If you’ve never had gnocchi, you’re missing out. These little Italian pillows blur the line between pasta and dumplings, being made from mashed potatoes combined with traditional pasta ingredients like flour and eggs. The tender, delicious bites can be used in a variety of recipes, from soups to pan-fried dumplings to pasta-style dishes.
If you’re looking for a way to incorporate a healthier spin on this classic dish, sweet potatoes are a fantastic substitute for the regular mashed potatoes in traditional gnocchi. They’re rich in vitamins, and the sweet notes will play beautifully with a variety of light or hearty flavors. (For this picture, I tossed the gnocchi with basil pesto, chicken sausage, and some sliced onions. Yum!)
As a note, the amount of flour you need for this recipe will depend largely on how you cook the sweet potatoes before you mash them. If you boil them as opposed to baking or microwaving them, you will need to use more flour to absorb the water that the sweet potatoes took in during the cooking process. Keep an eye on your dough, and add in just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
2 8-oz red sweet potatoes
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 1/2 cups flour (note: you might not need all of it)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Pierce the sweet potatoes several times with a fork before placing on a sheet pan. Bake for 40 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender. Remove the skin, and mash 1 1/2 cups of the sweet potato with the nutmeg until smooth. When cool enough to touch, stir in the egg. Add the flour in 1/2-cup batches and mix thoroughly between additions, until the dough is dry to the touch, but not crumbly.
Dust your work surface with some flour, and roll the dough out into a long rope, about 1/2” thick. Cut the rope into 1/2” pieces. Boil the gnocchi for 3-5 minutes in 6 quarts of salted water, until the gnocchi floats to the surface of the water. Drain, toss in your sauce of choice, and serve immediately.
Makes about 6 servings.