"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Gnocchi

 Last summer my bestie K served up a spread for crostini that had a base of sun-dried tomatoes and pumpkin seeds.  It was so delicious that I've been thinking about it for months, trying to figure out how I could recreate it and transfer the deliciousness of it to a main course meal.
Turns out it was quite easy, although there are a couple of key tricks.  They involve soaking and using a food processor, both easy kitchen tasks (provided you have a food processor, I just bought one in September and it changed my life).  It's a perfect recipe for this time of year because it is filling, festive and has an almost decadent flavour due to a fairly humble (and healthy) ingredient: sun-dried tomatoes.
The key with using pumpkin seeds in a recipe like this is that they need to be soaked for several hours, I soaked mine for about six.  This softens them up and gives them an almost meaty texture.
Soak one cup of pumpkin seeds for six to eight hours.
 I have a soft spot for gnocchi because it is so filling and easy to cook.  A quality packaged gnocchi from Italy is an easy item to keep stocked in your pantry, and not an expensive one.  I bought this gnocchi for $1.79 a package at a discount grocery store. The other bonus?  It takes two to three minutes to cook once you have your water boiled.
I cooked up two packages of gnocchi for this recipe.
 The sun-dried tomatoes will want a soaking too, but a very brief one.  I poured hot water from the kettle over mine in their bowl while I was assembling the other ingredients, letting them sit in their bath for a few minutes.  Then you'll want to drain them and gently squeeze out any excess water.
Two cups of sun-dried tomatoes briefly soaked in hot water.
 Into the food processor you can then chuck the squeezed sun-dried tomatoes, along with the drained pumpkin seeds, two cloves of garlic, two tablespoons of nutritional yeast (you can see this ingredient takes the place of parmigiana in many of my recipes these days), three tablespoons or so of olive oil, salt to your taste, and a good grinding of black pepper.
Give that a good fine chop in your processor while on your cutting board you roughly chop up two medium zucchini and begin to saute them in olive oil:
 You'll want to give the mixture a good saute to bring out the flavour of the garlic and meld it with the pumpkin seeds.  All of those good fats in the seeds will bring about a delicious caramelized flavour to the whole lot.
Just when it begins to stick to the pan a little, add in a cup of good white wine (I used a Pinot Grigio).
I didn't do a very aggressive cooking of the zucchini, I wanted it to have some bite compared to those soft pillowy gnocchi!

Once your gnocchi have cooked their non-demanding two minutes, drain them well and add them to your festive mixture: voila, you have an easy, healthy dinner everyone will love.  This was a big hit with my Rascals.
We have a very special day planned today, Ole Rascal arrives home for the holidays and we're having a big Christmas lunch with the extended family.
Hope your day is festive not hectic, and if you try the Christmas gnocchi please let me know!


  1. What a delicious-sounding recipe! I'll take this chance to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Dani. It is beautiful here with all of the snow. I love a white Christmas! Ann

    1. Ann I hope you have a lovely Christmas! xx

  2. That looks so delicious! I must try that in the new year. Xx

    1. Jen try it, the kids will love it. xx

  3. The little mouse is most adorable! I have a bit of a soft spot for mice. We have a wee one living in our wood pile and it makes my day when I catch a glimpse of him. DH is always careful moving lots so as not to disturb his little home.

    The gnocchi recipe is very intriguing! I have got to find that in the market. So glad you have all your children home. No matter how old they get, it isn't Christmas to me until mine are all here. Merry Christmas, Dani!

    1. SD how sweet that you have a wood pile mouse! Merry Christmas to you and your family as well. xx

  4. What a delicious sounding recipe, I'd like to try it too. Wishing you a very Merry family Christmas full of fun and joy.

    1. Patricia wishing you the same, have a really lovely Christmas. xx

  5. Replies
    1. FF I bet there is excitement in your household today with your little fellow! Have a very Merry Christmas xx