Fried Lemon Mascarpone & Ground Vanilla Gnocchi

Kindi Lantz February 07, 2019

Keto Gnocchi in a Lemon, Sage, & Vanilla Cream Sauce

There are infinite uses for ground vanilla beyond pastries, desserts, and gussied up coffee. It’s perfect for experimenting with flavors for temperamental recipes while avoiding altering the dry to wet ingredient ratio. Try adding it to mousses, flans, sauces, cocktails, or even culinary treasures like gnocchi, as I did here.

Gnocchi is an Italian dumpling, often made with potatoes and wheat flour. They are not traditionally known for being a low-carb dish. That doesn’t mean they can’t be! This particular version is made with a blend of coconut and almond flours, eggs, mascarpone, lemon juice, and our key ingredient—ground vanilla!

The word gnocchi is thought to have been derived from either the word, nocchio, meaning knot in wood, or nocca, meaning knuckle. Aptly so, they kind of look like little fists of savory delight and you’ll feel like you’ve just had a flavor punch to the mouth after savoring this lemon, mascarpone, and ground vanilla gnocchi in a sage cream sauce.

Fried Lemon Mascarpone & Ground Vanilla Gnocchi with Lemon, Sage, and Vanilla Cream Sauce

Yields 4-6 Servings


For the gnocchi:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup almond flour (plus more for dusting)
  • ¼ tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground vanilla
  • Coconut oil for frying
  • Water for steaming

For the sauce:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 5 large sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground vanilla
  • ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream


For the gnocchi:

  1. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, and lemon juice together rapidly until frothy.
  2. Blend in the mascarpone until smooth.
  3. Whisk in the almond flour and coconut flour a little at a time.
  4. Once the mixture is thoroughly blended with no lumps, stir in the ground vanilla.
  5. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.
  6. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of almond flour on a plate.
  7. Spoon about ½ teaspoon of the dough into the palm of your hand, roll it into a ball, and drop it onto the plate with the almond flour.
  8. Turn the ball over so the flour-side is up. Using a small fork (appetizer forks work well), gently press the prongs of the fork into the ball, slightly flattening the ball and leaving an impression. Repeat until you have used all of the dough.
    Keto Gnocchi with Ground Vanilla
  9. Heat about ⅛” coconut oil in a large skillet over low heat.
  10. Once the oil is hot, use a fork to carefully lift the gnocchi from the plate and gently place in the pan.  
  11. Once the pan is filled, pour a few tablespoons of water around the gnocchi for steaming. Place a lid on the pan and cook for approximately 6 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown and the center is moist but not doughy.
  12. Repeat, adding more oil as necessary until you have cooked all of the gnocchi.

For the sauce:

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
  2. Stir in the whole sage leaves, lemon juice, and ground vanilla.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes
  4. Stir in the whipping cream.
  5. Use an immersion blender to blend until a smooth, creamy mixture has been developed.

Serving Suggestions:

Layer the gnocchi in a shallow bowl and drizzle the sauce over top. Add a dollop of mascarpone, fried or fresh sage, fresh asiago, and/or anything your heart desires. I especially love this dish as a side to fresh seafood!

Lemon Mascarpone Gnocchi with Vanilla

I may have strayed from the norm with this gnocchi but for me, culinary experimentation is a thrill. It’s a balance of creativity and science. I urge you to play with your food. Try new, unexpected ingredients in your gnocchi (or any other dish)—whether it be ground vanilla or something else.

What other uses can you think of for vanilla in this form? You can order your whole ground vanilla beans here and when you do, we want to hear all about how you used it! Let us know in the comments.



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