Sweet potatoes make these plump orange dumplings a bit sweet and full of antioxidants. Serve them as you would other gnocchi. Sweet potato gnocchi are particularly tasty simply dressed in brown butter and sage or in a cream sauce with plenty of Parmesan cheese. (Looking for regular potato gnocchi? See How to Make Potato Gnocchi.)
The heartier texture of sweet potatoes means these gnocchi can be made using all-purpose flour or, for extra fiber and nutrients, whole wheat pastry flour. The choice is yours!
This recipe makes a lot of gnocchi. Any extras can be laid on a baking sheet, frozen, and transferred to a resealable plastic bag and kept frozen for up to six months.
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt (for cooking water)
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and shaping
- 1 large egg
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into large, similarly sized chunks. Put the sweet potatoes pieces in a large pot and cover with water. Add the salt and bring to a boil. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender. Drain them thoroughly and return the sweet potato chunks to the empty, hot pot. Shake them a bit to help evaporate excess water in them.
- Mash the sweet potatoes thoroughly. The quickest way to do this is to push them through a ricer. But a large fork or potato masher work, too.
- Stir in the flour 1/2 cup at a time, until a dough forms. You may or may not need the final 1/2 cup. The dough will be very soft.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop a spoonful of the dough into the boiling water, stir, and let cook until it floats to the surface and then let it cook another 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove dumpling sample. If it held together, proceed with the recipe without adding the egg. If it fell apart, stir in the egg - at first, the dough will pull apart and all may seem lost. Keep stirring: The dough will come back together. If the addition of the egg made the dough terribly wet, stir in up to another 1/2 cup flour.
- Divide dough into four even sections. Working with one at a time, dump dough onto a well-floured surface and roll into a 1-inch-thick snake. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces and place on a floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
Note: At this point, you can freeze any gnocchi you don't plan to use the same day. Cook frozen gnocchi just as fresh—they will just take a bit longer to float to the top of the cooking water.
- Cook the dumplings, as described for the sample above, in salted water, being careful not to crowd the pot. Work in batches and keep cooked gnocchi tossed in a bit of butter in a warm oven while you cook the remaining gnocchi. Serve with butter and Parmesan, browned butter and sage, this recipe with bacon and ricotta, or your favorite pasta sauce.