Gnocchi with creamy alfredo sauce
Welcome to the new year. It is hard to believe it is 2016 already. My dad used to tell me when I was younger that "time goes faster and faster the older you get". Well, I am really starting to believe it. It seems like we just get started and it's over.
I decided that I would start something new on my blog. I have well over 100 recipes on here, and so I am going to start slowing down just a bit. I am going to start posting one recipe every Sunday. It will be a recipe that requires a little more time. A recipe that would be great for a Sunday dinner, or a special occasion. Maybe just a day that you have a little more time.
On this way of eating, we all have busy lives, and so we want to cook fast and easy. Sometimes that is a baked potato and mustard, or maybe rice and beans. All good choices, fast and easy during the week is perfect. But we can sometimes slow down on the weekend. I know that Sunday's are my first day of work, so Saturday is my prep day, and the day I can take a little more time.
This recipe is great for that kind of meal. It makes a whole bunch, so you will have leftovers, and that is a plus, and if you have a big family, well, they will be fed well. The recipe is pretty simple, and I have included a lot of pictures to walk you through it.
I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as I did. My kids and wife like it too, and that is a great thing.
I want to apologize ahead of time, I have not tried this with whole wheat flour or gluten free. If you try it though, please let me know, and I will update the recipe giving you full credit. :)
For the gnocchi
2 large russet potatoes, boiled, baked or steamed, and peeled. (do this before you start the recipe)
2 cups + 2 tablespoons for dusting, unbleached flour
1/2-1 tsp. salt (optional)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
For the alfredo sauce
12 oz. frozen or fresh cauliflower
1 cup water
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper (optional)
1 tsp. corn starch
1/2 cup unflavored plant milk
1/4 cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas or any light color bean)
Lets make the sauce first. It can sit to the side until ready for use.
In a medium saucepan, combine the cauliflower, garlic (leave whole) and water. Set on the stove and bring to a boil.
When it boils, cover and reduce heat to medium high. Let boil/steam for 10 minutes or until very tender.
When it is nice and soft, drain and let sit for a few minutes to let all the moisture steam off.
While that is sitting, add the rest of the ingredients into a blender. (milk, aquafaba, spices, nutritional yeast)
Then add the cauliflower and garlic. Blend on high for 1 minute, or until very smooth.
You can just leave in the blender at this point and put to the side.
Lets make some gnocchi to put this sauce on.
Hopefully you have already cooked your potatoes and skinned them. :) If not, you'll need to do that.
If you have a potato ricer (and if you do, you'll know what that is) use it to mash your potatoes into a large bowl. If not, you can use the back of a fork to mash them down until they are smooth.
Then, add your 2 cups flour, salt and baking powder.
With the back of a spatula, or even your hands, start to cut the flour into the potato. I do this until it is the size of a small pea. Then, with your hands, gently start to knead the mix until it forms a ball. Try your best not to compress the dough too much, but you want it to stick together. When you have the ball of dough nice and firm, set aside and let sit for 5 minutes.
Then, turn the sliced pieces on their sides.
Now, let them sit for about 10 minutes, uncovered.
While they are sitting, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. When it comes to a boil, add a little salt to flavor the water and reduce the heat to medium high, so it is not a hard boil.
Add the gnocchi gently to the water. It will stop the boil, but just keep adding. I was able to boil the whole amount, but I had a big pot. You can do this in two batches though.
When you put the last gnocchi in, and the water has started to boil again, set your timer for 3 minutes.
When 3 minutes is up, remove the gnocchi from the water with a slotted spoon and into a colander. Let drain for about a minute.
Now, you get to finally add some sauce!
So, in a large saute pan, over medium heat, add the alfredo sauce. Heat up until hot.
Add the drained gnocchi to the sauce, and gently stir around. Heat through for about a minute or two.
Some variations for this recipe:
Grilled mushrooms, added the same time as the gnocchi to the sauce.
Marinara sauce with white beans. This was super good too.
You can freeze the gnocchi, just place them on the cookie sheet as above, but instead of boiling, put cookie sheet in freezer for about an hour. Then take the frozen gnocchi and put into zip bags and then boil at another date.
If you do them from frozen, increase the cooking time to 5 minutes. :)
I hope you give this a try and enjoy it as much as my family and I did. A little labor, but well worth the effort.