Sweet Potato Gnocchi: Better than home fries in my book

As the song and psalm go, there is a time to every purpose under heaven. Today I’m thinking there is a time to every dish and dinner as well, but the time you choose for it is always going to be your own.

Now, before you think I’m off on some New Age esoteric journey, or having a ’60s hippie throwback moment, I’m really talking about knowing your body and yourself and knowing what will make you happy, healthy, and fulfilled regardless of convention.

Case in point: home fries. I’ve never been a big fan of home fries, but recently neither myself nor my husband was feeling well so I decided we needed comfort food for breakfast, preferably of the starchy potato variety. Typically if my hubs were cooking, he’d make eggs and home fries. Because I was the more mobile of the two of us, I decided to whip up a batch of sweet potato gnocchi instead.

STOP THE BUS!  Gnocchi is not breakfast food! Gnocchi is an appetizer! You can’t possibly make and serve gnocchi for breakfast, the earth will spin off its axis and we’ll all be hurtled into space. Doom! Gloom! paniiiic!

Ummm, says who? Just because a food is traditionally served at a certain time of day doesn’t mean it can’t be served and enjoyed at another time of day. Breakfast for dinner is a favorite of many of my friends, so why not a dinner-type dish for breakfast? I will tell you, it made our day to start with these warm, buttery, pillow dumplings; and happy tummies make for better healing, in my book.

I’m excited to show you how to make these gnocchi; they’re one of my all-time favorite foods. And then it will be all up to you to have them whenever you wish – you’ll have my full support.

DSCN1546 - Copy

For this recipe, you’ll need two medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean and baked. After you’ve baked your sweet potatoes (I microwaved mine for 9 minutes) and they’re cool enough to handle, cut them open and scoop out the flesh. I found a muffin scoop was an excellent tool for this. A large spoon would work well,too.

DSCN1547 - Copy

Place the cooked potato into a potato ricer and squish it on through. Why the ricer as opposed to a masher? The rice separates and fluffs the potato, giving you a lighter base to work with. If you don’t have a ricer, you can use a masher or a fork, but be sure to try and keep the potato airy.   DSCN1550 - Copy

Allow the potato to cool to lukewarm, then work in 1 large egg. I like to use my fingers to mix, so that I have a good feel for the dough. DSCN1552 - Copy

After the egg, work in 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese. The dough will be quite sticky at this point,but don’t worry as you’ll be adding flour in just a few minutes. DSCN1554 - Copy

Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of flour onto the dough. Toss the dough with the flour until it begins to form a ball. Add more flour as needed, but stop mixing and tossing as soon as the dough comes together in one mass. As you can see, you don’t need to work every bit of flour and dough in together, just most. You’ll use about 3/4 cup of flour at the most.

Cover the dough lightly with plastic wrap and set aside for a few minutes while you set a pot with 2 quarts of salted water on the stovetop to boil, and melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet on a separate burner. Gnocchi cook very quickly, so you’ll need everything ready before you start to roll.

DSCN1559 - Copy

When the water is nearly boiling, divide the dough into three tennis ball-sized pieces. Divide those pieces into smaller pieces about the size of your index finger and about 1″ long.

Using very little pressure, roll each little piece lightly in flour.

DSCN1561 - Copy

Using a gnocchi board or the tines of a fork, press the ridges into each little dumpling. The ridges are not essential and you could certainly skip this step; but ridges hold sauce better, so if you can add them, it’s a big bonus. DSCN1564 - Copy

The back of the gnocchi will have lovely little stripes, and the underside will have a soft little hollow that will also hold onto sauce.

Roll all of your gnocchi and set them on the counter or on parchment so they’re ready to cook.

At this point you can freeze the gnocchi on a flat baking sheet until solid, and then store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month. Cooking and sautéing would be just the same as below.

DSCN1566

Place about 1/3 of your gnocchi into the boiling water and stir gently. The gnocchi will sink at first but rise to the surface when they’re nearly done. Once all of the gnocchi are floating, cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.

DSCN1570

Here’s a view of the ideal setup on your stove. Pot of boiling gnocchi, pan of hot butter.

DSCN1575

Using a slotted spoon or strainer, scoop up the cooked gnocchi and transfer right to the hot butter. Don’t be worried if you get some pasta water in the butter, it will help the butter bind to the gnocchi as they cook.

Place the next batch of gnocchi in the water as your first batch sautés.

DSCN1576

Right about now is when I can barely contain myself and need help in refraining from snagging the gnocchi straight to my mouth. Give them time enough on one side to develop a golden, crisp crust before shaking the pan to loosen and flip them to cook briefly on the other side.

Serve the gnocchi hot with your favorite sauce, chunks of feta, mozzarella, or Gorgonzola cheese, or one of my favorites: a quick grate of fresh lemon zest.

I’ve heard rumors that someone once had leftover sweet potato gnocchi that they stored in the fridge for a couple of days. I don’t have any personal experience with that, she says with a full tummy.

SweetGnocchi_035_750x500

Please make, rate, and review our recipe for Sweet Potato Gnocchi.

Print just the recipe.

Still hungry for more sweet potato? How about biscuits? Buns? How about cakes? (did I fool ya with that last one? I hope so! )

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. Pamela

    Can I proof bread dough in the refrigerator over night and if so, what is the longest period of time I can leave in the fridge?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You can include an overnight rise in your baking schedule for most yeast breads, Pamela. Typically, the ideal amount of time to leave dough in the fridge is about 12-16 hours. We don’t recommend extending this timeframe too much, otherwise the dough can start to taste yeasty and may not rise properly during the final bake. It’s best to let the dough rise once at room temperature and then refrigerate the shaped loaves/buns to bake the next day. Good luck and happy baking! Kye@KAF

  2. donperley

    As others have mentioned, “Medium sweet potato” is an issue. I had to add a lot more flour, so the egg and cheese were proportionally less in the final dough. In a purely flour recipe, this is like specifying handfuls, compared to your usual advice that weighing is better and more accurate than measuring cups.

    Reply
  3. Angie

    I make gnocchi on a fairly regular basis. I have found if you bake your potatoes you will get a drier potato which is preferred. I weigh my potatoes before I bake them. Then I weigh out .25 or 25% of the potato weight in flour. This has worked very well for me. Of course the more potatoes you use, the more eggs you will need. And I never do more than 5 pounds of potatoes at one time. Only work the dough until it comes together or it will become too soft and difficult to work with. It is better to make two or more batches if needed. Also be sure to adequately salt your water and do not over cook them. Hope this makes sense! Happy gnocchi making and eating!!!!

    Reply
  4. Alison's Wonderland Recipes

    How creative! I love gnocchi, but I’ve never seen a sweet potato variety before. I’ll have to try them! 🙂

    Reply

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *