Homemade Gnocchi + Hemp Seed Sauce

Mamma mia, è una festa di gnocchi! See, I still got some of my Italian skills 😉

Seriously, though, I really do need to start practicing before I head back to Florence in August! I’m a little rusty, but it’s nothing I can’t fix over a macchiato or a plate of homemade pasta with my amici italiani. Making pasta is practice too, right?

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Oh man, you guys, did this plate hit the spot. I’ve been dreaming about pillowy, doughy, chewy gnocchi since the day I left Florence (back in 2014…how has it been three years already?!). On one of our many gire around Italy, my friends and I stopped in the quaintest little town in Cinque Terre, filled with locals and travelers alike. After a day of hiking all five cities (yes, we did all cinque in one whole day!), one of our friends, Sarah, told us about this quiet little restaurant hidden from the tourists that had a gnocchi con pesto to die for.

I wish I had a photo of it. Better yet, I wish I could take you all to taste the tender, dense pillows coated in fresh basil pesto that I’m sure was made just a few moments before. Era un piatto squisito!

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Well, our attempt at recreating that beautiful dish wasn’t exactly up to par, but I can tell you this much: it was pretty damn close. You all know my obsession with sweet potatoes by now and you know I love to make things as close to the earth as possible with the least amount of ingredients. So what do I do? I throw in some colorful tuberous roots, some coconut flour, and get rolling!

These gnocchi were incredibly easy and as soft and chewy as can be! The boyfriend and I used your run-o’-the-mill orange jeweled yams, some Okinawan purple roots, and some white sweet potatoes (different than regular baked potatoes, but not the same as Japanese!).

I have to say, the white gnocchi came out tasting the most like gnocchi, but the other two each had their own delicious qualities about them that complemented each other beautifully in a trio! We also whipped up a homemade creamy hemp-basil sauce (courtesy of Jared) and paired the plate with cauliflower breadsticks (search “cauliflower” on the blog!) and steamed broccolini.

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Oh yes. I could do with this plate again! To be honest, it really wasn’t all that much work, and we had a blast dancing around the kitchen, rolling our gnocchi, and experimenting with flavors! Oh, and I didn’t tell you the added bonuses of this entire feast of recipes: it’s 100% gluten-free, paleo-friendly, and can be made entirely vegan if that’s your vibe. *

Let me know how you like it and tag me in your photo so I can see all of your beautiful creations J Buon appetito!

Gnocchi con Sugo di Semi di Canapa

Serves 4-6

(Vegan modifications below)  

Ingredients:

Gnocchi

  • 5 cups baked orange sweet potato (about 1 medium-large baked)
  • 5 cups baked purple sweet potato
  • 5 cups baked white sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp-1/2 cup organic coconut flour (I used this brand)
  • Salt + Pepper to taste

Hemp Seed + Basil Sauce

  • 3 tbsp hemp seeds (I used this brand)
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • ½ onion
  • ½ cup cauliflower rice
  • ½ lemon
  • 3 tbsp ghee** (I used this brand)
  • Salt + Pepper to taste

Directions:

Gnocchi

  1. Keep each variety of mashed baked sweet potato in 3 separate bowls.
  2. Start by adding 2 tbsp of coconut flour to each at a time. Combine thoroughly. Keep adding 2 tbsp at a time until it forms a dough (for the purple and white sweet potatoes, we used about 2 tbsp each, and for the orange sweet potato, we used about ½ cup).
  3. Mix in salt and pepper.
  4. Dust coconut flour onto a cutting board and roll out gnocchi into a snake-like form.
  5. Cut dough into 1-inch rectangles and round the sides. While cutting the gnocchi, preheat the oven to 400F.
  6. Gently press a fork into the tops of each gnocchi and place on a baking sheet lined with tin foil.
  7. Bake gnocchi for 20-24 minutes, until they start to lightly brown.
  8. Remove from oven and serve with your favorite sauce!

Hemp Seed + Basil Sauce

  1. Sauté onions in a skillet with coconut oil until translucent.
  2. Place all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender.
  3. Blender until completely puréed. Serve hot or chilled!

*I don’t follow strict diet guidelines, such as paleo, Whole30, veganism, etc., but I do follow gluten-free because of an allergy. I try not to use labels, but I do honor that some people do eat choose a certain lifestyle for their own reasons. Therefore, I respect those choices and want to make recipes that everyone can enjoy.

**To make vegan: swap in equal amounts of coconut butter.

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