Monday, February 6, 2012

Sweet Potato Gnocchi


 
I have never met a sweet potato that I didn't like.  The subtle sweet and starchy qualities make it one of my go-to vegetables.  
(And I've heard that they are pretty healthy too...).
My love of sweet potatoes is what inspired this recipe.  When making potato gnocchi I thought...why not try this with sweet potato? 
What I learned through the process is that (1) Sweet potatoes are not as starchy and have more moisture then regular potatoes.  Therefore, more flour was required in order to get the ‘dumpling effect’.  (2) It's important to make sure that the sweet potatoes are boiled through.  They are more fibrous then regular potatoes...if they are not fully cooked, ricing them can be more difficult. 

I made two different sauces to go with the sweet potato Gnocchi....A simple cinnamon and butter sauce - melt about 1/4 cup of butter in a sauce pan and add two cinnamon sticks and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. 
(and because of my insatiable sweet tooth) I wanted to try a candied sweet potato gnocchi as well, so I made a similar sauce to the above - melt about 1/4 cup of butter in a sauce pan, add 2 tsp ground cinnamon, add 1/4 cup brown sugar and let simmer on medium to low for 10-15 minutes.  I put these sauces on to simmer prior to boiling the gnocchi so they could be sauced as soon as they were done. 

The directions are similar to the those from the potato gnocchi.  You will need a ricer to mash the sweet potatoes in order to achieve the desired texture while avoiding the ‘compacting-effect’ that mashing by hand gives the potatoes. 

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
(makes about 10-12 servings)

Ingredients: 

1kg sweet potato, left whole
3 cups all purpose flour + more for dusting
1 egg
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

(1)  Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside
(2) Cook the sweet potatoes with the skins on in plenty of gently boiling salted water until done
-This can take a while (up to an 1/2 hour to an hour, depending on the size of the sweet potato) because you are literally boiling the sweet potatoes whole
-The reasoning behind leaving the skin on is to minimize the amount of moisture that gets into the potato while it is boiling (which is what would happen if potatoes were boiled with the skin off)
-Check with a small knife for done-ness (when poking the potato with the knife, it should slide through with little effort)
(3) Remove the sweet potatoes from the pot and allow them to sit for a few minutes
                -(optional) can plunge in some cold water to help ease peels off
(4) Peel the sweet potatoes while they are still hot. This can be done by taking a paring knife and scraping the skin off. It should come off effortlessly.
(5) Press the sweet potatoes through a ricer
-if the sweet potatoes are not cooked all the way through you might end up finding chunks of 'super hard' sweet potato in the ricer, pick them out, toss ‘em and keep on ricing…
(6) When the sweet potatoes are just cool enough to handle, add the flour, eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper (to taste). Mix by hand with a spatula until everything is just incorporated. Do not over work the dough (a rough mix is okay here).

Mix until all ingredients are just incorporated...
(7) On a heavily floured surface, working with small sections of the dough at a time, roll into a log (remembering to work dough as little as possible)
-the dough might be a little sticky at this point.  Once you section it out and start working it on a floured surface to roll into logs, continue to add flour until most of sticky-ness is gone and it becomes easy to roll into a log
A heavily floured surface will make this dough easier to work with...
I lightly pressed a fork onto the tops of the Gnocchi...
(9) Put the Gnocchi on the baking sheets, dusting lightly with flour. Be careful not to pile them on top of each other

Be sure to dust with flour....

(10) When you are ready to cook, drop the Gnocchi in plenty of salted boiling water (if needed, stir gently). When they float to the top, they are cooked. Remove and immediately sauce them and serve hot.

Cinnamon & Butter sauce...

Cinnamon, butter and brown sugar sauce - The 'Candied' version.  I served these with a spicy chicken, and they were actually the perfect compliment... 
Once the gnocchi was tossed with this sauce, I then baked these in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes to get that 'caramelized' effect...
(11) Freeze unused Gnocchi on the parchment lined baking sheets.  Once it's completely frozen, transfer to Ziploc bags and immediately return them to the freezer.  When ready to eat, do not thaw.  Drop into boiling water from frozen.  This should only add a minute or two to the cooking time.  They will still float to the top when they are cooked.

Edit: 02/12/2012: Ruth @ Sping of a Curiouseed made a Carrot and Wine sauce to go with these Sweet Potato Gnocchi that is sure to please.  Be sure to check it out.  Thanks for sharing Ruth! 

Happy Cooking!

22 comments:

  1. Sounds delicious! I will give it a try :-)

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    1. Thanks!
      And Thanks for the follow.
      Have a great day!

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    2. Still planning on making these over the weekend! I gave you a Liebster Blog Award! Your blog is wonderful :) (visit my latest post for details)

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  2. NOM! I love sweet potato and I love Gnocchi! Everyone seems to be making these lately. I must try them out. Yours look fabulous! Great job :D

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    1. Thanks so much! They were really yum. especially with the brown sugar/cinnamon/butter sauce (then again, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon would make most things tastey...lol).

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  3. I had something like this a few months back and haven't been able to stop thinking about it... being a sweet potato fan I'm excited to find this post!

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  4. This is an awesome use of sweet potatoes! I have had regular Gnochhi and it was quite tasty. However, I am sure that this variation is heavenly. Your picture sure does tempt-yum! Great post.

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  5. Gnocchi is my favorite kind of homemade pasta. How wonderful to make them with sweet potatoes!

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    1. Hi Kristen. They were very good, and they freeze so well! Thanks for the follow. Have a great day.

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  6. Thanks for the friend request on Foodbuzz! I buzzed ya :)

    I've never tried gnocchi before, but this sweet potato version looks wonderful!

    --shelley

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    1. Thanks for the lovely feedback.
      If you ever get the chance, I would recommend that you try it. If you like pasta, you'll like this...
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Yummy!! They look delicious...I've eaten pumpkin gnocchi but never sweet potatoes gnocchi...it's worth to try surely! I love the butter and cinnamon sauce idea!

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    1. Thank you for the lovely feedback....and thanks for stopping by :)

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  8. Your candied version of gnochhi sounds awesome! Great post. Happy following your blog. http://www.easyfoodsmith.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you for the lovely comments and for the follow!

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  9. I've never met a sweet potato I didn't like either. Love your take on gnocchi - candied! Genius!

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  10. Sweet potato gnocci is such a great idea! And they look absolutely delicious!

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    1. Thank you for the kind words and for the follow!

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  11. I'm a huge sweet potato fan too! And this recipe? Wow! It sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing...and thank you for visiting my blog. It brightens my day to hear from you! Hugs and love from Austin.

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    1. Hi Monet! Thanks for stopping by! I am glad I was able to brighten your day :)

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