This is quite an elegant dish. Making gnocchi from scratch is both fun and easy, there is something so lovely about rolling the dough and making different shapes for your gnocchi! Gnocchi can often be heavy and a little doughy but here we fry the gnocchi after boiling to give a lovely crispy exterior that almost gives the gnocchi a savoury lemon infused pancake note! This is well worth making - it makes an extremely satisfying lunch or dinner
For the gnocchi
500g sweet potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
250g plain white flour ideally 00 or extra fine flour
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds and 3 tbsp water)
1 sprig of thyme or herb of choice, leaves only
1/2 tsp Sea salt
zest of 1 lemon
flour for dusting
4 tbsp oil
4 tbsp olive oil,
4 tbsp white flour,
400ml soy/oat milk
1/2 tsp salt
½ tbsp Dijon mustard
½ lemon zested and juiced
1 red chilli
150g Tenderstem broccoli/ purple brocolli or normal broccoli
2 tbsp oil
100g frozen peas
toasted pine nuts to serve
Chop the broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Finely chop the red chilli and leave to one side
In a large pot fill with boiling water. Boil the sweet potatoes with their skin on.
Defrost the peas by pouring boiling water on top of them in a bowl, ensuring the peas are covered. leave them to defrost and once defrosted, drain the water so they’re ready to go.
make your flax egg in a cup by adding the ground flax to the water and leave to sit for 5 mins.
Time to make the béchamel while the sweet potato are boiling.
In a frying pan add the 4 tbsp oil and sieve in the 4 tbsp flour and using a whisk bring together to create a roux. Cook for 30 seconds stirring continuously to cook the flour. Next add the soy/oat milk and the salt, dijon mustard and lemon zest and juice and bring to the boil while stirring continuously until the sauce starts to thicken but is still reasonably runny like pouring cream. Taste and adjust seasoning if required.
Turn off the heat and pour into another bowl until needed.
when the sweet potatoes are 3/4 way cooked add the broccoli to the pot and leave it to boil for 3-4 mins while the sweet potatoes are finishing.
Once cooked drain and separate the sweet potatoes and broccoli into separate bowls. Put the broccoli to soak in cold water to stop it cooking further.
In a large bowl remove the skin of the sweet potato and mash gently using a potato masher.
Add the thyme or herb of choice
salt and pepper, zest in the lemon and add the olive oil
sieve in the flour.
Add the flax egg and mix well.
Dust your hands and work surface and knead the dough for 30-60 seconds until it comes together, but be careful not to over work it otherwise they will end up tight and heavy.
Cut the dough into quarters.
Dust the work surface and roll out one quarter of the dough into a long sausage of approx 1 inch in diameter and cut into bite sized pieces.
shape the gnocchi into whatever shape you like such as roll into even sized balls in your hands, roll with a fork to give a different effect or press with your thumb to give them a pillow like effect. Our preference is to roll into balls and then flatten in the centre with a dusted thumbs to create circular pillows.
Fill a pot with boiling water and once boiling add the gnocchi and move the pan gently forwards and backwards to stop the gnocchi sticking. Cook until the gnocchi start to come to the top and float
Using a slotted spot remove the cooked floating gnocchi to a bowl.
In a large frying pan add 2 tbsp of oil and add half of them to the frying pan. Cook till lightly brown on one side then turn and cook till lightly brown on the other side. This adds more flavour and a nice crispy edge.
In the same frying pan add 1/2 the chilli, 1/2 the cooked broccoli, 1/2 the defrosted peas, 1/2 the béchamel sauce and ½ the cooked gnocchi. Heat up and bring together until warm - adjust seasoning if required.
Serve with some thyme and some toasted pine nuts
Cook the remain ingredients as per above and enjoy