Sweet Potato Gnocchi

by Jill Chen on October 19, 2011

in All Recipes, Holiday, Vegetables, Vegetarian

I quickly emailed my recipe for homemade gnocchi to Jill last week, certain she could master a version made with sweet potatoes. I knew I had given the task to the right woman because after two attempts, she’s made a version of sweet potato gnocchi that looks absolutely perfect. Thanks, Jill! -Maggie

This is utterly delicious. It’s just fluffy morsels of sweet potato tossed in fried sage and brown butter, and it’s wonderful. I made it last week as a side dish for our Canadian Thanksgiving, but I was distracted and didn’t watch them as they over-cooked and boiled into a pile of orange mush. Despite being mush, it was still very good and we ate it anyways.

Still, I was committed to making it work. So I made it again this week, because I wanted to shoot a pretty plate of gnocchi and not mush, and also because I wanted to eat it again, enjoying it on its own, fresh out of the pan, without the turkey and all the trimmings.

Don’t let the thought of having to make gnocchi from scratch stop you from trying this recipe. It took no time, from raw sweet potato to plate in 30 minutes. It’s not complicated, takes just few ingredients, and I don’t measure. Hint: you don’t have to measure either, just pay attention to the dough.

Originally, three sweet potatoes were baked in our earth oven. This time around, I microwaved them which only took a few minutes. Do not boil as they will become too wet, requiring a lot more flour. Extra flour is bad for gnocchi; it makes for a heavy gnocchi.

Whether you wrap in foil and bake, or wrap in plastic and nuke for a few minutes, it all comes out fine. Just make sure the potatoes are soft.

Peel the skins, and mash until fluffy. Add your flour, starting off with a cup, then gradually add a quarter cup at a time, blending the dough with a spatula (very sticky) until you’ve added just enough to work into a soft dough. Don’t add too much flour as it will be heavy and not light as air. I can’t give you an exact amount as it will depend on how much moisture is in your potatoes, but it was approximately two cups for me.

Work in small manageable amounts on a heavily floured surface, rolling until 3/4″ in diameter. Cut into bite-sized pieces. If the dough starts to stick to your fingers, dredge them in flour.

Keeping pinching off small handfuls and rolling out, placing cut pieces on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Drop in small batches into boiling water and lift out with a slotted spoon as soon as it surfaces, floating in the top of the pot. Set aside and reserve in a bowl. My Thanksgiving batch was ruined because I neglected this, overcooked into a mushy mess. Watch your boiling gnocchi closely.

Melt 8 tablespoons of butter, add a handful of fresh sage leaves. When you add the leaves, it will go frothy, then clear. The butter bits will brown, but watch that it doesn’t burn! Squeeze half a lemon to stop the butter from browning further.

Quickly add the reserved gnocchi into the brown butter pan. Season with sea salt and toss. It’s all so fragrant, buttery and nutty.

Keep it warm in the oven for a side dish, or you can add whatever you want to make it more like a main dish. I suggest bacon, Parmesan, kale, or Brussels sprouts. It all works!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage & Brown Butter

This recipe was adapted from Maggie’s Gnocchi Recipe, substituting with sweet potatoes and roasting, not boiling first.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, bake or microwaved, skins removed and mashed
  • 2 cups plain all-purpose flour (approximate, as you may require more or less)
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • Handful fresh sage leaves
  • Squeeze half a lemon
  • Sea salt

Directions:

  1. Microwave the potatoes in a microwave for a few minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel them.
  2. Mash the potatoes until fluffy. Add your flour, starting off with a cup, then gradually add a quarter cup at a time, blending the dough with a spatula (very sticky) until you’ve added just enough to work into a soft dough.
  3. Work in small manageable amounts on a heavily floured surface, rolling until 3/4″ in diameter. Cut into bite-sized pieces. If the dough starts to stick to your fingers, dredge them in flour. Keeping pinching off small handfuls and rolling out, placing cut pieces on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. The gnocchi cooks in a few minutes. From the moment you pop them into the boiling water, you’ll notice them buzz around and then quickly float to the top. Once they surface to the top of the water, they’re done. Pull them out and place them in a buttered or oiled baking dish while you cook the rest.
  5. Make   your brown butter and sage sauce by melting 8 tablespoons of butter and adding a handful of fresh sage leaves.  The butter bits will brown, but watch that it doesn’t burn! Squeeze half a lemon to stop the butter from browning too much.
  6. Quickly add the reserved gnocchi into the brown butter pan. Season with sea salt and toss.

All photos styled and photographed by Jill Chen.

Eat Boutique is an online magazine + market for food enthusiasts to celebrate the best pure, local + comforting handmade foods. We call it: food that hugs you back. Looking for the perfect gift? Eat Boutique sells gift boxes filled with handmade sweet and savory treats. Send a gift box of handmade food today.

Jill Chen

Jill Chen, photographer, graphic designer, and urban farmer resides in Toronto, Canada with her chickens and mini pet pig named Henry. After running a design studio for twenty years, Jill gave it all up for a simpler way of living. When she's not making food or photographing food, she's growing food with the goal of being self-sustaining with year-round organic produce, despite the harsh Canadian winter. Charcuterie, wine-making, mushroom cultivation, aquaponics and shrimp farming are just a few of the projects on her plate right now. You can follow Jill's blog, Freestyle Farm, for beautiful photos that will inspire you to cook or grow something.

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  • Chris Nguyen

    That looks SOOOOO GOOD! I’ve never had sweet potato gnocchi before; im lovin the idea though! Someday, I shall try this out!

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      Chris: You should definitely try it! I hope you’re doing well. :)

  • http://thegoodgirlgoneblog.com Good Girl Gone Blog

    This looks like heaven…

  • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

    I think Jill did an amazing job. I just want to crawl into bed with a big bowl of this stuff and a glass of something bubbly…

  • http://twitter.com/familystylefood FamilyStyleFood

    This is so beautiful! I’m hungry for gnocchi, big time.

  • http://www.ladygouda.blogspot.com Shelby @ Lady Gouda

    SIMPLY GORGEOUS. And now I am starving and can think of nothing else. I’ve tried gnocchi before to various levels of success. I love this no measure method. Will put this on my list of fall recipes for sure. Thanks for sharing, Jill!

  • Chez Us

    Jill, I can only think of one word to describe this meal.  GORGEOUS!  I have been dying to make gnocchi, and am utterly motivated after reading your post.  

    Could not agree more about not boiling the sweet potatoes.  I made a sweet potato salad a couple weeks ago and used roasted potatoes, instead, and it was perfect.  Not over cooked or watered down.  

    Lovely!  

  • http://www.freestylefarm.ca Jill @ Freestylefarm

    I am still loving gnocchi, it’s really so simple and I hope you all give it a try really soon! I’ve got some squash begging to be turned into gnocchi right now. YUM!

  • Heatheraa

    This is purely post perfect.  

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      Let’s make some together! :)

  • Bparmenter

    I made this dish and it was FABULOUS!  I did cooked my sweet potatoes the old fashioned way — the microwave — and the recipe still turned out to be perfection on a plate!

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      That’s so great to hear. I’m glad you liked it! xo, Maggie

  • Olavecchia

    hello! how many does this feed?

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      It fed 6-8 people for Jill as a side dish and 4 people for me as a main course. Jill graciously pointed out to me that if you add Brussels sprouts, apples or other goodies to the pot, it can feed even more. I hope this helps! xox, Maggie

  • http://www.denverdustbunnies.com/ Dust Bunnies

    Mmm, my husband loves sweet potatoes! I’m sure he would love this! :)

  • Kelshhhh

    if you feel like splurging, this recipe is absolutely phenomenal with scallops for a main dish! THANK YOU!

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      I am so glad you liked it! xox – Maggie

  • pretty blue kitchen

    My husband and I have now made this twice -yum! We added ricotta to the gnocchi dough (but no extra flour at all) and the result was phenomenal. Thanks for the wonderful recipe! This is now a staple recipe for us.

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      Woot woot! I love when husband’s like sweet potato dishes. My hubby hates sweet potatoes but this dish won him over. xox Maggie

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.jenkins.758 Jennifer Jenkins

    Would this work with rice flour? Would it change its texture too much?

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      I’m not sure, Jennifer. It’s worth trying! I would just make a small batch to see if it works. :) xox Let us know!

  • http://atasteofmadness.blogspot.com/ ATasteOfMadness

    Oh wow. I am speechless. This looks fantastic!

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      You’re so sweet! xox

  • http://twitter.com/ElizabethMD Elizabeth M Duquette

    Gorgeous pictures, and delicious looking gnocchi :D

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      Thanks Elizabeth! Yum yum xox

  • http://dbakeca.com Dbakeca Italia

    sweeeet

  • Pingback: the art of eating in: homemade sweet potato gnocchi | this life, designed ::

  • Kelly

    Honestly, one of my favs. Thank you!

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      So glad you like it! xox Maggie

  • mike8677

    FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP

  • jocelina

    yummy! was looking for a gnocchi recipe with sweet potato and this looks perfect and so tasty :D

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      so glad you found us Jocelina! thank you for posting! xox

  • renee

    Could this recipe be doubled/tripled & frozen for future boiling?

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      Hi Renee, I did freeze it and it lasts about 3 months in the freezer (in my experience). xox!

      • renee

        thank you!

  • Dennior

    looks delicious

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      Thanks! xox

  • rattipillo

    This looks amazing! I have a bag of whole wheat flour that I’d like to use (1 cup white, 1 cup ww flour) – do you think this will work ?

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      I am not so sure about whole wheat flour. I think they’ll make the gnocchi less light and fluffy but let us know how it turns out! xox

  • caketime

    Just made this for dinner. Really easy and delicious. Subbed Earth Balance for the butter, and dried rosemary for the sage. Also think some black pepper sprinkled over it would taste great.

  • celine

    I tried this and was actually really disappointed with the results. Although i cooked according to the recipe, the gnocchi disintegrated within the boiling water. It ended up being a huge waste of ingredients and time! Any suggestions?

  • John Hill

    Food porn. I’m going to make it.

  • Jodie Navarre

    Just made these but with a white sauce because there is no sage over here in China. I like the gnocchi but I think I still need to add more flour as they aren’t the same texture as regular gnocchi. Could you tell me what the consistency should be like of the “dough” before being boiled? When I mixed the dough with enough flour it was still sticky..

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