Making gnocchi from scratch is a little intimidating, but it’s actually not that complicated. Simply mix puréed, seasoned vegetables with enough flour to form a soft dough, roll the dough into snakes and cut into bites. Then boil the bites until they rise to the surface and you are ready to sauté, roast or simmer them in sauce. This parsnip variety is ridiculously delicious. Give it Christmassy vibes with sprouts, sage and hazelnuts.
Ingredients (serves 4)
For the gnocchi:
500g parsnips, boiled/steamed until soft
2 tsp salt and a grind of pepper
250g flour (plus more as needed for dusting and rolling)
lots of butter (to sauté the gnocchi in batches)
around 20 Brussels sprouts, quartered
a handful of hazelnuts, chopped
fresh sage leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Mash the cooked parsnips until smooth. If they are a little stringy or you left the skins on, use a blender to get them very smooth. Stir in the salt and pepper and taste. They should be over-seasoned at this stage before you add the flour.
Tip in the flour and use a spoon to roughly combine it with the pureed parsnips. Then tip out onto a floured surface and bring together into a soft dough. Don’t give in to the temptation to knead, you are not looking for stretchy gluten in gnocchi, you want a tender dough.
Cut the dough into smaller pieces and roll into slim snakes. Use flour as needed to help avoid stickiness. Then cut the snakes into little bites and spread them out on a floured tray. If you feel up for some kitchen meditation time, you could roll each bite over a gnocchi board or the back of a fork to create beautiful grooves, but it’s not necessary.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and drop the gnocchi in in batches. After just a few minutes, they should start to rise to the top, scoop them out with a slotted spoon a place on a large platter. Keep going until you have boiled all the gnocchi.
Heat up a large frying pan with a generous tbsp of butter. Add half the sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 3 minutes until they start to colour. Then add half the gnocchi, half the hazelnuts and around 6 sage leaves. Add another tbsp or so of butter and stir fry to warm up the gnocchi and give it some golden colour. The nuts should get wonderfully toasted and the sage leaves impart gorgeous fragrance and flavour.
Tumble into two warm bowls to serve and repeat step 5 with the other half of the ingredients. Enjoy!
This is my favourite way to make really Christmassy roast potatoes. When the oven is full for a big roast dinner, it’s a great way to double up in one dish too. Brussel sprouts are best when roasted or sautéed rather than the traditional boil and flavouring them with red onion, sage and clementines just screams Christmas! Don’t forget to save the potato peels and make crisps! There’s a lot of flavour, nutrients and fibre in those organic peels.
Potatoes – think X amount per person
Brussels sprouts – 6 or so per person
Clementines – 1 between 4 people
Red onion – 1 between 4 people
Sage – 3 leaves per person or 1 tbsp dried between 4 people
Vegetable oil – a generous slick in the roasting dish plus a drizzle for the bowl of sprouts
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Peel your potatoes and leave them whole if they are small, or cut them into large, even chunks. Place the potatoes into a large pot of water and bring it to the boil.
Boil the potatoes until par-cooked. They should just be soft on the outside but still firm in the middle. Meanwhile pour a generous slick of vegetable oil into a roasting dish which will comfortably accommodate your potatoes and get it in the oven to heat up.
Drain your potatoes into a large colander. Give the colander a good shake. This will rough up the outsides of the potatoes which will make a gorgeous crispy exterior in the oven.
Carefully remove the roasting dish from the oven and tip in the roughed up, par-boiled potatoes. Use a spatular or tongues to turn the potatoes in the hot oil then pop the dish into the oven to continue cooking the potatoes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Cut the ends off the sprouts and cut them in half. Remove any damaged outer leaves as you go. Put all the cut sprouts into a large mixing bowl.
Slice the clementines into rounds and peel and slice the red onion. Add both to the bowl with the sprouts.
Season the bowl of sprouts, red onion and clementines with salt, pepper and sage and mix well with a drizzle of vegetable oil.
Keep an eye on the potatoes in the oven and turn them regularly to ensure they are cooking evenly. Once they are beautifully golden and crispy (after around 20-30 minutes) remove the dish from the oven. Carefully tip in the prepared sprouts, red onion and clementines. Mix carefully then return the dish to the oven.
After around 15 minutes, the sprouts and onions should be cooked through and the whole dish should smell amazing. Enjoy alongside your other roast dishes and gravy. Merry Christmas!
Lasagne is always a good idea for dinner. I always make two while I’m making one, it’s not much extra work and then there’s one in the freezer for a rainy day. This version is an autumn/winter favourite. Layers of roasted squash and garlic, spinach and pumpkin seed pesto, pasta sheets and plant based béchamel. Delicious!
Ingredients (serves 6)
1 kg squash, cubed
1 bulb of garlic, minus 1 clove
6 sage leaves
olive oil, salt and pepper
Spinach & Pumpkin Seed Pesto Layer:
400g spinach, wilted
150g pumpkin seeds, toasted
1 clove of garlic, saved from the bulb above
the juice of half a lemon
6 tbsp olive oil
10g nutritional yeast
salt and pepper
Plant Based Béchamel Layer:
150g plain flour (gluten free works too)
20g nutritional yeast
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 litre oat milk (get a gluten free one if you are avoiding gluten)
salt and pepper
250g lasagne sheets (we stock regular and gluten free)
extra sage leaves to decorate
Turn the oven on to 200C and cut a kg of winter squash (like kuri or butternut) into cubes, tumble them into a large baking tray. Peel a whole bulb of garlic and add the cloves to the dish, but put one aside for the pesto.
Toss the squash and garlic with 6 torn sage leaves and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper then pop the dish in the oven to bake until soft. Meanwhile prepare the pesto and béchamel.
Put the spinach in a colander and pour over hot water to wilt the leaves. Squeeze the water out of the wilted spinach and put the bright, green lump in a food processor. Add the pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Blend into a rough sauce, taste and season with salt and pepper. Blend again briefly to bring the pesto together. Then make the béchamel.
In a cold pot, whisk the flour, nutritional yeast, mustard, nutmeg, olive oil and oat milk together. Then put the pot on a medium heat and whisk and cook until the sauce thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. Season well with salt and pepper then put to one side and check on the roasting squash and garlic.
When the squash and garlic is cooked though, mash it roughly, leaving some texture. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed, then it is time to assemble the lasagne.
In a deep baking dish, add a 1/2 cm layer of the squash purée. Add a layer of pasta sheets, then a couple of ladles of the béchamel. Spread two or three heaped tbsp of spinach pesto over the béchamel, don’t worry if it mixes in. Then repeat until you’ve used all the ingredients. Squash, pasta, béchamel, pesto… Ensure you finish up with a thick layer of béchamel.
Decorate the top of the lasagne with some fresh sage leaves then pop it into the oven to bake until bubbling. After about 20-30 minutes, the pasta should be cooked through and the top should be golden. Test with a small sharp knife. Then cut and serve with a side salad or steamed greens.