Soft fluffy pillows of store-bought gnocchi (almost always accidentally vegan) & tender, sautéed kale, tossed in a creamy, garlic infused sauce. This Creamy Vegan Gnocchi with Garlic & Kale is dinner party worthy but incredibly easy to make, taking less than 15 minutes from start to finish and that includes prep time too!
1tablespoonolive oil, use a few tablespoons of water for an oil-free option
6clovesgarlic, chopped finely
1bunch kale , NOT curly kale, the flatter leaf varieties are better for this recipe. I particularly like Lacatino Kale (sometimes known as Cavolo Nero or Dino Kale)
½ cup (75g)raw cashew pieces, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes if you don't have a high powered blender *see recipe notes for a nut-free option
¼ cup (60mls)water
1 x 500g packagegnocchi, most are vegan but be sure to check the ingredients label just in case. Gluten-free varieties are also available. Again be sure to check labels.
¼teaspoonsalt, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
chili flakes, OPTIONAL
Everything happens pretty fast so be sure to have all of your ingredients and equipment ready and within easy reach.
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil ready for cooking the gnocchi
Remove the thick stems from the kale leaves. Discard the stems and chop the leafy parts into bite sized pieces.
Warm the oil in a large saute pan then add the chopped garlic and cook over medium heat, moving constantly for about 2 minutes. Then add the kale pieces and a good grind of black pepper, then continue to sauté for about another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. If you want a little bit of heat add a sprinkle of chili flakes at this stage.
While the kale is cooking, blend the cashews with the salt and water until completely smooth.
After a couple of minutes, once the kale has been sautéing for about 3 minutes and is almost tender, add the gnocchi to the boiling water. Make sure to separate each piece of gnocchi before adding it to the water. Often they get a little clumped together in the pack. Have a slotted spoon ready to fish them out when done.
As soon as the gnocchi start to float (after about 1-2 minutes), use slotted spoon to remove them (do not discard the water yet) and add the gnocchi into the pan with the kale and garlic.
Spoon the creamy cashew sauce into the pan and stir to combine everything. Add a little of the water the gnocchi was cooking in to thin it out as needed and add more seasoning if desired.
*For a nut-free option you can use shelled hemp seeds in place of the cashew nuts, or you can skip the cream sauce completely and use extra olive oil to coat the gnocchi and kale instead. It's really delicious if you use a good quality extra virgin olive oil.I like to sprinkle some extra chili pepper flakes and some freshly ground black pepper on top when serving. Some grated vegan parmesan is great with it too.Best eaten immediately. If you reheat it the gnocchi can get a little tough. If you do have leftovers warm them gently in the microwave or a pan, adding some water to thin the sauce as needed.Pasta makes a great alternative to the gnocchi in this recipe.