Gnocchi has never been a crave-worthy dish for me. That is until last night, when I tasted my first batch of homemade white bean ricotta gnocchi. I made a batch of these tiny dumplings for the first Daring Cooks' Challenge. Now I can't stop thinking about them. This month's challenge, Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi by Judy Rodgers (named after her restaurant, The Zuni Café Cookbook) was chosen by Daring Kitchen hosts Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice and Lisa of La Mia Cucina. For alternative bakers, Shelly of Musings from the Fishbowl suggested using the classic PPK and Veganomicon recipe, Tofu Basil Ricotta with a little extra garlic and spices and some gluten flour. Instead of following The Zuni Cafe recipe, I made vegan gnocchi with tofu basil ricotta and pureed great northern beans topped off with a sauteed cherry tomato and tofu ricotta sauce. Each bite had a slight tang from the lemon juice and garlic that was tempered by the creamy tofu ricotta and beans, and finished with a subtle hint of basil, oregano, and nutmeg. Lucky for me, I managed to squirrel away some leftovers for lunch today. The gnocchi turned out to be that good. Step 1. Make the tofu basil ricotta. Tofu Basil Ricotta (slightly adapted) from the Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero 1 1/2 boxes extra firm mori-nu tofu juice of 1/2 lemon 2 teaspoons olive oil 3 large cloves garlic, chopped fine 1/4 teaspoon sea salt fresh ground black pepper (to taste) 1/4 cup nutritional flakes 2 teaspoons dried basil 1/3 cup gluten flour Drain the tofu. In a large bowl, squish the tofu with your hands until crumbly. Add lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and gluten flour. Squish mixture again with hands, until it resembles ricotta cheese. Add olive oil, stir with fork. Add nutritional yeast and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Step 2. Make the white bean ricotta gnocchi. White Bean Ricotta Gnocchi (slightly adapted) from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman 3 cups cooked great northern beans (or 2 150z. cans), drained until dry 1/2 cup tofu basil ricotta 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg sea salt (to taste) black pepper (to taste) about 1/2 cup all-purpose flour a few drizzles of olive oil Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add several pinches of salt. Place beans, salt, and pepper in a food mill set over a bowl and run them through until smooth. (Or use a food processor and blend until smooth and put them in a large bowl). Stir in ricotta and nutmeg. Add 1/4 cup of the flour and stir; add more until mixture forms a dough you can hold, but just barely. Knead for a minute or so on a lightly floured surface. Pinch off a piece of dough and boil it to see if it will hold its shape; if not, knead in a bit more flour. Roll a piece of the dough into a rope about 1/2 inch thick, then cut the rope into 1-inch lengths; spin each piece with tines of a fork to score it lightly for a traditional gnocchi (I skipped this step). Place each gnoccho on a sheet of parchment paper as it is ready; do not let them touch. Add about 1/2 gnocchi to the boiling water and stir gently. After they rise to the surface (about 20 seconds or so), remove them with a slotted spoon. (Taste for to make sure it's done). In a skillet over medium heat, add a few drizzles of olive oil. Put cooked gnocchi in pan and lightly fry to crisp the outside. Step 3. Make the Tomato Ricotta Sauce. Tomato Ricotta Sauce 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved remaining tofu basil ricotta 2 teaspoons dried oregano 1-2 teaspoons dried basil (to taste) sea salt (to taste) black pepper (to taste) 2 teaspoons olive oil juice of 1/2 lemon Wash cherry tomatoes and cut in half. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil; saute until tomato skins pucker. Add the leftover tofu basil ricotta and mix well. Add lemon juice. Taste. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Step 4. Serve the gnocchi with several spoonfuls of sauce and top with a chiffonade of fresh basil leaves.