Beetroot Gnocchi in Vegan Cauliflower Bechamel Sauce
The secret to good gnocchi is to use as little flour as you can. I learned that the hard way when I decided to make gnocchi years ago for the first time for a couple of friends who had come visiting.
Whether you are making classic potato gnocchi, or pumpkin or beetroot gnocchi, the trick is to avoid at all costs boiling the potatoes/pumpkin/beetroot because that will make them absorb a lot of water and you'll need a lot of flour to absorb the moisture and form a dough. Instead, you should roast the veggies, or microwave them (or steam as a third option). This will make light and fluffy gnocchi. You are welcome.
Beetroots, 2 medium
Potato, 1 large
All purpose flour, add a couple of spoons at a time until you form a soft but smooth dough
Salt, 1 tsp
For the cauliflower bechamel sauce:
Cauliflower, 1 small head, cut into florets
All purpose flour, 4 tbsp
Plant milk, 250ml
Nutmeg, a pinch
Plant butter, 1 tbsp
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 200°C. Roast beetroots, potato and cauliflower florets (and its leaves) for about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Peel both beetroots and potato and transfer to a food processor, season with salt and puree. Add 2 tbsp of flour and continue to mix. If the dough is too dry, add a splash of water. If too wet, add more flour.
Once you have a smooth dough, divide into 6 equal parts and roll each into a tube with your hands. Cut into equal size gnocchi and arrange on a floured surface. You can create the ribbed surface by pressing them against the back of a fork. Set aside on a floured surface.
To make the sauce, puree the roasted cauliflower. Reserve the crunchy leaves to decorate the plate later. Transfer to a large pot with butter, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook over very low heat until the butter has melted. Then start adding the flour one spoon at a time until the sauce thickens to a creamy consistency.
Spread the creamy sauce on the plate. Cook the gnocchi in salted, boiling water just until they come floating (should take less than a minute). Drain water and transfer them on the creamy sauce. Top with crunchy cauliflower leaves.