Gnocchi Alla Salsa Rosa

Who doesn’t love gnocchi? Soft, plump, pillowy dumplings that hold a sauce well. Simple and nutritious, gnocchi is beloved peasant food that has delighted bellies since Roman times. 

Traditionally made simply with yellow potatoes, a bit of flour, and (optionally) a wee pinch of salt, gnocchi are so satisfying and infinitely versatile. You can adorn them with any manner of sauces, but to dress them up for the holidays, you can’t beat a creamy tomato sauce (dairy- and nut-free), accented with a drizzle of a fragrant herby purée for its color, flavor, and nutritional kick.

Classically boiled and sauced like pasta, gnocchi are also sublime tossed at the last minute into a soup or even sauced and baked like lasagna.

  • Total Time: 2 hours 35 min
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

For the Salsa Rosa

1 (26-ounce) box Pomì or bottle of passata or can of crushed or strained tomatoes 

1 medium onion, diced small 

3 cloves garlic, minced

No-sodium veggie broth or water to deglaze the pan

2 Tablespoons arrowroot

¾ cup unsweetened almond milk or other low-fat plant milk

For the Herb Purée

3 packed cups mix of tender leafy greens or herbs (e.g., basil for fragrance, arugula or watercress if you like a peppery bite, spinach, tatsoi)

1 head garlic, roasted and peeled

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Sea salt to taste (omit if sodium-free)

2/3-3/4 cup water

For the Gnocchi

2.2 pounds (1 kilo) waxy yellow potatoes, e.g., Yukon gold or yellow Finn

For traditional gnocchi: 300g (about 2 cups) white whole-wheat flour 

For gluten-free gnocchi: 150g (about 11/3 cups) chickpea flour plus 150g (about 11/8 cups) tapioca flour

1 pinch sea salt (optional)

Directions

To Make the Salsa Rosa 

  1. Heat a stainless saucepan over medium flame for 2 minutes. 
  2. Add onions, stir occasionally, lower flame, and let sweat for 5 minutes. 
  3. Deglaze with a teaspoon or two of broth or water when it begins to adhere to pan. 
  4. Pour in tomatoes, stir, and cook for 20 minutes at a low simmer. 
  5. Place arrowroot in a small bowl and create a roux by adding just enough plant milk for a soft, lump-free paste. 
  6. Add roux to saucepan with salsa rosa. Whisk for 5 minutes or until the roux thickens the sauce. If it becomes too dense to coat gnocchi lightly, thin with a little more plant milk. 
  7. Set aside as you prepare your gnocchi, or make ahead and refrigerate for up to 5 days. The sauce will thin on reheating; if need be, add more roux, cooking and whisking until it thickens to your desired consistency. 

To Make the Herb Purée 

  1. To roast garlic, peel off papery exterior layers and roast at 375°F/190°C for 30 minutes. 
  2. Separate the cloves and peel. 
  3. Combine greens, nutritional yeast, and garlic with 2/3 cup water in a high-speed blender or food processor. Run until smooth and uniform. Add 1 spoonful more water if needed, but only enough to process. 
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Transfer to a bowl or squeeze bottle. 

To Make the Gnocchi 

  1. Place unpeeled potatoes in a pot covered with cold water. 
  2. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook until a fork can penetrate (30-40 minutes, depending on potato size). Don’t overcook, or they will be waterlogged. 
  3. Drain and immediately rice potatoes (with the peel on) onto a large cutting board. 
  4. While potatoes are still steaming, incorporate flour(s) and salt, if using, with a fork and as soon as possible with your hands, until all the flour(s) have been incorporated to form a dough. 
  5. Knead dough for 3-4 minutes or until homogenous and smooth. 
  6. With a rolling pin, flatten dough into a rectangle ¾ inch (2 cm) high. Slice in ¾ inch (2 cm) strips. Roll strips out into snakes. Cut into dumplings ¾ inch (2 cm) in length. 
  7. These are gnocchi in their most rustic garb. To form their classic ridges, which capture and hold sauce best, roll each over a grooved gnocchi board or a reeded gnocchi basket, or even over the back tines of a fork. 
  8. Cook immediately or freeze for later use. 

To Cook the Gnocchi 

  1. Boil an abundant pot of water, salted to taste, add gnocchi all at once, and stir once, gently. 
  2. Once pot returns to a boil, gnocchi will begin to rise to the surface. Cook for an additional 3 minutes, skimming off foam as it accumulates, and test for doneness. 
  3. When done, drain with a slotted spoon and coat with your salsa rosa. 
  4. For a lovely presentation, ladle additional sauce on the plate and top with the dressed gnocchi. 
  5. Garnish with a drizzle of your herb purée, serve immediately, and watch everyone’s face light up with their first bite! 

Note

TOOLS OF THE TRADE 

While not essential, these kitchen tools will help you create superior gnocchi: 

  • Digital kitchen scale 
  • Potato ricer 
  • Bench scraper 
  • Gnocchi board 
  • Rolling pin or large dowel 
  • Squeeze bottle for the herb purée

ABOUT THE CHEF

Cathy

Cathy Katin-Grazzini, Food Editor and feature writer at VEGWORLD Magazine, is a plant-based chef, nutritional coach, cooking instructor, and owner of Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC. Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell, Cathy is also a graduate of Rouxbe Cooking School’s Professional Plant-Based Program. She has a BA from the University of Chicago, attended graduate school at Harvard University, and received a MA from Johns Hopkins University. 

Cathy lives with her husband Giordano in Ridgefield, CT. When she’s not inventing and fermenting, she loves to run, hike, and adventure travel atop their trusty Ducati . Cathy’s original recipes, cooking videos, and nutritional blog can be found at https://www.cathyskitchenprescription.com/ http://www.instagram.com/cathyskitchenprescription https://www.facebook.com/cathyskitchenprescription 

  • Total Time: 2 hours 35 min
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Ingredients:

    For the Salsa Rosa

    1 (26-ounce) box Pomì or bottle of passata or can of crushed or strained tomatoes 

    1 medium onion, diced small 

    3 cloves garlic, minced

    No-sodium veggie broth or water to deglaze the pan

    2 Tablespoons arrowroot

    ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk or other low-fat plant milk

    For the Herb Purée

    3 packed cups mix of tender leafy greens or herbs (e.g., basil for fragrance, arugula or watercress if you like a peppery bite, spinach, tatsoi)

    1 head garlic, roasted and peeled

    1/3 cup nutritional yeast

    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    Sea salt to taste (omit if sodium-free)

    2/3-3/4 cup water

    For the Gnocchi

    2.2 pounds (1 kilo) waxy yellow potatoes, e.g., Yukon gold or yellow Finn

    For traditional gnocchi: 300g (about 2 cups) white whole-wheat flour 

    For gluten-free gnocchi: 150g (about 11/3 cups) chickpea flour plus 150g (about 11/8 cups) tapioca flour

    1 pinch sea salt (optional)

  • Directions:

    To Make the Salsa Rosa 

    1. Heat a stainless saucepan over medium flame for 2 minutes. 
    2. Add onions, stir occasionally, lower flame, and let sweat for 5 minutes. 
    3. Deglaze with a teaspoon or two of broth or water when it begins to adhere to pan. 
    4. Pour in tomatoes, stir, and cook for 20 minutes at a low simmer. 
    5. Place arrowroot in a small bowl and create a roux by adding just enough plant milk for a soft, lump-free paste. 
    6. Add roux to saucepan with salsa rosa. Whisk for 5 minutes or until the roux thickens the sauce. If it becomes too dense to coat gnocchi lightly, thin with a little more plant milk. 
    7. Set aside as you prepare your gnocchi, or make ahead and refrigerate for up to 5 days. The sauce will thin on reheating; if need be, add more roux, cooking and whisking until it thickens to your desired consistency. 

    To Make the Herb Purée 

    1. To roast garlic, peel off papery exterior layers and roast at 375°F/190°C for 30 minutes. 
    2. Separate the cloves and peel. 
    3. Combine greens, nutritional yeast, and garlic with 2/3 cup water in a high-speed blender or food processor. Run until smooth and uniform. Add 1 spoonful more water if needed, but only enough to process. 
    4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
    5. Transfer to a bowl or squeeze bottle. 

    To Make the Gnocchi 

    1. Place unpeeled potatoes in a pot covered with cold water. 
    2. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook until a fork can penetrate (30-40 minutes, depending on potato size). Don’t overcook, or they will be waterlogged. 
    3. Drain and immediately rice potatoes (with the peel on) onto a large cutting board. 
    4. While potatoes are still steaming, incorporate flour(s) and salt, if using, with a fork and as soon as possible with your hands, until all the flour(s) have been incorporated to form a dough. 
    5. Knead dough for 3-4 minutes or until homogenous and smooth. 
    6. With a rolling pin, flatten dough into a rectangle ¾ inch (2 cm) high. Slice in ¾ inch (2 cm) strips. Roll strips out into snakes. Cut into dumplings ¾ inch (2 cm) in length. 
    7. These are gnocchi in their most rustic garb. To form their classic ridges, which capture and hold sauce best, roll each over a grooved gnocchi board or a reeded gnocchi basket, or even over the back tines of a fork. 
    8. Cook immediately or freeze for later use. 

    To Cook the Gnocchi 

    1. Boil an abundant pot of water, salted to taste, add gnocchi all at once, and stir once, gently. 
    2. Once pot returns to a boil, gnocchi will begin to rise to the surface. Cook for an additional 3 minutes, skimming off foam as it accumulates, and test for doneness. 
    3. When done, drain with a slotted spoon and coat with your salsa rosa. 
    4. For a lovely presentation, ladle additional sauce on the plate and top with the dressed gnocchi. 
    5. Garnish with a drizzle of your herb purée, serve immediately, and watch everyone’s face light up with their first bite! 
  • Note:

    TOOLS OF THE TRADE 

    While not essential, these kitchen tools will help you create superior gnocchi: 

    • Digital kitchen scale 
    • Potato ricer 
    • Bench scraper 
    • Gnocchi board 
    • Rolling pin or large dowel 
    • Squeeze bottle for the herb purée

    ABOUT THE CHEF

    Cathy

    Cathy Katin-Grazzini, Food Editor and feature writer at VEGWORLD Magazine, is a plant-based chef, nutritional coach, cooking instructor, and owner of Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC. Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell, Cathy is also a graduate of Rouxbe Cooking School’s Professional Plant-Based Program. She has a BA from the University of Chicago, attended graduate school at Harvard University, and received a MA from Johns Hopkins University. 

    Cathy lives with her husband Giordano in Ridgefield, CT. When she’s not inventing and fermenting, she loves to run, hike, and adventure travel atop their trusty Ducati . Cathy’s original recipes, cooking videos, and nutritional blog can be found at https://www.cathyskitchenprescription.com/ http://www.instagram.com/cathyskitchenprescription https://www.facebook.com/cathyskitchenprescription 

  • Credit:

    Who doesn’t love gnocchi? Soft, plump, pillowy dumplings that hold a sauce well. Simple and nutritious, gnocchi is beloved peasant food that has delighted bellies since Roman times. 

    Traditionally made simply with yellow potatoes, a bit of flour, and (optionally) a wee pinch of salt, gnocchi are so satisfying and infinitely versatile. You can adorn them with any manner of sauces, but to dress them up for the holidays, you can’t beat a creamy tomato sauce (dairy- and nut-free), accented with a drizzle of a fragrant herby purée for its color, flavor, and nutritional kick.

    Classically boiled and sauced like pasta, gnocchi are also sublime tossed at the last minute into a soup or even sauced and baked like lasagna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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