Homemade Sweet Potato Gnocchi

3 Nov

While we were in San Francisco, we made one homecooked meal: delicious homemade gnocchi. I had never made gnocchi before, but had experienced the pleasure of fresh gnocchi through my grandmother’s gnocchi. Obviously, we were all amateur gnocchi-makers, because the meal ended up taking over 3 hours to put together (bad team work? too much wine? is there such thing as too much wine?). Unfortunately, after all that work, the final dish was only ok with a homemade pesto. Some pieces were undercooked and the gnocchi wasn’t as fluffy as it was intended to be.

That said, I set out to try my hand at making a good gnocchi dish once I got home. Instead of using Russet potatoes as the main ingedient, I chose sweet potatoes (you know me, always trying to inject some color in there). I wasn’t sure how the addition of the potatoes would affect the texture of the end product – one flaw in SF was adding butternut squash to the potatoes, which disrupted the flour to potato ratio by introducing too much water.

After all was said and done, I would say this is the best gnocchi I’ve ever had (can I toot my own horn?). It was light and had a slightly sweet background flavor brought on by the potatoes.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Serves: 2

Ingredients

2 – 3 sweet potatoes

1/3 cup flour (this depends on how much your potatoes weigh. Mine were 10 oz. total. Use the ratio 1 cup of flour to 2 lbs. potatoes)

1/2 egg (again, use the ration mentioned above. 1 egg: 2 lbs. potatoes: 1 cup flour then adjust)

Directions

Bake the potatoes at 350 degrees until they are cooked through (45 min. – 1 hour). I don’t have a ricer so I substituted that by grating the cooked potatoes on a box grater. I think it’s better than mashing because you can retain some air (it’s all about the fluffiness!). Knead your ingredients together so that you have a dough that stays together but is not too sticky. I use flour as the variable to get my dough to the correct consistency. The flour is the key to keeping these delicious pillows light; keep it at a minimum. When you mix the ingredients do so until they are just mixed. When you overmix potatoes they can become gluey.

gnocchi dough

The dough

After forming the dough, roll out long ropes and then cut them into pieces (I use my fork for this).  Roll the dough pieces along the back of a fork to get that distinctive textured surface, which helps hold onto the sauce in the final dish. Each raw gnocchi piece should be rolled so that it has textured lines on one side and your thumb impression on the other.

unshaped gnocchi

Unshaped gnocchi pillows

Pour cold water into a pot and boil. Add salt, and add in the gnocchi pieces in batches. The pasta is done when they float to the surface. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Mix with your sauce and enjoy!

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