the top of the water. Then strain and put to the side (rinse with cold water to stop them cooking).
7. In a large pan heat olive oil and add garlic, mushrooms and herbs. Cook until garlic is browned and herbs are crispy.
8. Add the gnocchi to the pan, add salt and cook till heated through, then serve.
* Serves 4-5. If you have extra gnocchi, don’t cook it. Just put it in a tray and place in the freezer for 10-15 mins. Then put gnocchi into a freezer bag.
Cinnamon & Cumin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
sea salt to taste
1. Rinse and clean pumpkin seeds.
2. Take a tray with baking paper. Add pumpkin seeds, olive oil, cinnamon, cumin and sea salt.
3. Cook in oven at 200 degrees for 4-5mins or until golden brown. (Careful not to burn!)
Banana Gelato (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free, nut free)
3 frozen bananas
1 can coconut cream
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1. Roughly chop up the banana and place into the processor
2. Spoon out the cream from the coconut cream (discard the water) and place into the processor.
3. Turn on processor and while it is mixing add the maple syrup.
4. Serve once all the banana has been blended and eat immediately!