Gnocchi with greens and beans, enveloped in marinara sauce, is a hearty dinner dish that comes together quickly. Gnocchi, a cousin to pasta, are Italian potato dumplings and pure comfort food.
Gnocchi, in case you haven’t discovered them, are an Italian specialty that are mainly made of potato flour, with a little wheat flour. They’re used in the same way as a chunky pasta and are especially good enveloped in marinara sauce. Teamed with greens and beans, you get an easy to prepare classic Italian combo.
Some cooks like to make their own gnocchi, but no thanks, not me — I’ll stick with the frozen or dried variety. The project takes a good hour or two and makes a floury mess of the kitchen. Still, if you’re of the DIY school of cooks, here are a couple of from-scratch vegan gnocchi recipes.
There are a number of vegan brands of packaged or frozen gnocchi, two of which are pictured above. Read package ingredients; occasionally, gnocchi contains eggs. You’ll find gnocchi in frozen foods or the dried pasta sections of supermarkets and specialty groceries.
Note: There’s a also a pasta shape called gnocchi that’s made of semolina flour like other traditional pasta shapes. That’s not what we’re using here; though this dish wouldn’t be bad with regular pasta — just use less of it, perhaps 10 to 12 ounces.
Complete the meal: Though this is entirely optional, serve with crusty bread and vegan pesto; it’s a nice way to stretch the meal if you’re feeding guests or very hungry eaters. Add a platter of sliced yellow or orange bell pepper and cucumber, and you’ve got an easy and elegant dinner. Or, serve with a simple salad.
Recipe is from Vegan on a Budget by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
- 16-ounce bag frozen gnocchi, or 16-ounce box dried gnocchi (not gnocchi-shaped pasta)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 28-ounce jar marinara sauce, your favorite flavorful plant-based variety
- 15-ounce can white beans (cannellini), drained and rinsed
- 2 to 3 ounces baby spinach or arugula (or a combination), rinsed
- 1/2 cup pitted cured black olives, chopped or sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Vegan Parmesan for topping, optional
- Cook the gnocchi according to package directions, then drain.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat for a minute or two, until golden.
- Add the sauce and beans. Bring to a slow simmer, then add the spinach or arugula (in batches if need be). Cover and cook just until wilted down.
- Add the olives and cooked gnocchi to the pan and stir everything together.
- Season with salt and pepper (you may not need much salt, if any, so taste first). Serve at once, passing around vegan Parmesan for topping individual servings, if using.
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