It can be a struggle to find the time to cook home made meals from scrap on a daily basis and we all need little hacks to speed things up every now and again. Gnocchi are one of my go to’s. They are cooked in a matter of minutes and if using the right brand they contain none of the nasties (unnecessary additives and preservatives, excess sodium etc) that often come with ‘ready to eat’ foods. There is still a little bit of work involved with this dish – chopping mainly, but cooking time is minimal and it shouldn’t take more than 20mins overall. Despite it being simple and quick to prepare, it’s packed with flavour and all the tastes of Italy, especially with a handful of fresh wild rocket on top to round it off.
What you need:
2 packs of gnocchi (around 800g) – I use dell’UGO
3tbsp olive oil plus extra to drizzle over the top before serving
2 medium courgettes – cut into cubes
500g button mushrooms – quartered
2-3 ripe tomatoes – cut into cubes
2 garlic cloves – pressed using a garlic press
2-3 spring onions – finely sliced
Handful of rocket
Vegan parmesan of your choice – I use cashew parmesan* which we can buy ready made here in the UK, but it’s also easy to make it yourself (using a food processor simply grind cashews with added salt, nutritional yeast and garlic granules until you get the right texture)
Salt, coarse black pepper and chilli to taste
How you do it:
Start by chopping all your veggies.
In a non-stick frying pan heat up a little olive oil and fry your courgette cubes on high heat stirring frequently.
Once they start to brown decant them into a bowl and put aside for later (this should only take a few minutes, the high heat is necessary to prevent them from getting watery and mushy).
Add a little more olive oil to the same frying pan (if necessary) and fry your mushrooms - again on a high heat so they brown quickly and retain a firm consistency.
This should roughly take about 4mins, I add the pressed garlic after 2mins so the mushrooms absorb all that lovely garlic flavour.
Decant the mushrooms into the courgette bowl and leave a side for a minute.
Cook your gnocchi according to the instructions, you can either boil them for about 1min or fry them using the same frying pan.
Now very gently mix gnocchi, courgettes and mushrooms in the frying pan, then add tomatoes and spring onions and heat everything up until piping hot (don’t overdo it and only stir once or twice, this should only take a couple of minutes).
Season to taste with salt, pepper and chilli and serve up, placing a little handful of rocket on top and sprinkle with your vegan parmesan.
* The reason I like to go with cashew based parmesan is that it’s lower in saturated fats and generally feels like a more natural product, made from fewer and less processed ingredients than other more main stream vegan cheeses.