Gnocchi in a Christmassy shape with a vegan creamy sauce
I’ve been in a gnocchi-phase lately. This is such a delicious comfort food, but not heavy at all!
I was thinking to prepare this dish for my Christmas dinner – which should be mainly vegan to make my sister happy 🙂 – and I had the idea to give my gnocchi a star shape since they’re not exactly the most elegant food. The result made me really satisfied. I didn’t need more time to prepare them but they look so festive!
I had the idea for the sauce while cooking my vegetarian paté with cranberry chutney. Cranberries are so Christmassy and so I decided that they were the perfect match for the mushroom sauce. Not that a simple mushroom sauce would be boring, but you know, Christmas is special and I wanted a special sauce! Plus they have a merry reddish color. What could be better?
And still.. mushrooms and cranberries needed something more indulgent! When I decide not to use cheese my preferred alternatives are seed or nut butter. Usually, almond or hazelnut, because I can get some made in Europe, otherwise in this case cashew would have been a great option too.
Gnocchi Stars with Vegan Creamy Mushroom and Cranberry Sauce
- (star shaped) cookie cutter
- 300 g mealy potatoes (about 0.5 lbs)
- 100 g flour (about 0.2 lbs)
- 200 g champignons, sliced
- 1 dl cranberries (I used dried ones) (1/2 cup)
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- Cook the potatoes either in a pressure pan, in boiling water, in the oven or microwave. (see notes)
- Wait until the potatoes are not too hot, but before they get cold and hard. Peel and mash the potatoes. I don't have a masher so I used this time a garlic press (no, it wasn't fast). If you have a masher, that's the best option. If you don't have one, be creative!
- Add flour (see notes) and salt and knead for 1 -2 minutes until well incorporated. (Don't exceed to prevent the dough to be glutinous and therefore hard).
- Spread the dow with a rolling pin until about 0.5 mm or thicker and shape the gnocchi with a cutter. Add enough flour to prevent sticking. Set aside on a flour-covered surface. Don't wait too long before cooking because they tend to stick if left too much time.
- Heat enough water – gnocchi need space to cook – and boil the gnocchi until they appear to the surface (less than 1 min). Use a skimmer to take them out of the water. Prepare about 10 pieces at a time, depending on the size of your pot: in a crowded pan it is difficult to distinguish the ready gnocchi from the raw ones.
- Set on a bowl and sprinkle a little oil to avoid sticking.
- Heat oil in a pan, add the sliced mushrooms with a bit of water to prevent sticking. Cook and stir until mushrooms are tender.
- Mix the almond butter with 2 or 3 tbsp water until well melted and creamy.
- Add cranberries and almond butter to the mushrooms and stir until you reach the desired consistency. Add more water or almond butter if needed.
- Add the gnocchi to the pan and mix well. You could keep some sauce aside as a topping. Serve and garnish with pepper.
I use the pressure cooker for about 15 min. Anyway the result we want is tender and dryish potatoes. If they get too humid they’ll incorporate more flour and as a consequence, they will be chewy and hard. There’s also no need to add an egg yolk for the same reason. Flour quantity: The ideal proportion is 2/3 potatoes, 1/3 flour. I like to mix a very little bit of whole-grain flour too.