Gnocchi is such an easy, low-budget food to make, and can be stored very well in the freezer, making it ideal for batch cooking. It can be cooked with a whole bunch of different sauces and flavours, so is very adaptable to even the fussiest eater.
This gnocchi recipe makes 6 portions, making it 9p per portion, and the sauce makes enough for 3, bringing it to around 23p per portion. But, like I say, you can cook this with any sauce you like – it’s entirely up to you!
You will need:
- 600g mash potato (40p)
- 130g plain flour (5p)
- 1 egg (10p)
- 1/2tsp salt
For the Mushroom Sauce
- 1/2 onion (5p)
- 3 garlic cloves (10p)
- 150g mushrooms (25p)
- 150ml creme fraiche (30p)
- 1/2 brocolli head (20p)
- 10g dried mushrooms (40p)
- 20g walnuts (20p)
- 20g blue cheese (18p)
- 1tbsp herbs – tarragon, rosemary, thyme, basil, etc. (8p)
And the how to:
- First, make your mash. My preferred way to do this is by pricking the potatoes all over with a fork, putting in the microwave for around 6–10 minutes, and roasting whole until tender, around 20–30 minutes at 180C
- Pro tip: If you roast the potatoes, scoop out the mashed insides, lay them back on the baking tray and top with tomatoes, onions, and cheese, then return to the oven for another 5 minutes to get a wonderful plate of food!
- Let the mash cool then add your flour, salt, and any herbs (I used tarragon and red onion) and mix everything together.
- Once combined, add your egg and, once the dough is starting to come together, turn onto a floured work surface.
- The dough will be sticky once the egg is added – don’t worry, this is perfectly fine! Try not to add much more flour, but if you’re finding it particularly difficult dough to work with, flour is the solution.
- Now divide your dough into small, workable balls and roll each of these into logs around an inch thick. Now chop the logs into lots of little pillows – they don’t have to be identical, close enough will do.
- An extra thing you can do is press each gnocchi gently onto a fork and roll it to get lovely sauce catching lines. This does, however, take a lot of extra time and so isn’t worth doing if you are looking for a quick meal.
- In batches, drop the gnocchi pillows into a pan of salted boiling water. When they float they are ready, so scoop them out and either add them to a pan to brown or rest and dry on a plate/tray.
- The gnocchi can be froze for future use at this point, although I would advise using them quickly still as they tend to discolour if left in the freezer for a few weeks.
- The sauce is really simple, too. Dice your onion and around half of the mushrooms and add them to a pan with a drop of oil and salt. Cook until the onions are translucent. Then add your garlic and the rest of the mushrooms and cook for a further minute.
- This is the right time to add hard herbs such as rosemary and thyme as well as the dried mushrooms, if using.
- Now the garlic smells great, add in your stock. I used mushroom stock leftover from rehydrating dried mushrooms, but you could use veg or meat stock too.
- Reduce the liquid down then add in your creme fraiche and any soft herbs like tarragon or basil and stir them in.
- You could use a vegan creme fraiche, sour cream, cream, or even yogurt – it’s entirely up to you!
- You can cook the gnocchi up by roasting in a tray or frying in a pan, which is my preffered method. Simply sear the gnocchi on one side in a medium-high heat pan along with a couple of extra diced mushrooms and broccoli, if you’re using it. Flip it all over after a minute or two and, once both sides of the gnocchi are brown, add your sauce.
- Cook this out until the sauce is nice and thick, then plate up with optional extras like blue cheese, walnuts, or spring onion.
That’s it! Simple as that. Tell me what you think – have you made this recipe? Will you? Let me know in the comments!
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If you have any suggestions for recipes, or have a favourite meal which is now becoming unaffordable, get in touch. I’d love to build a community where budget-friendly recipes and ideas are freely shared, and I’d love to have you along for the ride.
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