Sweet Potato Gnocchi & Cashew Cream Sauce
I love me some pasta… you could say it was one of the many reasons I feel in love with my Italian American husband, Chris. But I am always trying to find ways to make these traditionally delicious recipes, a wee bit healthier. That and Chris is lactose intolerant, which makes pretty much any heavy cream sauces out of the question. The richness of sweet potatoes in the gnocchi & light, creamy texture of the cashew cream sauce will definitely have you wanting seconds (and maybe thirds). Plus there is a ton of good fat, protein, vitamin A and B6 in this recipe!
You CAN swap out the gnocchi for any other pasta (if your are gluten free, I highly recommend the red lentil pasta because it gives it some extra depth and flavor).
Alright so there are two options here, you can either go out and buy sweet potato gnocchi and pan fry them to give them the crispy texture or if you are like me and a total over achiever, you can make your own.
Homemade Sweet Potato Gnocchi
1 VERY large sweet potato
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (swap this for gluten free flour, if you need to) + 1/2 cup to roll gnocchi dough
Peel and cube sweet potato
boil until soft (better to overcook than undercook)
drain water from sweet potatoes, rinse in cool water, and drain again.
Pulse sweet potatoes in food processor until smooth
in large bowl combine sweet potato mash and flour until dough is formed.
make dough into ball, cutting into 8 separate parts.
Roll each of your “mini” doughballs into ropes.
Cut each rope into 1/2 in cubes
Criss-cross each little cube with fork.
Bring water to boil.
Working in batches, boil little gnocchis until they float to the top, scoop them out with a skimming spoon and run them under cold water.
Set to the side.
Cashew Cream Sauce
This one you have to plan ahead a little bit because the cashews need to soak for at least 2 hours (more is better), but once they have soaked this sauce takes no time at all.
1 cup cashews
1 1/4 cup water (for soaking)
1/2 tsp salt
2 clove garlic
3/4 cup vegan milk (i use oatmilk)
1 tbsp dried sage
handful of fresh basil leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
Soak cashews in 1 1/4 cup water for at least 2 hours (more is better)
Drain and rinse cashews thoroughly. Place in food processor or blender and combine with oatmilk, garlic, salt, pepper, and dried sage.
Blend until completely smooth (this can take longer in a food processor, but we want this to be smooth like sauce, not like hummus. It shouldn’t be grainy in any way).
Set to the side.
Combining the two:
In a frying pan (we use a cast iron, but anything will work), heat up 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat.
When oil is glossy, add in the sweet potato gnocchi and let sit until brown on each side.
Turn heat to low, add in cashew creme sauce. Stir until gnocchi is covered and let sit for 5 minutes or until desired heat of sauce is achieved.
top with fresh basil and hot red pepper flakes if you like a kick in temperature.