Streamlined gnocchi in a creamy pistachio sauce

It’s only January and I’ve already found my favourite dish of 2022. Spotted in the beautiful town of Taormina, located in Sicily. And I must admit that it’s been veganised by me with great success.

What I like most about Italy is its really serious approach to the locality. And here I mean the regions where sometimes even small towns have their own products, which they are most proud of and try to use them in so many different ways. In Sicily this is the case with pistachios. These delicious, beautifully green nuts work great in desserts: refreshing granitas or crunchy cannolis. They can also end up chopped, or as a pesto on pizzas and pastas. But I was most intrigued by the delicious potato gnocchi covered in a creamy, slightly green sauce.

My version of vegan Italian gnocchi is streamlined because:

– I’ve decided not to peel the potatoes (the skin in the finished dish is neither tangible nor visible, and adds some additional nutritional value)

– I’ve chosen to form the gnocchi simply by hand, in a slightly ignorant, but fun way, using a clenched fist.

About 5 lunch portions. You can also prepare fewer gnocchi using half a kilo of potatoes (2-3 portions), and then store the remaining sauce in the refrigerator and use it with pasta – it tastes great with orecchiette.


  • 1 kg potatoes (a starchy, slightly moist variety will be best)
  • About 160 g wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt

Creamy pistachio sauce

  • 110-120 g peeled pistachios (roasted and unsalted, but if you’re using salted pistachios then add less salt to the sauce)
  • 180-200 g natural tofu
  • 5 tbsps of lemon juice
  • 6 tbsps of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 tbsps of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • Black pepper


1. In a large pot, boil the potatoes in salted water until tender (18-20 min).

2. Drain, cool, and mash them with a fork or potato masher.

3. Add salt and flour to the warm, but not hot, potatoes. Knead until the dough forms a ball. If it sticks to your hands, add a little more flour. Use your palm to quickly form the gnocchi, clenching them in the centre of your palm, as in the pictures below. Don’t worry about the shape that much – they will be beautifully varied and the shape of your hand will give them nice dimples.

4. Place the formed gnocchi on a tea towel. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Drop in the gnocchi and cook them for about one minute, until they have risen to the top. Then drain and serve. 

TIP: After draining, combine the gnocchi with the sauce immediately or sprinkle them generously with olive oil so they don’t stick to each other.

Pistachio sauce

1. Blend the peeled pistachios using a blender vessel with an s-shape blade. After a few seconds, stop blending and set aside two tablespoons of finely chopped pistachios – they will be used as a sprinkle.

2. Continue blending the pistachios for one more minute until you get a kind of pistachio flour.

3. Add all the other sauce ingredients, except for the water, to the blender vessel and blend them until combined.

4. Add the water and blend again until the sauce is smooth and creamy.

5. You can store the sauce for a few days in the refrigerator, and serve on toast, with potato gnocchi, or with your favourite pasta.

Combine gnocchi and sauce

While the gnocchi are cooking, heat up the sauce in a big pan until it is bubbling. Three full tablespoons of the sauce should be fine for one dinner serving. At this stage, toss in the cooked gnocchi. It’s worth keeping some of the cooking water – for example half a cup. You can use it to gently thin the sauce in the pan and give it the right consistency.

Serve freshly prepared, with pistachio sprinkles, freshly ground pepper and a splash of good olive oil.