Yam Gnocchi with Basil Pesto & Mushrooms (vegan + gf)

Yam Gnocchi with Basil Pesto & Mushrooms (vegan + gf)

I love love love Italian flavours. Always have done. I had gnocchi for the first time a couple of years ago (I know, I can’t believe it either) and it was the most delicious food I’d ever had. In a light garlic basil oil with sundried tomatoes, it tasted like heaven. Then and there I decided that I would somehow recreate it for myself, although I had no idea how it was made or what I had to do to make it gluten-free.

I’m really pleased with this recipe for yam gnocchi, not least because it is both gluten-free and vegan (hooray), but because it’s a delicious flavour pairing. I intended to serve the gnocchi with pesto alone and was making the balsamic mushrooms for another dish, then accidentally tried them in the same mouthful. I think you’ll agree the combination is perfect – the balsamic sweetness offsets the savoury pesto delicately and creates a beautifully rounded flavour.

Note: this yam gnocchi, due to its gluten-free and vegan nature is a little more delicate than the usual variety. When it cooks it may not look at though it has ‘set’ like regular gnocchi. Allow the pieces to drain for a moment and this will help them firm up. (Also, once you cover them in pesto you won’t care!)

  • Ingredients (serves 2-3)

    Gnocchi 

    • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
    • 1 medium yam, peeled and diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • ¾ cup brown rice flour

     

    Pesto

    • 1 large bunch basil
    • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
    • 3 tbsp cashews
    • Salt and pepper to taste

     

    Balsamic Mushrooms

    • 1½ cups small brown mushrooms, diced
    • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • Salt and pepper to taste

     

    To Serve

    • Mixed baby leaves
    • 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • Method (approx. 60 minutes)

    Prepare the gnocchi. Boil the potato and yam together in a saucepan of water for 15 minutes until soft. Drain and mash until smooth, adding the garlic, salt and pepper, then add the flour, kneading into a dough. (It’s tempting to add less flour as the mixture can look a little dry – don’t do it!) Roll the dough into two sausages about 3cm wide and cut each into 1.5cm slices. Gently press a fork into one surface of each piece, flattening them slightly as you do so. Set aside on a tray.

    For the pesto, pulse all ingredients except half the olive oil in a blender to form a loose mixture. Gently stir in the rest of the oil until almost combined. Set aside.

    Heat the mushrooms with the vinegar, salt and pepper in a pan until bubbling gently. Cook on low for 15-20 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and the vinegar no longer tastes acidic. Set aside.

    Add the gnocchi to a large pan of boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes, until they float to the surface. Remove from the heat and drain.

     

    Serve the gnocchi over a bed of baby leaves. Add the balsamic mushrooms and drizzle pesto over the plate. Finally, sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top and enjoy.

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