Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Raw Pomodoro (Marinara) sauce & squash gnocchi

Today is SUCH a beautiful day; the sun is shining and not even a cloud in the sky, but, it's still early March and it is freezing out there!
Luckily for me, this is the perfect day to showcase some raw fusion food.....

One thing I love about raw food fusion, is that you still get the warmth and comfort of hot food, which on days like this is soooo great, along with the freshness and nutrients of the raw to help put a spring in your step! I feel that this kind of eating is a lot more suited to our climate here in the UK than 100% raw, though that is a personal opinion as there are a lot of raw foodists here who thrive on all raw. This I think is the key, everyone is different, and the super great thing about this recipe, is that it is so flexible, it pretty much suits any person.

I serve this sauce up on just about anything. It is great on cooked wholemeal spaghetti (the girls adore this), raw courgette 'pasta', as a sauce over adzuki bean loaf, and even as a dressing to name but a few. I love it best on gnocchi though, for me it is the perfect 'zingy' partner to those soft little dumplings.

Making gnocchi with squash rather than potatoes is just another way of getting even more nutrition into the meal, as well as tasting good and looking very pretty and appealing. Gnocchi is traditionally made with an egg added, but I find this recipe works very well without it, making it a great vegan dish! It does make the dough a little more delicate though, so be gentle with it.....!

Raw Pomodoro sauce (serves 4)
6 large (ish) tomatoes
1 small clove of garlic, finely diced or grated
pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 red bell pepper, roughly diced
6 sun dried tomatoes
10 kalamata olives, stones removed

Blitz everything together in a food processor till well combined, with a very slightly chunky texture to it. You can blitz it totally smooth in a blender if you prefer, but I think it is tastier with a bit of a bite left.
That's it! It is so simple and tasty, we prefer it over a regular cooked pasta sauce.

Squash or pumpkin gnocchi
1 butternut squash or small pumpkin of your choice
2 cups of kamut or wholemeal spelt flour, plus extra for dusting
1/4 nutmeg, finely grated
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Roast the squash at 180 degrees for around 40 mins until soft. Remove from oven, cut in half and scoop out those seeds. (you can save the seeds if you like to roast, they are delicious sprinkled with sea salt and paprika). Leave to cool.

When the squash is cool, scoop out the flesh, discarding the skin, and blitz in a food processor, or mash by hand until smooth. Turn out into a bowl. Season with the salt and nutmeg, then start gradually adding the flour, a couple of tablespoons at a time.

This part is tricky and you need to rely on your judgement. Depending on the size of the squash you used, and the moisture content, you may need more or less flour. What you are looking for is a very soft dough. It should hold together, but still feel airy, light and soft to the touch, it will feel very delicate- but that is exactly what you want, we aren't looking for rock hard dumplings!

Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Cut it into quarters, and roll each quarter into a long sausage shape, about 3cm in diameter, keep the dough well coated in flour to stop it sticking.
 Next, cut it into little bite size pillows, about 2cm in length, pop them on a lightly floured tray as you go, to keep them from sticking, keep going until you have used all the dough.

It is at this point, that if my Mother in Law were here, she would turn them into the most beautiful curved little gnocchi just by using a fork, but try as I might, I just can't get the hang of it, so mine remain as little pillows!

Fill the largest pan you have with water and bring it to the boil, add a dash of extra virgin olive oil, to help stop the gnocchi sticking, then add the gnocchi to the pan with a slotted spoon. Don't add them all at once, you'll probably need to do around 3 batches. As the little dumplings float to the top, remove them with a slotted spoon, and place onto a dish which has a little of the raw pomadoro sauce on it. When all the gnocchi are cooked and dished up, pour the rest of the sauce over them, and you're ready to serve!

I like to serve this with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, lots of fresh ground black pepper and some torn up basil leaves.


  1. I'm going to make this for my dinner tonight :-)I remembered it from ages ago and the magic veg man brought us just the right ingredients to make it this week!

  2. Excited to hear how it turns out!! :) x