Gnocchi with Creamy Tomato & Spinach Sauce

Gnocchi with Creamy Tomato & Spinach Sauce

  • Serves: 4 - 5
  • Prep Time: 00:25
  • Cooking Time: 00:30
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Delicious sweet potato gnocchi is lightly fried to produce crispy little pillows with soft centres. I've coated the gnocchi in a creamy tomato and spinach sauce. I'm always happy when a recipe turns out just like, or even better than the traditional version. Serve with a green salad on the side. (I based the gnocchi on my Irish Potato Scone recipe).

Ingredients

* Please click on the green icon next to the ingredients listed below for extra details and helpful information.

  • GNOCCHI:
  • 500g purple/red skin sweet potato (white flesh), peeled and diced
  • 3 Tbsp coconut cream, for mashing the potato
  • 145g (1 1/2 cups) almond meal/flour
  • 115g (3/4 cup) arrowroot flour
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp ghee, or olive oil (to cook the gnocchi)
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sml onion(s), finely diced
  • 4 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 x 400g can diced organic tomato(es)
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut cream
  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped basil leaves, plus extra to garnish

Directions

To make the gnocchi, add the diced potato to a saucepan of boiling water. Cook until soft but not soggy, approx. 15 minutes (I dice the potato to reduce the cooking time).

Meanwhile, place the almond meal, arrowroot, salt and paprika into a large bowl and mix well to break up any lumps. Next set out the sauce ingredients.

Once the sweet potato is cooked, drain well and place back into the saucepan. Add the coconut cream to the sweet potato and mash well. Transfer to the bowl of dry ingredients. Use clean hands to mix the ingredients together well, to make a smooth moist dough.

Divide the dough into 4 portions. Lightly dust your hands and a large chopping board with arrowroot flour. Use your hands to make 4 long narrow logs or sausages of dough, 2cm in diameter. Use a pastry cutter or knife to cut the logs into pieces, 2.5cm in length.

Heat a large frying pan on medium heat (I use a 32cm pan). Next, add half the oil and heat. Add the gnocchi in 2 batches, leaving space between each piece (to prevent them sticking together). Cook for 2 - 3 minutes on each side or until golden in colour, add extra oil as needed. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

To prepare the sauce, reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the olive oil and onion, cook for 5 - 6 minutes or until transparent. Add the garlic and stir through the onion for 1 minute. Pour in the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the Italian herbs, paprika, salt and pepper. Continue simmering for a further 5 - 6 minutes to reduce.

Add the coconut cream and stir through the tomato mixture, incorporating it into the sauce. Add the spinach and stir through the sauce to make it wilt and distribute well into the sauce. Add the gnocchi and basil to the pan and coat well in the sauce.

Serve immediately in individual bowls, garnished with chopped basil leaves. Serve with a garden salad on the side.

purple/red skin sweet potato (white flesh)

The purple red skinned variety of sweet potato with it's white flesh, is the second most popular variety of sweet potato in Australia. It is also know as 'Northern Star'. It isn't as sweet as the most popular golden orange variety and has a nutty flavour. It has a firmer dry flesh and will take a bit longer to cook. It's perfect for people unable to eat nightshade vegetables but would like a white fleshed potato. It isn't high in beta-carotene (vitamin A) like the orange variety.

coconut cream

I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. When purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.

almond meal/flour

The most favoured gluten/grain free flour substitute in my kitchen is almond meal. It is finely ground blanched almonds and in some countries, it is called almond flour. It has a slightly sweet flavour so you don’t have to add as much sweetener when baking with it. All kinds of nuts can be ground down to make a meal and are excellent for raw cheesecake or pie bases. Nut and seeds meals/flours are all best stored in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer to prevent them going rancid.

arrowroot flour

Arrowroot is a herb, the roots are cultivated for its starch properties. It is used in my recipes as a thickener and I also like combining it with almond meal to produce a much lighter texture, more like a gluten flour. I find the starch helps to bind the ingredients together. You can substitute tapioca flour, which is made from the dried roots of the cassava plant. Tapioca can be used in baking, it has a slightly sweet flavour. However, I do not recommend thickening with tapioca, as it has a stretchy, gummy texture. Supermarkets only sell in very small containers, which is not cost effective. Purchase from baking specialty stores, health food stores or online. ( When substituting for cornflour in recipes, 2 teaspoons arrowroot = 1 tablespoon cornflour/starch).

sea salt

Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.

paprika

Paprika is a spice made from grinding dried mild and sweet red chili peppers. Paprika is used to add colour and flavour to a dish. It has a sweet pungent flavour and distinct bitter aftertaste. Even just a small sprinkle of paprika can deliver antioxidants and nutrients like, Vitamin A, E and B6, also iron. I purchase an organic paprika made by 'Simply Organic' (from iherb.com). Paprika is a nightshade.

ghee

Ghee is clarified butter, it is pure butter fat that has had the milk solids removed. You can get the flavour of butter in your cooking without the dairy (please don't consume if you have an allergy to ghee). My favourite brand is Organic Valley Purity Farms which I purchase online from iherb. It is also very easy to make yourself.

olive oil

The olive fruit of the olive tree is pressed and crushed to released the oil. Healthy fats like olive oil are essential for brain function and to transport vitamins and minerals throughout our bodies. This is a delicious oil to drizzled over salads and vegetables.

onion(s)

In my recipes when listing onion I am referring to a brown (also called yellow) onion. Onions are members of the allium plant family which also includes garlic, leeks, spring onions and shallots. Onions are valued more for the flavour they impart in cooking than for their nutritional content. Onions are know for their antibacterial effect helping to prevent superficial infections and their sulfur compounds may block carcinogens.

garlic

Garlic is a close relative to the onion and has been used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. In most of my recipes I use minced garlic as I find it distributes better throughout the dish. When in a hurry I use organic minced garlic which I purchase in glass jars and store in the fridge. When garlic powder is needed for a particular recipe, I use 'Simply Organic' brand. Why is garlic so good for us? It is an immune booster, antibiotic, good for the heart, cancer fighter and it's also knew as a weight loss aid (appetite suppressant).

tomato(es)

The tomato is a fruit but is much lower in sugar content than other fruits so it is typically eaten raw in salads and cooked in many dish and sauces from around the world. The tomato belongs to the nightshade family. Tomatoes contain carotene lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants.

Italian herbs

Italian herbs is a blend of dried oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary and sage. A classic combination of lovely fresh herbs that you will find in many Mediterranean dishes. Mix into a tomato paste or puree to make a flavourful pizza sauce or add to roast chicken or fish. I use the brand 'Simply Organic' which I purchase online from iherb.

paprika

Paprika is a spice made from grinding dried mild and sweet red chili peppers. Paprika is used to add colour and flavour to a dish. It has a sweet pungent flavour and distinct bitter aftertaste. Even just a small sprinkle of paprika can deliver antioxidants and nutrients like, Vitamin A, E and B6, also iron. I purchase an organic paprika made by 'Simply Organic' (from iherb.com). Paprika is a nightshade.

sea salt

Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.

black pepper, ground

Black and white pepper both come from the fruit of a tropical vine. Black pepper is the cooked and dried unripe fruit, know as a peppercorn and white pepper is from the ripe fruit seed. Pepper is usually coupled with salt, sprinkled over or added to food.

coconut cream

I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. When purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.

spinach leaves

I use English spinach leaves in my recipes. This more modern variety of spinach is more tender than older varieties and has small flat leaves. Can be eaten raw or lightly cooked. Spinach has a high nutritional value and is a rich source of iron.

basil leaves

The culinary herb basil is of the mint family. The type used in Italian dishes is sweet basil opposed to Asian dishes which may use Thai basil, lemon or holy basil. I prefer to add at the end of a recipe or toss through as I serve a dish as cooking can destroy the flavour.

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