I’m always trying to find new ways to cook old favorites. This was an experiment to turn creamy polenta into crispy bite-sized gnocchi. It was a summer’s evening and we ate on our balcony, so these photos show my plate al fresco!
It takes a little forethought since your polenta has to be room temperature before you can turn it into gnocchi. I made the polenta a few hours ahead and left it on the counter but you could refrigerate it to speed up the cooling process. Once it is cooled down, you mix it with flour to create a dough that then gets formed into the pillows of goodness.
Since this recipe (obviously) doesn’t use an egg to bind everything together, it is a fragile dough that has to be handled gently. I decided to pan fry them because I thought a crispy exterior would help keep the creamy gnocchi together better — and I was right! And as luck would have it, the crispy and creamy combination is also very delicious.
1 1/2 cups cooked polenta, room temperature
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
sauteed kale and vegan sausage for serving, optional
In a large bowl, break up cooled polenta by scraping with a fork. Add flour and use your hands to incorporate it into the polenta and knead gently until a dough is formed. Separate dough into five equal parts and use your hands to form long and thin cylinders (like snakes). Cut each cylinder into one inch pieces of gnocchi. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Swirl the oil so that it coats the bottom of the pan. Add gnocchi to hot pan and fry on each side for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Serve topped with a dollop of vegan pesto with sauteed kale and vegan sausage if desired.