Is Gnocchi Pasta or Potato?
When I first met gnocchi, I thought to myself, how do they get this pasta into these clever little cylinders?
I was a server at a restaurant, and was accustomed to stuffing my face as quickly as possible with whatever the kitchen claimed to be “face free” before my next table arrived.
After doing some research (admittedly about 3 years later), I was mind blown to this scrumptious entree was in fact- created with a potato.
Today we’ll learn about:
- Getting vegan gnocchi the right texture
- Variations in cooking style
- Common mistakes when making gnocchi
- How to actually use it in a meal!
Gnocchi is technically just a dumpling with a big personality. Especially when created from sweet potatoes!
I’m here to help gnocchi show its true colors.
What Potatoes Are Best for Gnocchi?
All potatoes are not created equal. However, we’ll find that most potatoes can be used for gnocchi by just modifying the recipe slightly. Each variation of potato will give gnocchi a distinct flavor.
Starchy potatoes are generally a little more starchy and can hold the shape of gnocchi well. These generally include
- Yukon gold
- Sweet potatoes
- Idaho varieties. ‘
They are low in moisture so they make for great classic gnocchi.
Waxy potatoes generally are less starchy, and may not hold together in gnocchi as well. They are generally
- fingerling potatoes
- red potatoes
- new potatoes
Waxy potatoes aren’t really ideal for making vegan gnocchi.
For this recipe I have used sweet potatoes, as I wanted to try for a kick of sweet on my plate (perhaps to blend later with a bit of spice? Hmm!).
From a nutrition standpoint, sweet potato is a higher calorie and carbohydrate choice than russet potatoes.
When it comes to nutrition of potatoes, each has their own value. I recommend going with whatever your taste buds choose, rather than trying to find the “best” nutritional fit. There really isn’t one.
What Do You Eat Gnocchi With?
There are many great ways to enjoy this vegan sweet potato gnocchi! Here are just a few of my favorite options:
- Vegan Pesto
- Nooch Sauce
- Tomato Sauce & Basil
- Mushroom Cream Sauce
- Pumpkin & Sage
The Main Mystery- Is Gnocchi a Side Dish or Main Dish?
Gnocchi can be used as a main dish or a side (I love when there’s not rule with food!).
When used as a side dish, its a good alternative to starches such as potato, rice, or pasta.
If used as a main dish, One may consider a white bean side dish, walnuts, or a cashew sauce to add in additional protein.
What Vegetables Go Well With Gnocchi?
Great veggies with gnocchi include:
- Braised kale
- Garlic mushrooms
- Roasted Asparagus
- Roasted tomato or sun-dried tomato
- Roasted Green Beans with Garlic
Does Gnocchi Have Gluten?
Most recipes for gnocchi (including this one) will call for flour which contains gluten.
However, you can substitute out the flour in the recipe for white rice flour and sweet rice flour (in equal parts) to create gnocchi.
Potatoes that don’t use flour or use gluten free flour should be baked, not boiled. Boiled potatoes may require more gluten free flour which alters the taste and texture.
Are Gnocchi Vegan?
Many Gnocchi recipes contain eggs as a binder. However, it’s easy enough to create an egg substitute using a “flax egg” as I have done in this recipe.
Using a flax egg in place of a regular egg does not alter the taste and texture of the gnocchi.
How Long is Gnocchi Good in the Fridge?
Cooked gnocchi can be refrigerated for about 2 days. It can be frozen for up to 1 month.
When you want to reheat your gnocchi, just dip in boiling water for about 60 seconds.
What can you do with leftover gnocchi you might ask? Here’s some suggestions:
- Breakfast scrambles
- Breakfast Wraps
What Are Some Alternatives To Boiling Gnocchi?
Gnocchi can be boiled, baked or Sautéed.
I choose boiling for this method as it seemed the fastest and easiest route.
Why are my Gnocchi Gummy?
There could be a few reasons for this. If you are boiling potatoes instead of baking, water can seep into the potatoes causing them to retain water.
The type of potato used can also make a difference as well as if you’re using a flour alternative. Go for a starchy potato using flour if possible. Or adjust the recipe accordingly (adding additional flour or mixing flours) if using a gluten free flour.
You also don’t want to overwork the dough or it might become gummy.
If you overcook the sweet potato gnocchi it will be mushy.
What's Your Favorite Way to Make a Great Gnocchi Dish?
I absolutely love this dish! I love to add a little spicy sauce to mine as well (because I basically love everything spicy!)
The desire for a spicy finish sauce is one reason that I choose to create gnocchi using sweet potatoes instead of russet. I wanted a nice contrast.
What are some of your favorite ways to create gnocchi? I’d love some new ideas! Please share them in the comments below!
Vegan Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- medium saucepan
- 1 whole sweet potato cooked and peeled
- 2½ cups flour
- 1 tbsp ground flax
- 2.5 tbsp water
- Cook potato at 400°F for 1 hour. Remove from heat and peel skin
- Mash potato in mixing bowl. Slowly add 2 cups of the flour about 1/4 portion at a time. Mix together with mashed potato (I knead with my hands here). Do not overwork the dough or it will become gummy!
- Wrap dough of ball in plastic. Let sit for about 15 minutes.
- Cut dough ball into 4 equal pieces
- Roll pieces into snakes on floured surface. Cut individual gnocchi pieces about 1 inch each.
- Dip each cut vegan gnocchi end in flour.
- You can roll down the edge of a fork or score with fork on each piece to make it easier for sauces to stick if you choose. This is not necessary.
- Add to a medium sized pot of boiling water. Cook for 2-3 minutes- just until gnocchi begins to float.
- Serve and enjoy with your favorite sauce or seasoning.