Gnocchi with Asparagus, Radish and Huancaina Butter Sauce

Happy New Year and Veganuary! Our first recipe of 2022 is a Happy Belly After cultural blend of Italian and Peruvian flavors. Homemade gnocchi with roasted vegetables and Huancaina sauce, a flavorful sauce made from mild Aji Amarillo peppers.

A food mill is necessary for make light and fluffy gnocchi. OXO makes a good one that's easy to use. These gnocchi are perfect for dinner on a chilly winter evening.

Gnocchi with Asparagus, Radish and Huancaina Butter Sauce

Note: You may not need all of the gnocchi or the huancaina butter sauce. It all depends on the portion size that you prefer. The remaining uncooked gnocchi can be frozen for up to 3 months. Lay the gnocchi on a parchment lined tray and freeze overnight. Tranfer to an airtight container. 

Preheat the oven to 325˚ 

Bake the Potatoes – Wash the potatoes and wrap in foil. Bake for 1½ hours until tender.

Make the Gnocchi – Note: It’s very important to work with the potatoes while they are still hot. I wear gloves to handle the potatoes straight from the oven. 

Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh. Place in a food mill with a medium blade. Rice the potatoes. Weigh the potatoes and place in a bowl. Measure out ⅓ the weight of the potatoes in flour and add to the bowl. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of salt. Mix together using your hands until a smooth dough is formed.

Divide the dough into eight pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a large rope about ½” diameter. Cut into 1″ pieces and roll each piece on a gnocchi board to get the characteristic ridges. Place on a large parchment lined tray. Set aside. 

Make the Huancaina Butter Sauce – Soak the Aji Amarillo chilis in boiling water for 1 hour until soft. Remove the stem, seeds and veins.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onion until translucent 7-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add the onions, garlic and drained chilis to a high speed blender. Add the silken tofu, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the vegan butter 1 tbsp at a time, whisking until smooth. Keep warm.

Cook the vegetables – In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the radishes and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the asparagus tips and cook for 1-2 more minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Cook the gnocchi – In a 3 quart saucepan, bring some salted water to a boil. Starting with a couple of gnocchi as a test, cook until they float to the surface. Strain from the water with a slotted spoon, toss with olive oil and place in a warm bowl while you cook the remaining gnocchi. 

To serve – In a large skillet, heat the huancaina sauce with a half cup of the pasta water. Add the cooked radishes and asparagus. Add the gnocchi and stir to warm. Divide between warm bowls and serve with cashew Parmesan.

serves 6


  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • all purpose flour – see note
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  • 5 Aji Amarillo chilis, about 1.25 oz.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 oz silken tofu
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 8 tbsp vegan butter


  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 bunch of thin asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 bunch of radishes, trimmed and cut in half


  • cashew parmesan
  • chopped chives