Did I tell you about the time that I went on a date to Intermezzos in Atlanta.
I won’t bore you with the details of the guy . . .because what I ate was so much more interesting.
(Side bar: did y’all watch Yvonne Orji’s HBO comedy special? . . . remember when she joked about going on dates with guys just so she could eat?
*sighs and raises hand*
That used to be me too.
That date at Intermezzos introduced me to the tangiest, creamiest, warmth inducing pasta I had ever eaten in my life.
Y’all know my style
I taste something . . . and if it makes me smile
I go home and me, my tastebuds and my ancestral culinary guides figure out how to remake it
Not only did we figure it out (you see the way my taste buds are designed)
we continued to prepare it and impress many a taste buds with various versions of it throughout the years working as a personal chef and caterer.
So fast forward to the other day when I got a hankering for something warmth inducing for dinner, my mind went back to that date.
. . . and there she was . . .
thick, ample and slathered in a creamy white sauce made of heavy cream, parmesan cheese, hints of garlic perfectly balanced with burts of lemon.
Yes, that’s exactly what I wanted.
But since I’ve changed my diet and dairy is out I decided not to eat that and rather eat this
After reconfiguring some things, substituting a few ingredients and translating the overall feeling and taste into a healthier version, here’s how I upgraded one of my favorite dishes!
I roasted and mashed a Butternut Squash (3/4 cup).
Then I combined it with GlutenFreeFlour (1/2 cup), ChickpeaFlour (1/2 cup), ArrowrootFlour (1/3 cup) and 1 TB Herbs de Provence seasoning and a tasting of salt.
I combined and kneaded this until it became dough. (I was surprised at how quickly it comes together)
Once the dough was formed I broke it in 4 pieces and rolled them into logs, which I then cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
I added those pieces of gnocchi to boiling water and then once they floated to the top, I drained them and pan fried them in AvocadoOil until crispy. The finished texture is incredible as pan frying gives them the right amount of crisp and chew!
To make the Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce I blended 10 garlic cloves with 1.5 cups water and 2 TB of CoconutCream ➡️ this is what makes it a former dairy lovers dream! Thanks to this key ingredient the sauce has that creaminess 😋. Once blended, I add it to a Sauce pot and let simmer. Once the 🤸🏾♀️ kick from the Garlic dies down and all is left is the flavor, I add 1 TB of arrowroot flour mixed into 2 tsp water to the mix.
This is where the magic happens! Once you pour the arrowroot slurry in and stir, you just watch that thang thicken up so nice 👩🏾🍳
Now you have sauce!! At this point add your salt and enough lemon juice to tang just the way you like it 😜
We’re almost done – At this point you can just eat the sauce and gnocchi alone . . . But boooooring. The dish at Intermezzo was served with Salmon and I wanted something “meaty” to go with it, so I sautéed mushrooms. Simply seasoned with oil and herbs to complement the pasta. And of course, every dish has to have a serving of greens, so I added spinach just until lightly wilted.
Once the veggies were cooked, I added them back to the pan on low heat and added the gnocchi.
I mixed them together well and then lastly slathered them in the sauce.
If you’re wondering about the tomatoes . . . I roasted some 🍅 because I thought they would look good in the dish —while they were a pop of color they were too sweet and imbalanced the dish. Leave ‘em out. Enjoy😘
Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce *Vegan + Gluten Free
A lightly tangy, creamy, chewey vegan and gluten-free gnocchi that’s perfect for lunch or dinner!
For the Butternut Squash Gnocchi
- 3/4 cup butternut squash, roasted and mashed
- 1/2 cup all purpose gluten free flour (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 1/3 cup arrowroot flour
- 1 TB Herbs de Provence
- an intuitive amount of salt and pepper
For the Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce
- 1.5 cups water
- 10 garlic cloves
- 2 TB coconut cream
- 1 TB arrowroot powder
- 2 tsp water
- an intuitive squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- an intuitive dash of salt
For the Gnocchi
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and combine and knead until it becomes dough (luckily this step comes together rather quickly)
- Once dough is formed, roll into a long, thin log shape and cut into 1/2″ bite size pieces
- Now grab a pot and boil some water (enough for the gnocchi).
- Once the pot comes to a rolling boil, place about 5-10 pieces of gnocchi (make sure it’s not overcrowded).
- Once the gnocchi floats to the top, it’s done and can be removed and drained.
- Repeat until all are finished.
- Warm some oil in a skillet and gently pan fry your gnocchi. (Notice, I didn’t say deep fry, we don’t want to submerge this in oil, we just want to get a nice crisp on all sides!)
- Once finished, set aside and prepare sauce.
For your Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce
- Blend water, garlic and coconut cream until smooth.
- Once blended, add to a pot and let simmer (enough of the garlic kick to die down).
- Make a slurry by mixing arrowroot powder and water.
- Gently pour this into your simmering sauce and stir gently.
- Within seconds you will see your sauce begin to thicken.
- Remove from heat and add your lemon juice and salt to taste
- Mix sauce with gnocchi and other roasted veggies and/or greens and serve!