Stop frowning. I’m serious. I didn’t even realize this could be a “Let’s Make a Meal Together” craft until I began the process. I belong to a Produce and Meat CSA from a local Nashville farm and winter is always a little challenging in the produce department. I received a bag of beautiful sweet potatoes last Saturday and the inspiration hit: sweet potato gnocchi.
It’s SO easy and turns out, a super fun meal project with the kids. It’s like playing with Play Dough. I let my son do ALL the rolling out of the dough into ropes with his hand. (Well, except this one for the picture - that’s me.) Then I just cut them and we both tried to make those cute indentations with forks, but they ended up being so ugly that we donned them Frankengnocchi. As soon as I cooked them, however, they puffed right up and no one was the wiser to their previous hideous appearance. (Well, except you now.) You could Google how to do this nicely, but I was too impatient and, besides, we had fun making them ugly. Mine were the ugliest so, clearly, I won.
After boiling and draining these not-so-beautiful-but-delicious nuggets, I threw them into a large skillet to finish them off with a sauce. What to do for a sauce? Honestly, I just mixed some butter, olive oil, vegetable broth and balsamic vinegar together and called it a day. You don’t really want to hide your hard work by putting a super heavy sauce on them. I also had some leftover chicken sausage that I needed to use up in addition to broccoli so threw that all together and topped it with grated pecorino. Want to do a meatless meal? These little guys are perfect for that! I would toast up my favorite nuts (pecans or walnuts would be great), crumble a little goat cheese and sprinkle some fresh herbs at the end. Squeeze some lemon or a sour orange and you’re in business.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
1 ½ lbs sweet potatoes (about 3 medium ones), halved lengthwise
2 T. olive oil
¼ c. grated pecorino or parmesan
2 T. honey
2 t. salt
2 c. all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (I love Williams Sonoma Cup4Cup as I can’t tell any difference in taste or texture. Bob’s Red Mill also has a winner)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle some salt on the potatoes. Rub them all over and place them CUT side down. Roast for 30 minutes or until a fork (not a knife) goes through them easily. Set aside to cool about 15 minutes. Peel off all the skins.
- In a large bowl, mash together the sweet potatoes, cheese, egg, honey and 2 t. salt. I like using a fork. Add in ½ c. flour at a time, mixing well. You are looking for a change from mashed sweet potatoes to dough. You could use less or even a little more than the 2 c. flour, but the less flour you use, the lighter the gnocchi will be. You are an artist at this point and it’s all about feel. I ended up using exactly 2 cups and then more for the board.
- Lightly flour a large cutting board or counter and take about 1/3 cup of the dough at a time and roll into even ropes about ½” thick. Cut the dough into little nuggets, also about ½”, but I realized after cooking that they do grow so if I had cut them smaller, I’d have had a lot more gnocchi. Go with this or indent with a fork. Set aside all your cut gnocchi until ready to cook.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Lower heat to medium high and cook gnocchi for approximately five minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer to a bowl or plate.
- In a large skillet, add olive oil, butter or a combination and lightly fry your beautiful gnocchi. Proceed with any add-ins you want. You’ll feel like you’re in a wonderful Italian restaurant by the time you sit down to dinner and, if your kids helped, they will be very proud.