My Sweet Potato Gnocchi Inspiration
When I lived in Perth, Australia I had a friend that lived way on the other side of the country near Canberra. For those of you who don’t know, Australia is huge so when I say way on the other side of the country I mean wayyyy on the other side of the country. It takes roughly about four hours to fly from Perth to Canberra.
Anyway this friend, we’ll call him Geoff (because that’s his name) really liked to putter around in the kitchen He wasn’t chained to the barbie like most Aussie men (oooh, got my funny pants on today!). One day Geoff posted the gorgeous dish of Sweet Potato Gnocchi with burned butter sage that he made his wife. That had my attention right away and I was impressed that the dude can COOK!
Gnocchi By Memory
Making Sweet Potato Gnocchi has been on my mind on and off for about 3 years. After having great success making regular gnocchi I got re-inspired by all those great sweet potatoes in the shops. I knew it was finally time to give this beautiful and impressive dish a go.
The Impressive Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes do not grow in Canada. They weren’t readily available in grocery stores when I was a kid so I didn’t try them until later in life. How could anyone NOT love sweet potatoes?
With all of the sweet potatoes dumped out onto the counter, I kneaded in flour until the mixture became a cohesive dough. Since I started with three good sized sweet potatoes I may have used around 1 1/2 cups of flour. I did also add some freshly grated pepper and salt to the mixture. Keep your work surface well floured and you shouldn’t have any sticky dough problems.
Next, I divided the dough into four and rolled each bit into a long rope about 2 cm wide. If you like your gnocchi a bit smaller, make the ropes a bit thinner.
For the next step I enlisted the help of kid number 2. I figured she would be a good hand model while I took the action shots. She’s also pretty smart so she caught on right away to the gnocchi shaping. My kids all really love gnocchi so this wasn’t too much trouble for her. We started reminiscing about when her grandparents took all three kids to a nice Italian restaurant and grandpa ordered the ‘gah-naw-chi’. Oh, they were slightly embarrassed but made sure to wait until the server was gone to correct grandpa’s pronunciation. Now every time we have gnocchi the story gets retold and we all have a chuckle at grandpa’s expense.
To shape the gnocchi, she rolled the piece of dough in her hands until it was an oval shape, then used a fork to indent one side. The ridges created by the fork help to hold the sauce on the gnocchi.
Despite the huge amount of gnocchi to be made, kid number 2 disappeared after her slight guest appearance. It took me a while to finish the rest of them but the good thing is that this recipe made enough for two meals and gnocchi freezes well.
And after all of that at least the ‘sauce’ was really quick and effortless. I added 1/4 cup of butter to the pan and heated it until the little flecks of milk solids turned all brown and caramel-ly. Somewhere in there I threw in a handful of fresh sage leaves so they would be nice and crispy. After the Sweet Potato Gnocchi had boiled and become buoyant I scooped them out of the water and into the burned butter.
Pin it HERE.
More Carb Lovin’ From Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Burned Butter Sage
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Burned Butter Sage
- 3 medium sweet potatoes; all roughly the same size
- 1 1/2 cups flour (add as needed)
- 1/4 cup butter
- fresh sage
- Salt and Pepper
- Using a fork, poke holes all over the sweet potatoes. Place in a tray and roast at 375 F until you can easily stick a fork into their centres. Allow to cool slightly.
- Peel the skin off the potatoes and cut them into chunks.
- Using a potato ricer, process the sweet potatoes so that they become fluffy and consistent. You could try to just mash the potatoes but there's always the risk of large chunks remaining.
- Arrange sweet potatoes in a pile, make a well, and add 1 cup of flour.
- Add salt and pepper.
- While you mix the dough, add remaining flour just a little bit at at time. The dough should be only slightly sticky and easily rolled on a well floured surface.
- Try not to over work the dough. Overworking the dough results in the formation of gluten strands and makes for tough gnocchi. It takes a bit of experience to know when to stop adding flour and just how much effort you should use on the dough , so don’t give up.
- Cover the dough with a large bowl or damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into 1/2-inch-thick rope on a floured work surface. Cut each cylinder into ½-inch pieces.
- Roll each piece on a gnocchi board (or use a fork) to give it a dimpled and indented texture.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted boiling water to a boil.
- Gently add gnocchi and cook for one minute after the gnocchi float to the water’s surface.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi.
- Add butter and fry sage leaves until they are crispy. Remove sage from pan.
- Keep butter on med heat until it becomes browned (but not burned).
- Add gnocchi to pan and shake gently to distribute.
- Fry, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until the gnocchi turn golden,
- To Serve: Season with salt and pepper, add a few rounds of grated Parmesan Reggiano and top with crispy sage.