Crispy oven fries

Russet potatoes and parchment paper produce a crispy oven fry with no oil. Shown here with cauliflower, kale, and red beans in curry-spiced coconut milk gravy.

Ingredients

2 large russet potatoes about 5-6″ long, about 2″ – 3″
diameter (I use organic)
1/4t fine sea salt

Optional: Russets produce a dry fry. You can always season them further with garlic powder, cayenne pepper or other spices before baking, or serve them with curry, chili, aioli, or just plain catsup. Slice the fries 1/4″ if you prefer a smaller fry, but in that that case, use potatoes about 4″ long. A little avocado or peanut oil will add some
flavour to your fries.

Method

Preheat the oven to 450F (or to the highest temperature to which your paper is rated). Slice the potatoes carefully and as evenly as you can in long, 1/3″ to 1/2″ slices. I usually cut mine in half length-wise, then, with the cut side down, each half into thirds length-wise. Then I quarter the stack lengthwise so that I have long slices of
potato.

With the oven ready, arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with the sea salt. Bake on the middle rack until fork tender or lightly browned. Expect about 30 – 40 minutes, depending on the temperature and how well done you like your fries. Turn 2- 3 times to ensure even cooking. Ovens vary; use the colour and texture of the potatoes as a guide.

If you cook them until fork tender, let them stand 2-3 minutes in the oven turned off before removing from the sheet. If until lightly browned, you should be able to serve them right away. Season to taste, garnish as you like and serve!

Kalamata olive and herb socca with roasted portobellos, red peppers and arugula

Socca is a simple, syncretic Mediterranean dish made from chickpea flour.. Served here as a flatbread with roasted vegetables and fresh greens, this makes small plates for four or a nice light lunch for two.

Ingredients

For the socca
1 cup chickpea flour
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/2T dried herbes de Provence (or similar)
1 cup heaping hot water
1T kalamata olives
1t olive brine

For the mushrooms
2 scallions, minced
1T fresh garlic, minced
1T tamari
1T lemon juice
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste)
1/2T dried herbes de Provence (or similar)
2 large portobello mushrooms (about 2 cups), stemmed and sliced 1/4″
1 large red pepper (about 1 cup), cored, seeded and sliced 1/4″
2T nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup packed baby arugula

Optional: Plain socca with a little olive oil, or with a a little rosemary are traditional. Add 1T cooking oil to the socca in that case. If you use olive oil, you may wish to bake at a lower temperature. Add 1T cooking oil to the vegetables for a richer dish. For a thicker socca, use a 3″x9″ loaf pan. Expect to add a few minutes to the baking time if you use a thicker pour.

Method

First, make the socca, then the vegetables.
Add the chickpea flour, herbs, and sea salt to a bowl. Whisking, add the hot water slowly. Whisk to remove any lumps. Add the olives and brine. Let stand about 15 minutes. Add sea salt to taste.

For a thinner socca, line a 9″x12″ (or so) baking sheet with parchment paper.Preheat the oven to 450F (or the highest temperature to which your paper is rated). If you have silicone bakeware, no need for parchment.

Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out evenly. Bake for 10 minutes, and then broil for 5, until the top is lightly browned. Don’t overcook. When done, the socca will be cooked in the middle, and lightly browning at the edges. Ovens vary; use the colour and texture as a guide.

When the socca is ready, remove from the oven and the pan. Let stand about 30 minutes either in the paper or on a wire rack to cool, lightly covered. While the socca cools, make the vegetables.

Whisk the scallions, garlic, dried herbs, lemon and tamari. Prepare the mushrooms and peppers. Toss the mushrooms and peppers in the mixture until well coated. Let stand while you return the oven to 450F.

When the oven is ready, add the vegetables in a thin later to a roasting pan or baking sheet with sides. Roast for 20 – 30 minutes until the mushrooms are lightly browned but still juicy. Again, use the colour and texture of the mushrooms as a guide.

When the vegetables are ready, remove from heat, toss with the nutritional yeast, and season to taste. Plate the socca, either cut in large or small triangles, squares, or however you’d like to serve it. Add the vegetables on top or in a separate bowl on the side. Garnish with arugula
and serve.

Chickpea fries with creamy artichoke, kale dip

A great dish for spring, this pairs crispy chickpea fries with a sour, oniony dip with a lot of additional flavour from the artichokes, kale, and sriracha.

Ingredients

1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2t coarse sea salt (divided)
2T millet flour
1/2T coconut sugar
1/2t black pepper, freshly cracked (divided)
3T nutritional yeast (divided)
1T fresh garlic, minced (divided)
2/3 cup hot water
3/4 cup artichoke hearts (not jarred)
1 cup green curly kale
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
4 scallions, minced, 3″ – 4″ green reserved for garnish
1 1/2T white pickling vinegar
1T sesame seed butter
1T white miso
Sriracha or similar to taste for garnish
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Some pickled capers, black olives, or a dash smoked paprika for garnish will add flavour and colour to the dish.

Method

Mix the chickpea flour, millet flour, 1T nutritional yeast, and coconut sugar in a small bowl. Mix the water, 1/4t sea salt, and 1/2T minced garlic. Add the dry to the wet and whisk until smooth. Let stand about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450F. Pour the batter into a 3″ x 9″ loaf pan (silicone is preferred, but use a lightly oiled metallic one if necessary). Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Let stand for 15 minutes to cool. Turn out carefully and slice width-wise into 1/2″ fries.

Return the oven to 450F (or the highest temperature to which your baking paper is rated). Line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Add the fries evenly spaced. Add the artichoke hearts and the kale. Roast for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until the fries are lightly browned and quite crispy. Turn the fries a few times. Ovens vary; use the colour and texture of the fries as a guide.

You’ll likely have to remove individual constituents from the oven separately and set aside as necessary. The kale should be reduced and a vibrant green, but not browning. The artichoke hearts should be lightly browned. When the artichoke hearts are done, separate them, either by tearing or mincing. Tearing is preferred. When the fries are done, remove from heat and set aside to finish the dip.

With the fries in the oven, start the rest of the dish. In a small sauce pan, bring 1 cup soy milk to a light boil. Add the scallions, 1/4t sea salt, remaining garlic, and vinegar. Simmer uncovered for 12 – 15 minutes on medium low, until reduced by 1/4 cup. Adjust the reduction process as necessary to match the cooking of the fries.

When reduced, add the sesame seed butter. Puree smooth with an immersion blender (see the notes below). Add the finished kale and the artichokes. Stir to combine. Return to heat and simmer another 2 – 3 minutes on medium while the the dip thickens and the fries finish.

When everything is ready, remove from heat. Add the white miso and remaining nutritional yeast to the dip. Stir to combine. Season the dip to taste, plate the fries and spoon the dip over top. Garnish with sriracha and scallions sliced on an angle, and serve.

Note: This isn’t a good recipe to try to separate components. The fries are prepared without oil to keep the amount of fat in the overall dish low and specifically to remain crispy in the dip. They’ll be chalky by themselves, and the coconut sugar will make them unnecessarily sweet. The acidity and moisture of the dip is also measured to complement the fries specifically.

For fries that you could eat with catsup and whatnot, leave out the millet and coconut sugar, reduce the water to 1/2 cup, and add 1/2 – 1T cooking oil (a little in the batter, a little brushed on to the cut fries). Follow the directions for the fries, but expect to adjust the baking time for the cut fries accordingly.

Also, while it’s possible that other plant milks may work with the dip, soy milk has a particular chemistry. The vinegar curdles the soy milk, which separates the water from other elements. The puree emulsifies and thickens the reduced, separated soy milk with the sesame seed butter, the garlic and other ingredients to give the dip its creamy texture and cling. Without this step, the dip will be quite watery.

Other plant milks without soy milk’s protein and stabilizers may not work as expected. If you decide to try another plant milk, you’ll likely have to thicken the dip by other means (e.g., arrowroot powder, corn starch, or tapioca flour).

Soda bread

Soda bread is quick, versatile, and easy to make, involves no kneading and no worries about whether your dough will rise because of the yeast. This version trades the traditional wheat for gluten free flours and produces a chewy crust and a light, lightly sweet crumb. Shown here as a roasted tofu sandwich with spring mix and kale.

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1T masa harina flour
1T coconut sugar
1T milled flax seed
1t baking powder
1/4t baking soda
Coarse sea salt to taste
1 cup soy milk
1T balsamic vinegar

Optional: Glaze with 1T unsweetened soy milk for a browner crust. Raisins are a common addition. This version uses no oil, but 1T cooking oil with the liquids will yield a flakier crust. Replace the balsamic vinegar with white vinegar if you prefer.

Method

Mix together the dry ingredients. Mix the wet. Mix the dry with the wet until a stable dough forms, form into a ball, but don’t knead. Preheat the oven to 450F (or the highest temperature to which your baking paper is rated). Let the dough rest while the oven warms up.

When the oven is ready, add the dough to the baking sheet lined with baking paper, press down slightly, and cut the top of the loaf with a large cross (or similar design). Bake for 25 – 35 minutes, or until the bread is lightly browned. Ovens vary; use the colour and texture of the bread as a guide. Remove from heat. Cover with a clean tea towel while the bread cools. Slice and serve.

For a more traditional version, replace everything up to and including the flax seed with 2 – 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour. Start with 2 cups and add more flour as necessary. Replace the baking powder and soda with 1t baking soda. Replace the 1T balsamic vinegar with 1/2T balsamic and 1T unpasteurized sauerkraut vinegar if you have it. Adjust the baking time accordingly.

Sweet, smoky tempeh steamed buns with creamy red miso-cashew dressing and spring mix

A lovely dish for brunch, this makes 16 buns, enough for a small appetizer for 8, or a light lunch for 4. Adjust the amount of spring mix and dressing to suit the serving size.

Ingredients

For the buns
2 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/2t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
1T yeast
1 cup warm water (as per the directions for your yeast)

For the filling
1T cooking oil
1/4t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
2T scallion, minced, 1″ white reserved for the sauce
1T fresh garlic, minced
125g tempeh, finely diced (use pasteurized)
1T smoked paprika
A pinch dried red chilis (or to taste)
1 medium poblano pepper, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup loose maitake mushrooms, stemmed and finely diced
1T tamari
1/2T balsamic vinegar
1 – 2T coconut sugar
1 cup vegetable stock
1T packed sun-dried tomatoes, minced (dehydrated, not jarred)
A few drops toasted sesame oil
Coarse sea salt, coconut sugar, and black pepper to taste
About 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
About 1/3 cup sauerkraut (I use unpasteurized)

For the dressing
2T red miso
2T cashew butter
2T white pickling vinegar
1T fresh garlic, minced
A pinch coarse sea salt
3-4T unsweetened plant milk
3-4T tomato passata (or puree)
1/2T scallion white, minced (as noted above)
1/2T smoked paprika
1t sriracha (or similar/to taste)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the garnish
2 -3 cups loose spring mix
2-3T dressing

Optional: Use unbleached all purpose flour for a white bun (although you’ll lose nutritional value and you may need to adjust the ratio of flour to water). A small amount of sugar is often added to the dough; here, it’s added to the filling, and so, omitted.

If you’re avoiding oil, skip the saute. Replace the oil with 1T cashew butter or similar. Add all of the ingredients for the filling to the pan (except as noted below for the sauerkraut and nutritional yeast). Simmer for 20 minutes.Uncover and simmer for another 10 minutes or so until the pan begins to dry.

Method

Start the buns first. Proof the yeast, and then mix the dry with the wet until a smooth elastic dough forms. Knead for about 5 minutes. Cover with a warm, moist tea towel and let the dough rise for about an hour, punching it down periodically.

At about the 30 minute market, start the filling. In a medium frying pan with a lid, bring the oil to heat on medium high. Add the scallions and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the garlic and tempeh and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add the smoked paprika, chili, poblano pepper and mushrooms. Stir fry another 3 minutes.

When the pan is starting to brown, add the balsamic vinegar and tamari. Deglaze the pan. Add the coconut sugar, stock, and sun-dried tomatoes. Add 1 tablespoon coconut sugar to start, and add more to taste if needed (see the note below).

Bring the pan to a light boil, cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer 20 minutes. Uncover, and simmer until the pan begins to dry. Remove from heat, and let the filling stand 10 – 15 minutes to cool. Add the sesame oil and season to taste.

When the filling is done, your dough should be ready. Divide the dough into 16 small balls (about 2 tablespoons in size). On a lightly floured board, roll out each to about 4″ diameter, about 1/6″ thick. Keep the remaining balls of dough in the bowl with a warm, moist tea towel until you’re ready to use them.

Flute the edges of the rolled dough with a small pinch. Fill each with about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons filling. Pack the filling a little. Add 1t sauerkraut. Sprinkle with 1t nutritional yeast.

Note, if you haven’t made steamed buns, purses or similar, start with about 1 tablespoon filling, and add more if there’s room. Be careful not to overfill or push your dough too much by packing the filling (it will tear). A lot will depend on how finely you minced the tempeh and the size of your piece of dough. You’ll be able to add more filling with practice.

With the bun and filling secure in your palm, gather the dough up and around the filling. Pinch the sides together to form a purse with pleats, packing the filling a little as I go around the ball. When the sides are all pleated in, twist lightly to close, mostly but not completely (there should still be a small hole. Repeat until all the dough is used.

Add about 1 cup cool water to your steamer. Add the buns at least 1″ apart (1 1/2″ preferred). If you’re using a stop top steamer, bring the water to a steam on high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and steam for about 10 minutes. When you are ready to remove the buns from heat, remove the lid, turn off the heat and let cool for 1 – 2 minutes. Steam in batches, adding more water as necessary. Repeat until all your buns are ready.

While your buns steam, make the dressing. Whisk the cashew butter, vinegar, plant milk, sea salt, garlic and red miso together until the dressing is light and fluffy. This may take a minute or so, but you’ll know when it emulsifies.

Add the remaining ingredients until the dressing is nice and smooth, adding the nutritional yeast last. Let stand covered until your buns are ready. It will thicken further as it stands.

When the buns are ready, stir the dressing. Add more plant milk or passata to adjust colour and taste to your preference, 1 teaspoon at a time. Add sea salt, black pepper, or more sriracha to taste.

To plate, add a small circle of spring mix to the middle of the plate. Add dressing in a line cross the edge of the plate or in a small bowl for dipping as you prefer. Rest the buns on top of the spring mix and serve.

Creamy chickpea, sea vegetable soup with arugula and teff fries

This is a simple, creamy soup with a lot of rich flavors. Whole grain teff has a similar texture to polenta, and served here as fries, it add a fun crispy texture, nutrition and taste. This makes a light starter for 4 or a light but filling lunch for two.

Ingredients

For the soup
2T water
2T scallion, minced
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste)
1/2T lemon juice
1 cup cooked chickpeas
3 cups vegetable stock
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 1″)
1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
1T sesame seed butter
1T dried wakame, crumbled
1 1/2T tapioca flour dissolved in 2T water
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste
1t purple dulse flakes
1t nori flakes
2 cups loose baby arugula

For the fries
1/2 cup whole grain teff
2 cups water
1/4t coarse sea salt
2T unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
2T nutritional yeast
1T fresh garlic, minced
1T tamari
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: The soup doesn’t have to be spicy, but the chilis add flavor and to the mouth feel. Cornstarch and arrowroot powder will both work in place of the tapioca here. The fries are made without oil here assume the soup — brush the cut teff with a little oil and bake on a lightly oiled baking sheet for something more like a traditional fry.

Method

Start the fries first, and then make the soup.

In a medium pan with a lid, toast the teff for 2 – 3
minutes. Add the water and sea salt. Bring the pan to a light boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the teff is thick (it should be pulling away from the sides).

When the teff is ready, add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and season to taste. Pour/spoon the mixture into a 3″x9″ baking dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so to setup (it should be firm).

Preheat the oven to 450F (or the highest temperature for which your baking paper is rated). Slice the cooled teff into 12 – 16 pieces width-wise. On a baking sheet or roasting pan lined with baking paper, bake for 20-30 minutes on the middle rack until the fries are lightly crisp,
turning every several minutes. Remove from oven, plate with the soup when ready.

With the teff in the oven, start the soup. Warm a medium sized pan with a lid to heat on medium heat. Add the scallions and 2T water to the pan and water saute for 2 minutes. Add the chilis and garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and deglaze the pan if necessary. Add the chickpeas, stock, and kombu.

Bring the pan to a light simmer and simmer on medium low for about 10 minutes. Remove the kombu. Add plant milk and sesame seed butter and stir to dissolve. Simmer 5 minutes. Puree smooth. Add the wakame and simmer another 10 minutes.

Stirring continuously, slowly add the tapioca mixture until the soup thickens (should be immediate). Let cool for a minute. Ladle out, sprinkle with the dulse and nori, add the arugula and serve with the fries on the side.

Masa hot pocket with portobello mushrooms and poblano peppers

Inspired by gordita, pupusa, and other dishes, but not very authentic, this wraps a thick layer of masa harina (nixtamalized corn flour) around a savoury filling. Because it has no gluten, working with corn-based dough takes mindfulness and some practice.

Ingredients

For the filling
2 large portobello mushrooms (about 5″ diameter), stemmed, sliced 1/4″
2t tamari
1t lemon juice
1/4t dried red chilis
1T scallion, minced
A good pinch coarse sea salt
1/4 poblano pepper (about 1/2 cup), 4″ x 1/8″ julienne
1T sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped (jarred, not dehydrated)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the shell
1/2 cup masa harina
1/4t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup hot water

Optional: Once you have practice with the base, you can try other fillings. Garnish with coleslaw or sauerkraut if you like. Refried beans make for a nice, traditional filling.

Method

Make the filling, then the shell.

Preheat the oven for 450F. Mix the tamari, lemon juice, chilis, scallions, and a pinch of sea salt. Toss the portobello slices until coated. On a baking sheet or roasting pan, roast the portobellos in a thin layer on the middle rack until nice and brown. Expect about 20 minutes, but adjust accordingly for your oven.

When done, remove from the oven and toss with the peppers and the sun-dried tomatoes. Set aside. Mix the flour and sea salt. Whisking with a fork, add the water slowly to the masa. Whisk until a dough comes together and then knead as soon as the dough is cool enough for you to do so. Add more water or more flour to balance out the dough. It should be firm, and slightly elastic.

Roll the dough out to about 6″ between sheets of plastic wrap. Fill, and with the dough in the palm of your hand, gather it up around the filling and pinch closed. This is the tricky part. You have to be gentle with corn-based dough to avoid tearing. You can shape it into a cylinder as I did here, but for something more traditional, press it flat into a circle (carefully). Either way, the dough should be about 1/4″ thick.

Once the dough is sealed, wrap in foil and return to the oven. Bake on the middle rake at 450F for about 20 minutes. Unwrap carefully. Broil for about 2 – 3 minutes (for a crispier crust). Remove from the oven and serve.

Note, you can also try breaking the dough in half, rolling out two pieces to 6″, fill and then seam the two pieces of dough together. You can also fry on the stove top with a little oil if you prefer that approach to baking, but it can also be a challenge if you haven’t fried corn-based dough before.

Crispy polenta fries with sriracha, black strap molasses catsup

Oil-free polenta fries paired up here with a healthier, spicier alternative to squeeze bottle ketchup.

Ingredients

For the fries
2 cups water
1/2 cup coarse yellow corn meal
1T fresh garlic, minced
2T unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
1/4t turmeric powder (or to taste, I use 1/2t)
2T nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the catsup
2T tomato passata (or puree)
1/2t garlic powder
1/4t onion powder
1t black strap molasses
1/2t white picking vinegar
1/2t tamari
1/4t sriracha (or similar/to taste — I use 1/2t)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: The fries assume the dip. For something more like a traditional fry, add some oil with the turmeric and other ingredients, brush the fries with a little for baking, or both. I usually add 1 – 2t herbes de Provence to my polenta as well. Minced scallion also makes a nice addition. Teff and chickpea fries are also terrific alternatives. Replace the powders in the catsup with finely minced garlic and scallion white if you prefer.

Method

Make the fries and then the catsup.

In a medium pan with a lid, bring the water to a boil. Whisking, slowly add the corn meal to avoid lumps. Return the pan to a light simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 – 40 minutes, stirring periodically. Much depends on the grind of your corn meal and the heat of the pan. The polenta will be done when it’s coming away from the sides when you stir.

When the polenta is done, remove from heat, add the remaining ingredients, cover and let stand another 5 minutes. Season to taste. Pour/spoon in a 3″x9″ loaf pan. Chill uncovered for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least and hour to setup.

When the polenta has setup, preheat the oven to 450F (or the heat to which your backing paper is rated). Carefully turn out the corn meal onto a cutting board. Slice into stick width-wise (about 16 fries).

On a baking sheet or roasting pan lined with baking paper, bake on the middle rack for 30 – 40 minutes, turning periodically to ensure even cooking. Ovens vary; the fries will be done when they’re crispy and golden. Use the colour and texture of the fries as a guide.

At about the 30 minute mark, mix the ingredients for the catsup. Let stand covered until the fries are ready. When the fries are done, remove from heat, plate, and serve with the catsup on the side.

Sweet, spicy tempeh stuffed agnolotti pasta with kale, kalamata olives, garlic and avocado oil

A relatively straightforward, sturdy and richly flavoured stuffed pasta dish. This is an ‘al plin’ variation for agnolotti. The recipe makes an appetizer portion for 4 or a filling bowl or 2.

Ingredients

For the pasta dough
1 cup semolina flour
1t tapioca starch
A pinch baking powder
1/3 cup heaping warm (but not hot) water

For the filling
1/4 cup water
1T sun-dried tomatoes, minced (dehydrated, not jarred)
1t dried herbs de Provence, rubbed
1/2T fresh garlic, minced
1 scallion, minced
125g tempeh (use pasteurized)
1/4 cup soft, dried dates, pitted and minced (I use medjool)
1t sriracha (or similar and/or to taste)
1t balsamic vinegar
2T bread crumbs
2T nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the sauce
2T avocado oil
1/4t coarse sea salt
2 cups green curly kale, coarsely chopped
1T kalamata olives
1/2T fresh garlic, minced
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Replace the water for the filling with vegetable stock if you prefer. If you prefer, saute the kale without the oil, but in that case, I would recommend 2 tablespoons of olives for a little extra flavour. Add a tablespoon avocado oil to the filling for a richer taste and mouth feel. Garnish with some sun-dried tomatoes, scallions, or capers for additional flavour and nutrition, but keep it simple. Agnolotti are a fairly sturdy pasta — so, heavier sauces will also work but traditionally, the flavour goes into the filling.

Method

Start the filling, then the pasta, then the sauce.

In a large frying pan with a lid, bring the water to a light boil. Add all of the ingredients up to and including the sriracha. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until most of the water has been absorbed, stirring periodically.

While the filling simmers, mix the dry ingredients for the pasta dough. Add the water. Mix, then knead until a solid dough forms, and then another minute or so. Let rest about 10 minutes covered in the bowl with a warm, wet tea towl.

At the 15 minute mark, uncover, increase heat to medium and saute for another 5 – 10 minutes until the pan is starting to brown. Add vinegar and deglaze the pan. Add the bread crumbs and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine and set aside to cool while you roll out the pasta.

Break the pasta into 2 – 3 pieces. Keep the dough you’re not using moist with the tea towel. Roll the dough out to about 3″ x 14″ strips, about 1/8″ thick. Fill the sheet width-wise in a solid line, about 1″ in diameter, about 1 1/2″ down from the top. Leave 1 1/2″ from the left side and 1 1/2″ on the right unfilled.

Carefully fold the top of the pasta toward you just over the filling, leaving about 1/2″ or so of dough at the bottom. Press the top of the dough into bottom of the dough with the flat of your index fingers to form a consistent seal. Pinch the unfilled left and right sides.

You’ll now have a long tube of filled dough. Using your index fingers and your thumbs, pinch the agnolotti in (6) 1″ pieces vertically, creating about 1 1/2″ inch of dough in between each agnolloti. Pinch firmly. The pinch, the small amount of filling and the dough, along with the cut is what seals the pasta.

Trim the three sides of folded dough with a pasta cutter. Separate each agnolotti with the pastry cutter with a cut through the pressed dough in between each. With your thumbs and index fingers carefully press the pinched pieces of dough down at the sides (completing the fold).

Let the agnolotti dry a few minutes while you bring the water to a boil. I use the saute pan to boil my agnolotti so that the pasta picks up some of the flavour from the filling, but use a fresh pan if you prefer.

When the water has reached a light boil, add the pasta, swirl the pan, and simmer gently for about 3 – 5 minutes. The agnolotti will float when done. Don’t overcook.

Drain carefully, reserving 2T pasta water in the frying pan. Return the frying pan to heat on medium high. Add the kale and remaining ingredients. Stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes or until the kale is lightly wilted and a vibrant green. Rinse the agnolotti with warm water and add to the pan, stirring gently to pick up the sauce.

Remove from heat, bowl out, garnish and serve.

Garlic and herb gnocchi with asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes

A rich but simple potato pasta, paired up with traditional vegetables, kalamata olives, and a light red sauce. This makes a smaller appetizer size for 4 or a larger bowl for 2.

Ingredients

For the gnocchi
1 large floury potato (about 2 cups, mashed — I use organic russets)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/2T herbes de Provence (or similar)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4t black pepper, freshly cracked
Up to 1/2 cup tapioca flour (see the note below)
1/3 cup brown rice flour
Coarse sea salt to taste
2 liters water with 2t coarse sea salt for boiling

For the sauce
2T pasta water
3 scallions, finely chopped
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/4t black pepper, freshly cracked
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/2T herbes de Provence (or similar)
16 asparagus stalks, bottoms broken off, cut into 1″ segments
1 cup artichoke hearts (don’t use jarred)
2T sun-dried tomatoes rehydrated in 1/4 cup boiling water (don’t use jarred)
1/2T lemon juice
1 cup tomato passata (or puree)
2T nutritional yeast
1/2T kalamata olives per bowl, pitted and sliced
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Typically, you would peel the potato once it has cooled, but I leave it on and blend it in. A lot of the fiber and other nutrients are in the skin. Add a little nutmeg for something more traditional. Add some fresh basil for additional colour and flavour. Finish the sauce with 1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil for a richer mouth feel and flavour.

Method

First, start the gnocchi, then make the sauce. Boil the potato unpeeled in enough water to cover for about 30 minutes. Drain and chill uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

When the potato has cooled and you’re ready to start the gnocchi, add the boiling water to the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and set aside. Puree smooth. Add the garlic, herbs, and nutritional yeast, 1/4 cup tapioca, and the brown rice flour. Mix thoroughly and let stand about 15 minutes. Add more tapioca as necessary until a soft dough forms. Add salt to taste.

If you find your dough doesn’t come together is too moist, add more tapioca flour 1 tablespoon at a time. But start with 1/4 cup. If it’s too dry, add a little water, 1 tablespoon at a time. If you’re unsure whether the dough is right, test one piece and see what the resulting texture is like before committing.

When the dough is ready, roll out gently into lines about 1/2″ in diameter and cut into 1″ segments. You can also roll about 1T pinches of dough as dumplings if you prefer. Lines are more traditional. Decorate each gnocchi with a gentle fork press (striation helps to hold the sauce with the pasta).

In a large pan, bring the 2 liters water and salt to a light boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add the gnocchi and swirl the pan to avoid sticking. Simmer the gnocchi until they float. Don’t overcook.

Drain carefully, reserving 2T water for the sauce. Rinse gently but thoroughly with cold water. Turn then out onto a clean, dry cutting board and let them dry a little while you make the sauce.

Warm a large frying pan on medium high heat. Add the water, scallions and sea salt. Water saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and herbs. Saute for 1 minutes. Add the asparagus and saute for 4 – 5 minutes. Add the artichoke hearts and saute for 2 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes (including the soaking water) and the lemon juice. Deglaze the pan.

Add the tomato passata. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for another 3 minutes. Add the gnocchi to the pan and toss to combine. Simmer for 2 minutes, remove from heat and toss with the nutritional yeast.

Let stand a minute or so to cool. Season to taste. To plate, spoon out and garnish with olives and more nutritional yeast if you like, and serve.