Vegan Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce
Dinner 

Vegan Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

Roasted garlic and sweet vermouth team up to add a savory sweetness to this easy tomato sauce.

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This vegan gnocchi with tomato sauce is lightly sweet and super savory, thanks to roasted garlic and sweet vermouth. The sauce pairs so well with fluffy gnocchi that it’ll be your new favorite vegan gnocchi recipe.

Gnocchi is one of my favorite pastas. It’s fluffy and so comforting and pairs with just about any kind of tomato sauce.

Is Gnocchi Vegan

Is Gnocchi Vegan?

This may be the first question you have before starting your gnocchi dinner. Like many pastas, the answer is “yes and no.” Traditional gnocchi contains eggs when made fresh, so it is not vegan. However, most store-bought gnocchi doesn’t contain eggs, which makes it suitable for a vegan diet.

Of course, it’s always worth reading the ingredient list to double-check, particularly if you’re grabbing gnocchi from the refrigerated section. If you’re reaching for shelf-stable gnocchi, like the Bella Terra Potato Gnocchi above, chances are it will be vegan.

How to make this vegan gnocchi with tomato sauce

This tomato sauce has two special ingredients that make it deeply savory and a little sweet.

  • Roasted garlic: The sauce begins by roasting a head of garlic in the oven. You can do this the night before or right before you start cooking. I like to roast it for about 30 minutes at 400ºF, giving you a color similar to the image above. If you want to go even further, you can roast the garlic for up to 60 minutes, which will achieve a much darker color on the cloves and a more robust flavor. I recommend checking at thirty minutes and in ten-minute intervals to ensure you don’t burn the garlic.
  • Sweet vermouth: Move over, Manhattans. Sweet vermouth can and should go beyond cocktails. This fortified wine is enhanced with the flavor of botanicals, giving it a rich, sweet flavor that accents this tomato sauce perfectly.

The other ingredients

Beyond the roasted garlic and sweet vermouth, you’ll need a few additional ingredients for this vegan gnocchi recipe…but not many, I promise!

  • Yellow onion: If you want to get extra fancy with the alliums, replace it with a shallot or sliced leek.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: These add an intense tanginess that offsets the sweetness of the garlic and sweet vermouth. I use sun-dried tomatoes in oil, and I buy them already julienned, so it saves me prep time.
  • Chopped tomatoes: I love the Pomi brand of chopped tomatoes, as shown above. You can also use a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes instead. A can of whole peeled tomatoes will also work and you can crush them before or while they cook.
  • Thyme sprigs: I add a few thyme sprigs to the sauce, but you can omit or add a few shakes of dry thyme.
  • Parmesan cheese: I use Violife Just Like Parmesan to give this sauce a nice amount of decadence.

Violife Just Like Parmesan Cheese

This block of vegan Parmesan cheese worked perfectly in the sauce. It grates exceptionally well and brings that salty, creamy flavor. On its own, the flavor can be a little intense in an unsavory way, so I don’t recommend eating it by itself. But once it melted into the sauce, it added a really divine flavor and just the right amount of richness. I’ll be writing a full review soon, so keep your eyes open for that!

How to make it

  • Step 1: Roast the garlic. While the garlic roasts, I recommend preparing all the remaining ingredients for the recipe. Pop the cloves from the paper and mash them into a paste.
  • Step 2: Heat a tablespoon of the sun-dried tomato oil in a wide pot. Sauté the onion and sun-dried tomatoes for 5–6 minutes.
  • Step 3: Pour in the sweet vermouth and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce it by half.
  • Step 4: Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in a pinch of sugar, salt, pepper, and the thyme sprigs. When the garlic paste is ready, stir it into the sauce.
  • Step 5: Cook up the gnocchi and drain it (don’t rinse!). Reserve a little bit of the gnocchi cooking water.
  • Step 6: Finish it up! Add the cooked gnocchi and the grated Parmesan cheese to the sauce and stir to coat, adding the gnocchi cooking water as needed until the gnocchi is well-coated.
Vegan Gnocchi Recipe

From there, you can serve it up with a few fresh basil leaves, more grated Parmesan cheese, and a crack or two of black pepper if you like. You can also top it with freshly minced parsley if you like.

I hope you love this vegan gnocchi recipe as much as I did! If you make it, please rate the recipe and drop a comment below to let me know what you think of it.

Vegan Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

Vegan Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

Roasted garlic and sweet vermouth team up to add a savory sweetness to this easy tomato sauce.
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Inactive time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 334kcal

Equipment

  • Wide pot
  • Baking sheet
  • Large pot

Ingredients

  • 1 head of garlic, top cut off with cloves remaining intact in the paper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil drained and julienned
  • 4 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 26- ounce box chopped tomatoes or 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 16 ounces vegan gnocchi
  • ½ cup Violife Just Like Parmesan cheese grated; or use your favorite plant-based Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves, optional, for garnish
  • Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste

Instructions

Roast the garlic:

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  • Place the garlic, cut-side up, on a piece of foil and drizzle with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Add a pinch of salt. Wrap the foil around the garlic and place it on a baking sheet.
  • Transfer to the oven for 30–35 minutes. You can roast longer–up to 60 minutes–for a more robust flavor, but be careful not to burn it! Check them after 30 minutes and in 10-minute intervals to achieve your desired roast level.
  • Remove the garlic from the oven and open the foil. Let cool. Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, carefully pop the cloves from the paper. Mash the garlic into a paste and transfer to a small bowl.

Start the aromatics:

  • Heat the sun-dried tomato oil in a wide pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sun-dried tomatoes. Sauté for 5–6 minutes over medium heat. Season lightly with salt and crushed red pepper to taste.
  • Add the sweet vermouth to the pot and bring to a boil. Let the vermouth bubble rapidly in the pot for 3–5 minutes to reduce it by half.

Simmer the sauce:

  • Add the chopped tomatoes, a pinch of sugar, thyme sprigs, and a generous pinch of salt. Stir in the garlic paste and bring to a boil. See note.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes until thick. Stir periodically. If the sauce sticks or reduces too quickly, add a splash of water. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your preference. Discard the spent thyme sprigs.

Make the gnocchi:

  • Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook until they float. Scoop out ½ cup of the cooking water and then drain the gnocchi. Do not rinse them.

Finish the sauce:

  • Add the gnocchi and the grated Parmesan cheese to the sauce. Toss to coat, adding as much gnocchi water as needed to coat them. Taste and season. Turn off the heat.

To serve:

  • Divide the gnocchi between shallow bowls. Garnish with more grated Parmesan cheese and scatter a few fresh basil leaves on top. A few cracks of black pepper would also be delicious. Enjoy!

Recipe notes

If the garlic is still roasting at this stage, fear not. Just stir it into the sauce as soon as it’s ready. Because it’s already roasted, it doesn’t need to cook tremendously long in the sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 812mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g
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