Pasta Week continues! Yesterday I showed you how I made whole wheat fettuccine with my KitchenAid Stand Mixer. Today I'm going to show you how to make sweet potato gnocchi. And for gnocchi, you don't need any special equipment--only a fork and a knife! This is a pasta I've made before and while it does take a little time, it's pretty doable.
Most sweet potato gnocchi calls for potatoes that are steamed, boiled, or microwaved. I bake my sweet potatoes instead. Why? Because baking the potato brings out its natural sweetness, so you can cut down on the sugar.
Your main goal with gnocchi should be to add as little flour as possible. To help you achieve this, you need to let both the ricotta cheese and the mashed sweet potato sit in a fine mesh sieve for a bit--about two hours is good. This will allow some of the moisture to drain off.
Shape each piece into a rope by rolling and stretching with the palms of your hands. When you finish, it should be about 20-inches long. Again, you can roll the dough in flour so it doesn't stick. I tend not to worry about the flour on the outside of the dough; my main goal is to not incorporate too much into the dough.
…by rolling each gnocchi on a fork. Put a little flour on your thumb and press gently into the center of the gnocchi, rocking it back and forth. Shaping the gnocchi like this is a pain, but it helps sauce stick.
Boil the gnocchi in a pot of salted water a handful or two at a time. When the gnocchi is finished, it will float to the top of the pot--this takes 3-5 minutes. Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon. Drain well.
When all the gnocchi is done boiling, saute it in a little butter or oil. I like adding fresh herbs too--rosemary or sage are both fantastic with sweet potato gnocchi. Cook until the gnocchi is nicely browned.
Want a printable version of this recipe? No problem! Here it is:
- Combine sweet potato and ricotta in a large bowl. Add parmesan cheese, salt, and brown sugar. Stir until well-combined. Fold in flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until a dough is formed. Try to incorporate as little flour as possible--the dough should be slightly sticky, but not so sticky that you can't work with it.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Divide into 3 pieces. Using your palms, roll and stretch each piece into a 20-inch rope. Add more flour as needed.
- Use a knife to cut each rope into 20 one-inch pieces. If you like, you can shape gnocchi using the tines of a fork; place gnocchi on fork and gently press the center with your thumb, rocking back and forth.
- Boil finished gnocchi one or two handfuls at a time in a large pot of salted water for 3-5 minutes, until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet to cool.
- Saute gnocchi in a tablespoon of butter or olive oil over medium-high heat until heated through and starting to brown, about 6 minutes. You can also add minced fresh herbs (like sage or rosemary), garlic or caramelized onions.