I had some packaged whole wheat gnocchi and some fresh basil, so I decided to throw together a cashew-based pesto cream sauce. I also sauteed some shiitake mushrooms to top it off and the result was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! So, so good!
I typically avoid packaged foods, but I do have a few things in my pantry for occasionally throwing together dinner when I want something different. I found this egg-free whole wheat gnocchi at Trader Joe's:
Gnocchi is an excellent "vehicle" for the pesto cream sauce. The textures are perfect together. The shiitake mushrooms add an extra dimension of flavor, texture, and richness- I love them! I also sauteed some kale to go on the side and the meal couldn't have been better!
Gnocchi: Cook according to package directions. This typically means boiling for about 2-3 minutes.
Mushrooms: Slice and saute in Earth Balance margarine (or olive oil) until browned and the smaller ones are beginning to get a little crunchy.
Kale: Saute 2 minced garlic cloves in a bit of olive oil until beginning to brown. Add kale (washed and chopped) and saute until it is bright green and the thicker stems are somewhat tender. I season mine with red pepper flakes, a squeeze of lemon juice, and gomasio (lightly toasted sesame seeds processed in the blender with sea salt until it is a course powder like ground parmesan cheese).
Pesto cream sauce
Serves about 3 to 4 people
1 cup water or unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/3 cup raw cashews
~1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp gomasio (or 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1 tsp tahini)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1-2 cloves garlic
Dash of fresh cracked pepper
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste and add more sea salt, if necessary. To serve, place the hot gnocchi on a plate and top with the cream sauce then add the mushrooms over the top.
My husband and I enjoyed this delicious comfort food with a very smooth glass of zinfandel from Parducci Winery. Ahhh, the perfect way to kick off a long weekend!