This recipe was created to my friend Joana from the blog Edu's Pantry for the challenge "A different Christmas Eve". She invited 4 bloggers (including me) to create healthy recipes for Christmas Eve.
"Today I am pleased to present to you another good Christmas meal suggestion bold in flavor and colour. This comes from the hands of another Joana, from the blog Just Natural, Please. Joana is vegan and baring in mind that this Supper is to be different, nothing better than having a vegan main dish .. .Typically,children like all that is made with potatoes and can even twist their noses a little because it has green and pink -in their dishes, but if we explain those are Christmas colors and it was made by some Mother`s Christmas (we, mothers, aunts, godmothers, nuns:-) .. who knows if they distort the nose and give it a try: -)"
The memories I keep as child from Christmas are, with no doubt, the times with family around a table full of bright colours and comforting flavours. I believe that what really stick in our memory are not the presents but sharing these family moments, that are so rare in our busy life, and they are so important when we are little.
And thinking of the memories that little Edu is building up from his childhood Christmas I wanted to prepare a dish with Christmas colours with nourishing ingredients and comforting flavours. So, I came up with this Beet Gnocchi with Parsley Pesto, winch made a nice early Christmas dinner here at home
I must confess that this was the first time I prepared gnocchi and I was a little afraid that did not run well. But after some research I gained courage, hands on and let`s go ... After all, it was not so difficult After the dish was made there was some sense of personal achievement, not only because the gnocchi is delicious but also because we feel some aces in the kitchen, able to prepare even the secrets de la Cusina Italina! If you going to prepare gnocchi for the very first time I totally recommend you to see this video channel The Vegan Corner, owned by an Italian couple and who teaches in a very practical way to make real Italian gnocchi. It has been really helpful.
Beetroot Gnocchi with Parsley Pesto
For the gnocchi:
1 large beet (~ 160 g)
3 medium potatoes, preferably bio (~ 350 g)
1 clove garlic (optional)
1 + 1/2 cups flour (~ 200 g, I used Buckwheatt but others should also work) extra for kneading
1 pinch of Salt
1 pinch Black Pepper (optional)
For the pesto:
1 +1/2 cups of greens of raw beet (~ 60 g, stalks removed)
¼-1/2 cup of parsley
½ cup of walnuts (~ 50g, pine nuts or cashews will also work)
½ lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 pinch of Salt
1 pinch Black Pepper (optional)
To make the gnocchi:
1. Peel the beets, cut it into quarters and place it in a pan with water, over medium heat.
2. After about 5-7 minutes of boiling, add the potatoes (with skin, just wash them well) and the garlic clove (also with skin) and cook for 15 minutes. (It is important that you cook the potatoes with skin to get the right gnocchi texture. The garlic is optional but gives a nice aroma)
3. When the potatoes and beets are tender, remove from heat and drain well. Remove the potatoes and garlic skin as soon as possible. (It is important to work the beets and potatoes when they still hot)
4. Turn the potato, beet and garlic clove in a mash.You can use a masher pass-vite or even a food processor.
5. Transfer the mash to a clean surface dusted with flour and add the flour gradually, working first with a spatula or fork, and finally with his hands. The dough should be very soft but pliable.
6. Form a roll in the dough, cover with a cloth and let stand for about 10 minutes.
7. After the resting phase, Roll the gnocchi into a long sausage shape(~ 1 cm diameter) and then cut into pieces about 2 cm in lenth. them press the gnocchi across the teeth of a fork to created a ribbed effect
(at this stage helps even see the video).
8. Put a pot of water over medium heat. When it starts boiling, add the gnocchi to cook. When the gnocchi float to the surface to get ready (~ 2-3 minutes). Remove from water and drain well. To reserve.
To make the pesto:
1. Place all the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor and process to form a paste.
2. Adjust the amount of lemon juice and olive oil at the desired texture. Correct seasoning as desired and serve.
To serve the gnocchi you can simply place the cooked gnocchi with the pesto over it or you can mix it in a bowl tossing everything.
Edu dear, I hope you like this Christmas dish and enjoying yourself too much with Mum in the kitchen to prepare it! Happy Holidays to all and do not forget to build tasty and healthy Christmas memories!