One of my favourite Italian dishes of all time is gnocchi with butter and sage. It’s so delicious – I love sage, the smell alone is heaven. Combining the sage with a silken tofu sauce is really, really yummy.
Unfortunately, the dish has very little nutritional value and a lot of fat. There is no good replacement for butter; oil is no better1. Any oil you use is 100% fat and doesn’t contain many nutrients. For a while I used soy butter but that’s a highly processed product which I try to avoid. I haven’t sworn olive oil off completely, but I do try to limit my consumption. For this recipe you’ll only need 1 tablespoon, that’s it.
I love silken tofu because of its creamy texture and its neutral taste. You can add cacao powder and make pudding, or nutritional yeast and create a cheesy sauce. Combining it with sage is heavenly, it makes me forget all about the original buttery recipe. Of course it’s much healthier too – tofu is a minimally processed soy food and has many health benefits2, 3. Another vegan substitute for a classic Italian dish which works – and tastes great! This vegan gnocchi sauce is easy, healthy and delicious.
Recipe: Gnocchi in a creamy sage sauce
Baked potato gnocchi with sage
Cook the gnocchi in a pot of boiling water. I often get asked how long to cook gnocchi and it's very simple: they’re done once they float to the surface. I use store-bought gluten-free gnocchi made with rice flour, since they're smaller and taste better.
In a wok or frying pan, heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil (medium-high heat) and add the sage leaves. Fry the leaves on both sides for a few minutes until they’re brown and crisp. Remove them from the pan and put them on a paper towel. Don’t worry if they fall apart, that just adds to the flavour!
Put the pan back on the stove with ½ tablespoon of olive oil and add the (cooked) gnocchi (you can easily take them out of the pan with a skimmer). They might stick to the pan at first – don’t worry, just leave them. They’ll let go after a few minutes. Fry the gnocchi until they’re golden brown one each side.
Put the silken tofu in a food processor with salt, some garlic powder and onion powder and blend until it’s a smooth, creamy mixture.
Add the silken tofu cream to the pan with the gnocchi. Let it cook for a few minutes or until the sauce is warm and a little thicker.
Add the sage leaves and stir them through the sauce.
Sprinkle some nutritional yeast on the gnocchi before serving them. Who needs butter and cheese?! Enjoy!