This recipe is a blend of two things I love: autumn, and the Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce that I posted earlier this summer. That sauce has all the authentic creamy flavors and textures of an Alfredo, but it’s completely vegan and unprocessed. It is one of my all-time favorites and I make it with fettuccine at least a few times per month.

What we have here, however, is a whole different animal. Yes, it starts out with the same basic white sauce, but we add pumpkin and spices to give it a gorgeous fall-inspired feel. And instead of pasta, this version pairs perfectly with light pillows of gnocchi.

I get excited about recipes like this. I love it when you can whip up an amazing, healthy, unprocessed meal in 25 minutes and make it seem super-fancy with refined and complex flavors. This is a perfect example of my message: you don’t have to sacrifice time or taste to cook healthy unprocessed food.

Pumpkin Gnocchi Top

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz potato gnocchi (store-bought or homemade
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/2 cups chunked cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 cups plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3-4 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds (garnish)
  • Fresh chives (garnish)

Pumpkin Gnocchi

Step One

Break up the cauliflower head into 2 1/2 cups of medium-sized pieces and add them to a pot with the pumpkin, almond milk, nutritional yeast, tahini, lemon juice, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cover and allow the ingredients to gently simmer for at least 15-20 minutes, but do not let the mixture boil.

Step Two

When the cauliflower has begun to break down and becomes soft, transfer the mixture to a blender and blend thoroughly until the sauce is totally creamy and no chunks remain. At this point, give the sauce a taste and adjust any ingredients as necessary – feel free to add more tahini, salt, lemon juice, etc.

The sauce will thicken and improve in flavor as it sits. I would recommend refrigerating for 2-3 hours ahead of time, but if that isn’t an option, don’t worry: it’s great right out of the blender as well.

Step Three

When ready to serve, prepare the gnocchi by bringing a pot of water to just under a boil and slowly adding in the gnocchi. Honestly, I used frozen store-bought gnocchi for this particular recipe because I didn’t want to make it. But making gnocchi is fairly easy and much more economical. If you’d like to give it a shot, check out this Vegan Gnocchi Tutorial by Chez Bettay.

With the gnocchi fully cooked, use a slotted spoon to pull it from the water and add generous amounts of the sauce over top. Gently toss with a spoon to evenly coat the gnocchi. Plate and garnish with sliced almonds and finely-chopped chives.

Pumpkin Gnocch

Pumpkin Gnocchi Fork