For those who have never tried Ricotta Gnocchi, it's been described as delicate, rich tasting "pillows," unlike the chewier potato version that many of us are used to. When I heard the first Daring Cook's Challenge, I was a bit perplexed. The original recipe calls for cheese, eggs, butter, and a bit of flour. Nothing turned up when I googled for help, so it was off to the test kitchen to do a little experimentation... call me "Dr. Frankenstein" (evil laugh).
Well, I think I came up with a freakishly good vegan fascimile, and it's as simple (if not more simple) than the original!
The chosen inspiring recipe for Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi is from Judy Rodger's The Zuni Café Cookbook.
First, soak 1/2 C. raw cashews in hot water for about an hour (or until they look nice and plump). Drain, and put them into a food processor until they're a fine crumble.
Next, crumble in fully pressed extra firm tofu (14 oz. package). This is much easier to do if you freeze the tofu first, thaw, then squeeze it out like a sponge. Add 2 tsp. lemon juice, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp. white pepper, and salt to your preference. I used white pepper, because I wanted to keep it white looking and not spotted, but feel free to use black pepper. Process everything until it comes together into a doughy ball.
Form little balls (or desired shape) and roll lightly in all purpose flour. Boil them until they float, and violla! They're ready to serve with your favorite sauce.
I used a basic tomato-red wine sauce and garnished with roasted eggplant and chives to make a pretty plate.