Take dinner up a notch by making this easy sweet potato gnocchi - it's delicious and the color livens up your dinner plate as well as your tastebuds! This sweet potato gnocchi features a step-by-step guide to making gnocchi.
Is Gnocchi Healthier Than Pasta?
Gnocchi and pasta are nutritionally very similar. They are both high in carbohydrates, and low in protein. They do differ in that pasta is slightly higher in protein than gnocchi, while gnocchi is less calorific when compared directly by weight. Swapping out gnocchi for pasta or vice versa isn't really a healthy swap. Both of these carbohydrate-heavy foods should be enjoyed proportionally as part of a balanced diet.
Check out my other pasta recipes here.
What Kind of Potatoes are Best for Gnocchi?
The ideal potato for gnocchi has a high starch content – that's why sweet potatoes are perfect to use. You could use other high starch potatoes, such as russet potatoes or Idaho potatoes.
Does Gnocchi Dough Need to Rest?
This gnocchi recipe does not need to rest. Also, if you leave it out for too long, the dumplings will start to stick to each other.
If you would like to make gnocchi in advance, it freezes very well if done on a sheet pan and then transferred to a sealable container. To cook, simply drop the frozen gnocchi in boiling water. The gnocchi is cooked when the dumplings float to the surface.
Can You Overcook Gnocchi?
Yes! If you leave gnocchi in the boiling water too long you will lose the chewy-ness and end up with potato mush. Make sure to remove the gnocchi as soon as they rise to the top of the water. If you're unsure, taste one to gauge the texture.
Can You Pan Fry Gnocchi Without Boiling?
You can do this! Many recipes call for fresh gnocchi to go straight in the pan with sauce and other ingredients. Whether you do it after boiling first or not, pan frying gnocchi will give them a crispy outer texture.
What Do You Eat With Gnocchi?
Gnocchi, like pasta, is versatile and does well with many sauces and ingredients. You could pair it with tomato-based sauces, cream-based sauces, pesto, and cheese sauces. You could throw in any kind of meat you like and some fresh vegetables such as squash, broccoli, peppers and tomatoes. Anything goes!
Step by Step Sweet Potato Gnocchi
To begin, you will need to prepare your sweet potatoes for baking by laying them out on a baking tray and poking holes with a fork in each potato, six times. Then brush oil over the sweet potatoes and season generously with sea salt. Put them in the oven and bake for around an hour until they are tender when poked with a fork.
While the sweet potatoes are still warm (as hot as you can handle!) peel off the skins and break up the potatoes with a wooden spoon. If you have a food mill, you'll put the potato pieces in the food mill to be ground down to tiny pieces. If you don’t have a food mill, you can continue to break the potatoes down with a wooden spoon. The smaller you can get the pieces, the better your gnocchi mixture will turn out later.
Put the milled sweet potato on a large counter space, cutting board, or dish (photo 1 below). Add the flour and the beaten egg to the mixture (photo 2 below).
With your hands, knead the mixture so that the flour and the egg are mixed thoroughly with the milled sweet potato. Once the flour and egg are completely incorporated, form a ball of the gnocchi dough (photo 3 above). The mixture should be tacky to touch but should not stick to a clean surface.
Thoroughly flour your workspace (and your hands!), then grab a chunk of the dough and roll it out into a long snake-like shape. It should measure 1-1.5 inches in diameter (photo 2 below).
Chop the gnocchi dough rope into small chunks of gnocchi about 1.5 inches per piece. Repeat the process as necessary until all your dough is turned into gnocchi pieces (photo 3 below).
Then, bring a large pot of water to boiling point and salt the water liberally. In small batches, add your gnocchi to the hot salted water and keep an eye on them until the pieces rise to the top of the water. When they do, your sweet potato gnocchi is fully cooked and ready to serve!
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Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Food mill, ricer, or wooden spoon
- 3 lbs. sweet potatoes or yams
- 5 cups flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp oil avocado, canola, vegetable, sunflower seed, or olive
- sea salt
- Prehead oven to 435F.
- Poke the potatoes 6 times per potato with a fork. Lightly oil the potatoes and season generously with sea salt. Bake for ~1 hour until fork tender.
- While the potatoes are still warm (as hot as you can handle), peel them, and break them up with a wooden spoon. As soon as they are peeled (and still warm), run them through a food mill. If you do not have a food mill, break them up with a wooden spoon into tiny pieces. As tiny as you have patience for. The tinier, the better. At this point, you can let the potato cool and come back to it later or continue.
- Put the milled potatoes on a large workspace like a cutting board or counter. Add the flour and (beaten) egg. Mix well so the flour is completely incorporated and forms a ball. The mixture will be tacky, but should not stick to a clean surface.
- Flour the board/counter/table. Grab a large handful of the gnocchi dough. Flour the handful of dough, and roll into a long snake 1-1.5-inches in diameter.
- Cut the snake into 1.5-inch gnocchi. Flour the gnocchi, transfer to a floured baking sheet or cutting board, and flour again. The flour will prevent the gnocchi from sticking to each other. At this stage, it is better to use a little more flour than a little less. You can shake off the flour before cooking the gnocchi.
- Continue with the rest of the dough.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 1 tbsp of sea salt to season the water.
- Add the gnocchi in batches if necessary. They are cooked when they float to the surface of the water, ~2 minutes.
- Break down the potatoes as quickly as possible. If they cool to room temperature, they will be much more difficult to handle.
- You know the gnocchi is done cooking when the dumplings float on the top of the water.
- Gnocchi can be easily be made ahead of time – All you need to do is lay your gnocchi out on a sheet pan and freeze it while still raw. When you’re ready to cook, complete the final steps for boiling the gnocchi. You can drop them in the water frozen.
- This recipe uses all-purpose flour, which works best for this dough.