Sweet potato gnocchi are incredibly easy to make and take around half an hour to prepare (if you cook the sweet potato in a microwave). They are light and fluffy, and with the addition of rosemary in the mixture and also in the sauce, they leave you satisfied wanting more.
My attempts at making regular gnocchi have been both good and bad. I was totally inspired to try something I had never made before when I found a cheap potato ricer at TK Maxx. My knowledge was limited to being aware that I needed a ricer to make the potato smooth before adding the flour. What I didn’t realise was that ricers are meant to come with several disks with different sized holes making the potato smoother and smoother, the smaller the hole gets. This one had one disk, with not very small holes, so the gnocchi ended up a little on the lumpy side despite my best efforts to mash the lumps away. Despite this flaw, I did however manage to make them light and fluffy, making them an overall win for a first attempt. Finished off in brown butter and sage sauce I was proud to give my efforts a 7/10.
But the problem with cooking for a diminished number of people is that quantities get all out of whack, which means there is always plenty of leftovers. So, I froze them. And this is where it failed. Instead of the mildly lumpy but soft gnocchi we had eaten previously, they turned into a soppy mess when they were liberated from the freezer. Although the initial attempt had been a relative success, the second serving was a horrible failure. The result: I haven’t made gnocchi since.
That is until last week when I was inspired by a photo. The thing that makes sweet potato gnocchi so much easier to make is that once they are cooked they have a really smooth texture and all the heartache about lumpy potato just fades away. And cooking the sweet potato in the microwave is a bonus. You could leave them in the oven for an hour or so, but it really isn’t necessary.
The cooking for two dilemma was once again a thing, but we loved them so much the first time, we ate the rest the following evening. Wrapped in baking paper and put in the fridge, they were equally as good the second time round. Enjoy!
- 1 x 500 gram sweet potato
- 250 grams ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plain flour
- handful of fresh rosemary
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 100 grams baby spinach leaves
- Cook the sweet potato. Either place then on a baking tray in 180 degree celsius oven for 45mins - 1 hour, OR poke the sweet potato a few times with a fork or skewer, wrap in damp paper towel and microwave until soft (8-10 minutes).
- Scoop out the flesh of the sweet potato into a mixing bowl. Add the ricotta, parmesan, salt, and a small handful of chopped rosemary leaves and mash together until completely smooth.
- Add the flour ¼ cup at a time, kneading very gently after each addition. Be careful not to over knead or the gnocchi will end up tough.
- Form the dough into a lump and place on a clean, lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 portions.
- Roll and stretch each piece into a long sausage shape. Cut into 2cm segments and transfer to a plate.
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add the gnocchi. Cook until they float to the top (approximately 3-4 minutes). Remove the gnocchi from the water, drain and drizzle with a little olive oil to stop them from sticking.
- Add the butter to a large frying pan. Cook until it melts and when it starts browning, add a tablespoon of chopped rosemary leaves and the crushed garlic. Fry for 30 seconds then add the cooked gnocchi.
- Coat the gnocchi in the butter and season with pepper.
- Add the spinach leaves and mix gently until the leaves are just wilted. Remove pan from the heat.
- Spoon the gnocchi onto plates and grated some parmesan over the top to serve.