Ever since childhood pasta has been my absolute favourite. I fell in love with the stuff the first time my Mum ever put a bowl of spaghetti in front of me and a lifelong love affair has ensued. Pasta with pesto was the first thing I really learned to cook for myself as a teenager and in my early twenties I learned how to make it from scratch. In my teenage years I discovered gnocchi, these funny little pillows of mashed potato pasta and I was just as fascinated. However every time I’ve considered making gnocchi from scratch I have flashbacks to when an old flatmate of mine had a go at it and it went so disastrously wrong that the entire kitchen work surface was just covered in this weird mush that had inexplicably turned a particularly unattractive grey colour. Once we’d got over our tears of laughter and cleaned up, we ordered a pizza. This experience from then on instilled in me a fear of ever attempting this myself.
Almost a decade later I’ve decided to grow up and conquer my fear. Whilst I was doing vegetarian January one of my oldest friends, Emma, sent me Lindsay’s recipe, from Pinch of Yum, for sweet potato gnocchi and implored me to try it. She had made it the week before and assured me I was foolproof. I took a leap of faith. Plus I had a vegetarian friend coming for dinner that weekend and I hadn’t decided what to cook yet.
I gave the recipe a read through, just to make sure it wasn’t going to be as simple as promised and it seemed like something I could easily achieve. When it came to cooking I ploughed through each step and each process, waiting for something to slip, surely when I boiled them they’d just fall apart right? No! They were a resounding success and I’ve already begun to think about what other delicious sauces I could cook up with them next. I honestly can’t stress enough how easy these little pillows of goodness were to make.
I love that this recipe uses sweet potato as it give the gnocchi such a brilliant and vibrant colour, particularly when contrasted with the green broccoli. I’m a big fan of colourful plates of food, they’re so much more exciting and inviting. The creamy garlicky sauce that goes over the whole thing just tastes like pure indulgence and the whole dish is a big hug of home-cooked Italian comfort.
This was an ideal dish to serve to my veggie guest and went down brilliantly with the meat eaters too. I served a simple rocket salad dressed with a little olive oil and lemon juice which off set the creamy gnocchi dish perfectly. I can safely say I’m now officially over my fear of gnocchi so watch this space for more recipes soon!