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A vegan-friendly way of using up leftover mashed potato
Once you've mastered your gnocchi rolling technique, these little potato shapes are an easy way to use up extra mash and a great alternative to pasta, all with the help of some cupboard essentials and a fork!

A staple food in Italy for centuries, homemade gnocchi is both filling and very cheap to make, as well as being vegan by default.

Posted by Ava S. Published See Ava S.'s 8 projects »

  • Step 1

    Start by baking the potatoes- if you're starting from scratch without leftover mash, this is the best way to prepare the potatoes for gnocchi. If you're working with already-mashed potatoes, skip ahead to the next stage.

    Preheat the oven to 200ºC and prick all the potatoes (sweet and regular) with a sharp knife. Once the oven is hot, bake for an hour, or until a skewer or knife can easily pass through one of the potatoes.

  • How to cook gnocchi. Sweet Potato And Thyme Gnocchi - Step 2
    Step 2

    Once your potatoes are cooked, scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl and use a potato ricer or masher to squash the potatoes into a fine mash- really work at getting all the lumps out as this will improve the texture of the gnocchi. Mix in a good glug of olive oil, salt and pepper, and set aside while you prepare your gnocchi-making station (the skins of the baked potatoes are also great for snacking on with some salt sprinkled on them!).

  • Step 3

    The trick with gnocchi is not to worry too much about all your pasta shapes looking identical- these are going to be far tastier than any shop-bought ones! Simply clear your decks and start your mini gnocchi factory. In the mixing bowl with the potato flesh, stir in a few tablespoons of flour, just to get the mixture a bit more malleable as you mix it together with your hands- it will stay as a sticky dough, but you should be able to roll it out and not have it stick to every surface.

  • How to cook gnocchi. Sweet Potato And Thyme Gnocchi - Step 4
    Step 4

    Dust one large baking tray or roasting tin with a light coating of polenta- this is where you'll place your finished gnocchi pieces- the polenta stops the pasta from sticking, and then falls off when they are fried or boiled, so don't affect the flavour.

  • Step 5

    Chop your gnocchi dough into four pieces so it's easier to work with. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each gnocchi dough ball at a time into a long rope. Using your thumb as a guide, chop the gnocchi into roughly 2cm rectangles, and then run a fork across one side of each piece, so the gnocchi gently curls into itself. You can search online for other gnocchi shapes as there are quite a few- and you can even leave them plain without the grooves. Then place the gnocchi in the polenta trays, and move on to your next piece of gnocchi dough.

  • Step 6

    You can either fry or boil the gnocchi pieces- I found frying these sweet potato ones worked best as it makes them super tasty, but it's up to you!

    If boiling, heat a panful of salted water to boiling point and place a few gnocchi at a time in the pan, waiting for them to bob to the surface before removing with a slotted spoon and adding the lemon and thyme.

    If frying, heat a little olive oil in a pan with the thyme and lemon juice, and fry the gnocchi in small batches for about 3 minutes each, turning them over as you go, so they begin to go a dark golden brown on each side.

  • How to cook gnocchi. Sweet Potato And Thyme Gnocchi - Step 7
    Step 7

    Serve with another squeeze of lemon and some salad leaves for a very cheap way of using up your leftover mash with some cupboard essentials.

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