Recently I came across a vegan and vegetarian recipe on the Identita’ Golose website, which really caught my eye. Gnocchi made with lentils, which I found interesting and decided to try out.
Chef Simone Salvini, a vegan chef who is a regular contributor to the site, describes this recipe as inspired by Indian Ayurveda philosophy where rice and pulses are married in a perfect combination to balance our internal system. I don’t particularly follow or believe in this, and I don’t know enough about it to make an informed judgment, but the gnocchi came our delicious and quite different, as they use no dairy either and have a different texture and colour, so I thought, why not!
I used a gluten free blend flour (as opposed to just rice) and decided to modify the dressing and of course, not being particularly fussed, added a lot of Grana Padano to them (which is not vegetarian, strictly speaking) in the end… I am sure they would go well with other types of condiment, from butter and sage, creamy cheese and nuts and a pepper sauce as in the original recipe.
I stuck to summer flavours and a tricolore look: freshly chopped summer tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil from Abruzzo and freshly chopped parsley.
The result was a delicious and different, gluten free lunchtime treat.
A tin of brown lentils, drained and rinsed
100 g unsweetened almond milk
100 g gluten free white flour
2 g salt
Freshly ground pepper
To dress them:
1 large beef tomato or a handful of small ones, ripe and flavoursome, chopped into small cubes
A good helping of Italian extra virgin olive oil
Freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
Freshly grated Grana Padano
Place the lentils and the almond milk in a blender and whiz until very smooth and lightly whipped (I used my Nutribullet!). Add most of the blend to a bowl and add the flour, mixing with your hands until smooth. Add the salt and the pepper and use extra flour or extra blend if needed. Once smooth, make a dough ball and wrapped in clingfilm, rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Next,bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Take the dough out of the fridge and cut into smaller pieces, then make a ‘snake’ of each, cutting pieces of about 3cm in lenght (and 1.5cm in width). Careful as the dough is a little crumbly and must be handled with care to avoid splitting open!
Once the water is boiling, place the gnocchi in the pan. After a couple of minutes, they will rise to the surface, sign that they are cooked. Drain and place in a bowl with the dressing, ready to serve. Enjoy!