Prep: 15 minutes + 12 hours for the cashews to soak Cook: 15 minutes
By Jason Wyrick
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 4 cups gnocchi
- 1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
Soak the cashews in water for at least 12 hours. Drain and blend them together with the 1/4 cup of water, basil, and pepper. This should have the consistency of a thick cream, meaning it should slowly drip off the spoon.
Drop the gnocchi into boiling water and boil until they float, then drain them in a colander. Mix the pureed pumpkin with the almond milk, nutmeg, and salt. Simmer this for 5 minutes and add the gnocchi. Simmer it for another minute.
Place the gnocchi and sauce on the plates. Add dots or swirls of basil cream to the top of the sauce. Garnish with a few whole basil leaves, if desired.
Hint: The almond milk adds a hint of sweetness to the pumpkin puree as well as thins it out. Be sure to buy gnocchi with no added oils or dairy. Cooking the gnocchi softens them and causes the molecular bonds to loosen. Allowing the gnocchi to rest brings those bonds back to a stronger state which means that when the gnocchi hits the sauce, they will stay tight and intact. Soaking the cashews softens them so they can be blended into a cream with the basil, which sets atop the sauce to add not only a shot of semi-sweet fresh herb, but also to give a contrasting color to the orange sauce.