Potato Gnocchi with a Garlicky White Sauce
The base of this dish is the potato gnocchi. I made this myself since it's fun to do and I had some soft red potatoes lying around that were about to go bad. You can find the recipe for the gnocchi in *this* post but any type of pasta will work here whether its gnocchi or not ;-)
There are two important parts of this recipe, the first being the nutritional yeast. For those that haven't been introduced to this magical ingredient yet or can't find it where you live you can get it *here* for about $0.64/oz. Now, if you already know and love nutritional yeast and want to buy in bulk, you can grab *this* six pound monster for just over $0.59/oz.
The second ingredient that you might not be familiar with is the Kala namak. "Black salt," as it's also called, has a sulfur smell that is pink when raw and black when cooked. My husband calls it "fart salt." Kala namak gives dishes an eggy and savory flavor. When used alone you can taste the eggy-ness of it. When used in conjunction with other seasonings the result is a more savory depth of flavor. Once mixed in and cooked, I promise that it does not smell like farts.
Kala namak is particularly handy when making anything that should have a cheesy or creamy flavor. If you're new to it perhaps pick up a small amount before committing to a larger quantity. I usually purchase 1 lb pouches *here* but I'm considering bumping up to the larger size *here* given how often I use it ;-)
8-10 ounces pasta of choice
3/4 cup soaked cashews
1/4 cup butter
3 tsp olive oil
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp Kala namak (black salt)
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups plain almond/coconut milk or whatever you have on hand
1 small white or yellow onion, diced
1/2 tbs lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
black pepper to taste
15-ish grape or 10ish cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped, plus 2-4 basil leaves whole for garnish
Add pasta to a large pot of boiling, well-salted water and cook according to instructions. Drain, return to pot, and cover.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large pan over medium heat. Once warm, add butter, oil, and onion, stirring regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn; cook until translucent. Reduce heat slightly and add white wine and garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Next, add almond or coconut milk and whisk; cook for 2–3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and add drained cashews, salt, pepper, lemon juice and nutritional yeast—blend on high until creamy and smooth.
If the mixture is too thick for your liking add small amounts of almond or coconut milk until you've reached the desired consistency. Return sauce back to the pan and cook on medium heat until it bubbles, then reduce heat to low and cook until thickened, stirring frequently. When the sauce is ready add in your cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes and basil. Stir briefly and plate. Sprinkle with parmesan (if you're into that) and additional basil as desired.