Thursday, February 17, 2011
Gnocchi with a veganised pasta sauce
A couple of weeks ago when I blogged about home-made cannelloni, I realised later that I had told a fib. It wasn't an intentional lie but I mentioned that I hadn't attempted home-made pasta before which wasn't true at all! Gnocchi is the one type of pasta I have had past experience with making and as it has been a while since my last batch, it was on the menu tonight.
When I looked up the old recipe that had always worked for me in the past, I was delighted to find it was already vegan. On previous occasions when I had gone to the trouble of making gnocchi from scratch, I would normally serve it with a basic napoli sauce loaded with fresh basil. Other times when I would purchase ready-made gnocchi, there was a sauce that I made up which we all used to love. There was one slight problem with this now, it's not vegan as it used to be made with cream and parmesan cheese so I decided it was time to have a go at veganising it and making it taste as close to the vegetarian equivalent as possible.
I had some thoughts on how to achieve this and apart from playing with the quantities of certain ingredients, it all went according to plan. The result was delicious, the gnocchi was just as soft and perfect as always and the sauce turned out tasting almost identical to my previous concoction. It was quite a rich and very filling dinner which will definitely be repeated in the future.
Creamy pesto pasta sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 spring onions, sliced
2 cloves crushed garlic
8 mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons vegan pesto (home-made is best)
4 tablespoons tofutti cream cheese
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 cup soy milk (add more for a thinner sauce)
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained of excess oil
100g baby spinach leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the spring onions and cook for a couple of minutes or until starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Mix the mushrooms though and cook until softened and their juices are released. Continue to cook until most of the mushroom juices have evaporated.
Add the vegan pesto, tofutti cream cheese, nutritional yeast flakes, soy milk and sun-dried tomates and stir for a couple of minutes until heated through.
Stir through the baby spinach leaves until just wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.