A delicate sweetness mixed with a tingling spiciness. These soft sweet potato gnocchi will awaken your tastebuds and make you crave for more. They’re very easy to make and you’ll never want to eat storebought again.
A few years ago, I had a Gnocchi obsession. Since I discovered that they are not a potato exclusive and you can make them with many vegetables and flours, I wanted to try them all! I have done so many experiments, some good, some not so good: from pumpkin to seaweed, I gnocchi-fied all I could find!
Then I calmed down and settled with the classic version for a while, just to be comforted by a familiar taste and consistency. But now the thought of weird Gnocchi is fascinating me again, so I may experiment some more. Would you like to try some extravagant Gnocchi recipe? Let me know in a comment below!
For now, if you want to be cuddled by the delicious taste and soft consistency of the classic potato gnocchi, you can try my recipe for Potato Gnocchi and also my Stuffed Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola or Stuffed Gnocchi with Mozzarella and Tomato. Or why not try the aromatic Tarragon Potato Gnocchi, one of my favorite version!
Potatoes vs. Sweet Potatoes
The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato, as they come from different families. Sweet potatoes are also often called yams in North America, but they are also very different from true yams. *identity crisis*
Sweet potatoes, or batatas, are native from the tropical regions of America and they have a numerous family of over 1000 different varieties.
When it comes to Gnocchi, the most important characteristic of the potato, the main ingredient, is that it needs to be starchy and “mealy”. That’s why you should never use waxy potatoes to make Gnocchi.
Sweet Potatoes have the perfect consistency and the perfect texture to make great Sweet Potato Gnocchi, so they don’t need any extra ingredient or process.
The secret to make perfect Gnocchi
The secret is not really a secret. It’s mostly a good tip:
- If you want soft, pillowy delicious Gnocchi, use as less flour as possible!
There, this is the secret. Flour is necessary in Gnocchi dough because it’s what holds everything together. If you make potato balls without flour, they will dissolve completely when you toss them is boiling water (heads up to my friend who actually did this). But too much flour will make the Gnocchi sticky and chewy, and we don’t want that either.
So how to regulate the amount of flour? To use as less flour as possible, we need to make sure that the potatoes are as dry as possible, so that the dough will come together with a minimum amount of flour. That’s why I recommend baking the potatoes in the oven so they will not absorb any water.
Now, I have to confess that I rarely bake the potatoes in the oven, simply because I don’t want to wait that long. I boil the potatoes and sometimes I even peel them and chop them to reduce the cooking time to a minimum. This will make the potatoes absorb a lot of water and will make it more difficult to make the dough (but what’s life without a little challenge). It still can be done but using less flour will give you a sticky and very soft dough which is more difficult to handle.
Spicy Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- 400 g (14 oz) Sweet Potatoes
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
- 130 g (1 cup) All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp Butter
- 10 leaves Sage Fresh
- Cut the sweet potatoes in half lenghtwise and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C (400°F) for about 20 minutes, or until tender.
- Alternatively, boil the sweet potatoes (whole or in big chunks) for about 10 minutes.
- Scoop the sweet potato flesh in a bowl when it's still hot and add the salt and chili powder to taste. Then add the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon for a few minutes.
- When you have a dough consistency, knead with your hands for a few more minutes until you have a uniform dough. Add more flour if it's too sticky although it's not recommended as it will make the gnocchi harder.
- Let the dough cool down, then dust flour on a wooden board and roll a piece of gnocchi dough into a long snake about 1/2 inch thick.
- Cut little piece of dough about 3/4 inch long and then roll them on a gnocchi board or on a fork to give them texture.
- Set the gnocchi on a clean towel and dust will a little bit of flour so they don't stick together.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the butter and sage on a large pan, melting the butter at low heat.
- Toss the gnocchi in the boiling water and once they start floating to the surface, drain them and toss in the pan with the melted sage butter. Fry the gnocchi in the butter for a minute and serve immediately. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino to taste.
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