The people behind the Daring Bakers have started a new monthly cooking challenge called the Daring Cooks. I thought I’d sign myself up and give it a go. I’m glad I did. I’m beyond thrilled with the first challenge, Ricotta Gnocchi.
The very first thing that popped into my brain was the tofu ricotta recipe found in both Veganomicon and Vegan with a Vengeance. I thought it would make a great base recipe for these delicate gnocchi. As I set out to make these I was pretty sure that it was going to be a huge FAIL, which has been a common feeling for me lately while trying out new ideas. Was it dumb to add some vital wheat gluten and miso paste? What about the tablespoon of melted butter that the original (non vegan) recipe called for? Why did I just ignore the fact that the recipe called for 2 eggs and I used no egg replacement at all? I pretty much felt like I was wasting my precious Reno is napping I can do whatever I want time.
After I dropped my test piece of gnocchi into the simmering water my hopes were lifted since it didn’t just disintegrate into nothing. It dropped to the bottom and a minute or two later it floated to the top of the pot and was cooked. I fished it out and let it rest on the cutting board for a minute before cutting it in 1/2 and tasting it. Delicious! It was cheesy, it was pillowy, it was everything I thought it WOULDN’T be!!!! I was so surprised that it wasn’t just some ball of tofu that had all the flavor boiled out of it. I can’t wait to eat these again!
Tofu Ricotta Gnocchi
1 recipe of V’cons or VwaV tofu ricotta
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 tablespoon Earth Balance, melted
1 tablespoon mellow miso
about 2 cups All-purpose flour
1. Make the tofu ricotta according to the recipe in either book. Just make sure to mash it well until it is as smooth as you can make it. I use a spatula and press it against the bowl.
2. Stir in the Vital Wheat Gluten. Mix for a minute to help get the sticky gluten going.
3. Add the melted butter and miso paste and stir until all the ingredients are combined.
At this point bring a medium size pot of salted water to a boil and then lower to a simmer.
4. Dump the flour into a shallow dish.
5. Scoop 2-3 teaspoons of ricotta and form into oval shaped gnocchi and drop onto the flour plate. Cover the entire ball with flour. ONLY MAKE 1 GNOCCHI TO START. THIS IS YOUR TEST PIECE
6. Drop the single gnocchi into the simmering water. It should hold together*** and fall straight to the bottom of the pot. After a minute or 2 it will rise to the top. Remove it immediately.
7. If the test piece of gnocchi comes out in one piece then congratulations! Finish making the rest of them and cook a few at a time.
***If it breaks apart there is probably too much liquid in the dough. I didn’t have this problem but if you do I would suggest adding more vital wheat gluten or maybe some all purpose flour to the rest of the gnocchi dough to help hold it together more.
8. Serve ASAP with your favorite sauce and enjoy!