Vegan Gnocchi

I love a plain pasta dish - Olive oil, salt and Italian flat parsley are my most common ingredients with any pasta, and that's it. Maybe I add a little of Ina Paarman's Chicken Flavour Stock Powder for some variation and flavouring, but more often than not it's only three ingredients.

Woolworths has amazing Vegan Gnocchi for sale in their Fresh Pasta section. I usually skip it because everything contains egg, but I like to explore every now and then anyway, just in case!

I grew up in Italian Restaurants, especially one called Cortina in the Hyde Park shopping centre which was a little family run affair. At four years old I knew what I wanted and that was Gnocchi Napoli. No exceptions on the Gnocchi. The waiters stopped asking what I wanted and just brought it, so often my family ate there. We basically became family with the lovely owners we were there so often. Nonna used to make the most INCREDIBLE little dessert biscuits as well, dusted with icing sugar... I remember it all so well.

When I was 9 years old we went to visit Cortina in Italy, and it was ironically the only town we had been to where my parents could not find a plate of gnocchi for me. Ten hours of driving through the mountains of Italy in heavy snow without chains on our car's wheels, we arrive back at the hotel famished because my father couldn't find a satisfactory restaurant and we find out that the hotel serves Gnocchi! I was thrilled, but I think it was a real palm to forehead moment for my parents.

I made the Woolies gnocchi for us a couple of nights ago and it was soft and lovely, fluffy - just the way fresh gnocchi should be. Ryan and I both loved it, but I think that it's my new favourite dish. Apparently it freezes well and also keeps in the fridge for about a month.

Another little family owned Italian restaurant in Oaklands, Johannesburg called Tortellino D'Oro (on my JHB restaurant list) makes amazing vegan gnocchi. Just ask them to hold the cheese and the butter. Katterina, the manager and owner is very well informed about vegan requirements.

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