Sweet Potato Gnocchi

There’s a reason I don’t give dinner parties: I’m not a good cook. So I really can’t explain what possessed me to have a dinner party in honor of my husband’s birthday last year, especially since the guest list included a number of card-carrying gastronomes. Luckily, they are nice people too, and much too polite to do anything but dutifully eat the less-than-perfectly-done osso bucco that was put in front of them.

We did have some pretty good bread (because I do like to bake) and a perfectly serviceable salad (hard to screw that up) and a delicious pear cake for dessert (because I do like to bake), but I think the thing that really saved the meal was some little orange pillows of goodness and light. And believe me, no one was more surprised than I was that these sweet potato gnocchi turned out so well that people actually asked me for the recipe. I can’t remember the last time that’s happened with any non-baked thing I’ve made. Now that I think about it, maybe it’s never happened.

What I’m trying to say is, if I can pull these off, so can you. And by you, I mean anyone. And not only can you make them, but you should, because they’re very good. Also fun to make, if you like working with dough. (Of course you do, why else would you be reading here?) In fact I’ve made them several times now, and it has never seemed like a chore. Only once have they been less than wonderful, and that was when my sweet potato mash was too dry and I also accidentally used about three times as much salt as I should have. They can be made several hours ahead and then reheated with the brown butter at serving time.

I adapted this recipe from Epicurious, the major change being I used significantly less flour than that recipe calls for. The dough is light and airy and seems fragile, but it’s quite manageable if you use a light hand and plenty of flour on the counter. I haven’t really gotten the hang of rolling them off a fork to produce those characteristic gnocchi ridges, but it doesn’t matter. Even unridged, they are terrific. And yes, they really are as orange as they look in the photo.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Sage Brown Butter
(adapted from Epicurious)

Yield: 60 gnocch

Ingredients:

  • 360 g (1.5 c.) mashed cooked sweet potato flesh
  • 190 g (3/4 c.) well-drained ricotta cheese
  • 17 g (1/2 c.) finely-grated parmesan cheese
  • 15 g (1 T. packed) brown sugar
  • 6 g (1 t.) salt
  • approximately 75 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 – 4 T. unsalted butter
  • 3 T. chopped sage, plus whole sage leaves for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Mash together the sweet potato, cheeses, brown sugar, and 1 t. salt.
  2. Add flour until the dough holds together but is still very soft and light.
  3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Turn the dough onto a floured counter and divide it into 3 pieces.
  5. Using a light hand, roll each piece into a rope 20 inches long and about an inch in diameter.
  6. Use a dough cutter to cut each rope into 1-inch pieces.
  7. Roll the gnocchi on the tines of a fork to give them ridges, and place them on one of the prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
  9. Working in batches of 15, boil the gnocchi until they float and then a minute longer (about 2 minutes total). Remove them gently with a spider or slotted spoon to the other prepared baking sheet.
  10. Let the gnocchi stand at room temperature at least until firm, and up to 4 hours.
  11. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Cook until the butter solids are brown and aromatic, about 5 minutes.
  12. Add the chopped sage and salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Add the gnocchi and sauté, tossing gently, until the gnocchi are heated through and are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  14. Serve garnished with whole sage leaves.

CommentsLeave a comment

  1. says

    Sweet potato gnocchi have been on my to do list for awhile now. I am most certainly going to try making gnocchi using your recipe. I always think of myself as a cook not a baker, yet find myself really enjoying baking and learning that I am good at it. You have a fabulous hidden cook inside of you, keep at it!

  2. says

    Your gnocchi look wonderful. I always tell guests that if for any reason I screw up on dinner, there’s always dessert. I can always count on that to be good. (I love to bake too!)

  3. says

    These look so good! I had gnocchi at an Italian restaurant this summer and they were the lightest, most delicious I’d ever put in my mouth. The server told us it was because of the ricotta. And this time of year I am obsessed with sweet potatoes and pumpkins. This will be perfect!

  4. mko says

    thank you for posting! for all reading – the entire dinner was fantastic. dunno what susan’s muttering about wrt to the osso bucco – mmmmmm

  5. says

    Looks delicious once again. I’ve only had crumbly-gnocchi disasters before. I think I’ll have to give this one a try though. Any tips for keeping the dough together?

  6. says

    I eat very little meat and I adore gnocchi with marinara or cream and sage. It is so light when freshly made. This sounds so lovely for Autumn. Bookmarked and thanks.

  7. says

    I’ve always wanted to make gnocchis but always backed out at the last minute…too scared… Thanks for showing me that it is indeed possible for a novice!

  8. says

    That looks mighty fine! Gnocchi is a favorite dish I make often, but I have never tried it with sweet potatoes. An idea to keep in mind for next time.

  9. says

    Those look delicious. I’ve never had Gnocchi, I’ve always been a bit intimidated by concept of making my own. You have convinced me to try this. I love sweet potatoes.

  10. says

    Mmm I made sweet potato gnocchi once last year and it was great. Yours look nice and fluffy! They’re whispering, “Make meeeeeee!” in my ear.
    p.s. There are some pretty good videos on YouTube showing how to roll the gnocchi off a fork for the ridges, if you’re interested. Ridged or unridged, gnocchi is delicious.

  11. says

    My kids LOOOOVE gnocchi… I wonder if they’d go for the sweet potato variety. I’ve only made gnocchi once in my life, about 18 years ago when I lived in Italy. Ever since, I’m just a cheater and by them fresh.
    It’s a wonderful idea and I’ll definitely give it a try.
    jane

  12. says

    These look delicious! I love sweet potatoes and I love gnocchi :)

    This would even make a nice Thanksgiving or fall appetizer if portions were scaled down.

  13. Kelly says

    Hi — This recipe looks great, thanks for posting! I am thinking of making these for thanksgiving. Do you think that I can prepare them the day before, store them in the fridge overnight, then the next day take them out to sautee? I am an avid cook and just starting to bake, but have never made gnocchi or any pasta before. Thank you!

  14. says

    Many thanks ( belatedly :( )for the cooking encouragement and kind words, everyone.

    Kelly, the recipe says they keep at room temp up to four hours. I have kept the leftovers in the fridge overnight and they were definitely edible, but heavier and not as good.

  15. says

    You soup makers out there, my granddaughter is allergic to milk but can use rice milk and rice flour, can anyone give me a recipe for sweet potato gnocchi and ham that she could make and eat. Also any other soup recipes that you could convert over to rice milk and flour. Thank looking forward to anyones comment

  16. Norma says

    Hmmmmm…I just made these gnocchi and by my count, 3 ropes of 20″ each, cut into 1″ gnocchi comes out to be 60, not 30. In any case, rolling them out to 20″ makes them much less than 1″ in diameter. So I made 3 rolls each 10″ long, then cut each rope into 10, which leaves me with 30 gnocchi. They took 2 full minutes to rise in the boiling water, so I let them go another 2 minutes for a total of 4. They are now resting happily on my counter to be finished in a couple of hours.

  17. Andrea says

    I made this recipe for dinner Saturday night. I thought I needed to double the recipe because it say “Yield:30 gnocchi” and I needed to feed 5 people. I made the dough with all the ingredients according to weight, but the dough ended up too wet to roll out. I did make some of the gnocchi without adding extra flour, but I added a ton (double maybe?) more flour to make the dough so that I could successfully roll it out on a floured table. The gnocchi that had the extra flour added came out EXCELLENT!!! The entire family loved them!!! The ones without the extra flour almost fell apart in the boiling water and didn’t have the right texture. I also got enough gnocchi for the family of five plus tons of leftovers that I froze (before cooking). I don’t think I needed to double the recipe. Overall, this was a fabulous recipe when the flour was doubled. Thanks!!!

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