This vegan pumpkin gnocchi is easy to make with just a few simple ingredients. Served with a garlicky zucchini-red pepper sauce and fresh basil sprinkled on top, this colourful dish is a prime example of how simple is best!
If you’ve never made vegan gnocchi before, you might be feeling a bit intimidated – I know I was! For whatever reason gnocchi has a reputation for being tricky to make and easy to screw up. But I feel that reputation is undeserved.
It’s not that gnocchi is difficult to make, but you will need to use your best judgement when making this vegan pumpkin gnocchi recipe. There are just two primary ingredients: pumpkin and flour, but the ratio of one to the other will depend on your specific pumpkin.
The trick to getting soft gnocchi is to add just enough flour to hold the pumpkin together and work the dough into the proper gnocchi shape. The more you flour you add, the tougher your gnocchi will be. But every pumpkin is different with a different water content, so when to stop adding flour is when your best judgement comes in.
A couple of tricks I’ve learned to keep get the perfect vegan pumpkin gnocchi start with how you cook the pumpkin. Rather than boiling or steaming it, I prefer to cook it in the microwave. This is to prevent adding any extra water to it and, therefore, less flour will be necessary. You could roast it too but it takes just 10 minutes in the microwave rather than 45 in the oven!
Secondly, I like to bring a pot of water to the boil while I’m still combining the dough. That way I can make single gnocco to drop into the water and see how it cooks. When I’m happy with the texture of the test gnocco, I stop adding flour and carry on with rolling and cutting the rest of the gnocchi!
I’m just going to warn you now that vegan pumpkin gnocchi doesn’t give you a big bang of pumpkin flavour, just like potato gnocchi doesn’t taste of potato. Pumpkin gnocchi is sweeter than potato gnocchi but, as with traditional gnocchi, most of the flavour comes from the sauce.
The sauce I made to go with this vegan pumpkin gnocchi is super simple but really flavourful. Sautéed zucchini and red pepper in olive oil with a clove of grated garlic and a sprinkle of fresh basil over top. Simply toss your cooked gnocchi into the veggies and add a few splashes of the cooking water to make a beautiful sauce. Easy and delicious!
More seasonal recipes:
Vegan Pumpkin Gnocchi
- 1 small pumpkin or squash I used a kabocha squash that weighed just under a kilo (2.2 lbs and gave me 500 grams (1.1 lbs) of puree after it was cooked) - $1.16
- 1 teaspoon sea salt plus a few sprinkles for the water and the veggies - $0.06
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) nutritional yeast - $0.15
- 2 cups (256 grams) flour as needed plus more for sprinkling - $0.18
- 1 tablespoon olive oil - $0.05
- 1 large zucchini diced - $0.45
- 1 large red pepper diced - $0.56
- 1 large clove of garlic - $0.08
- A small bunch of basil - $0.75
- Pepper to taste - $0.03
- Slice the pumpkin or squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place it cut side down on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high at 5 minute intervals until it can be easily pierced with a fork. Mine took 10 minutes. Remove and let cool until you can handle it then scoop the flesh out of the skin into a bowl. Let it cool till it stops steaming but is still warm to the touch.
- Bring a pot of water to boil with a generous pinch of salt.
- To the pumpkin add 1 teaspoon of salt, the nutritional yeast and a cup and a quarter of the flour (160 grams). Stir together. Add more flour, a quarter cup (32 grams) at a time until you get a soft dough that you can roll into a rope. You can test the dough as you add the flour by tearing off a bit of dough and boiling it to check the consistency. Personally, I like my dough to still be a bit sticky in order to get softer gnocchi rather than add too much flour and get tough ones, but it’s up to you how much flour you want to add.
- Once your happy with the consistency, roll the dough into ropes and cut it into pieces. I usually don’t bother making ridges in them with a fork but you can if you want to. Keep them under a towel until you finish rolling out and cutting all the dough. Drop them into the boiling water and give them 2 – 3 more minutes after they float to cook all the way through then drain them, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking water.
- For the sauce heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil, zucchini and red pepper. Sautee for a few minutes until softened then add the grated garlic and a sprinkle of salt and fry, while stirring, for another 30 seconds or so. Add the gnocchi and a few splashes of the cooking water.
- Serve with freshly cracked pepper and basil on top.
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