Gnocchi and Me

I’ve tried to make gnocchi in the past with disastrous results. Another kitchen gadget I got for Christmas is a potato ricer, which apparently is absolutely essential in making gnocchi (all the recipes I’ve tried in the past have made it sound optional). So, with my ricer in hand, I was ready to dive back into gnocchi making. This recipe has been hanging around my recipe notebook for a long, long time and I was thrilled to finally give it a try.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Fried Sage

1 1/4 lbs baking potatoes

1 (1/4 lb) sweet potato

1 egg

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/3 cup Parmesan

1 1/2 to 2 cups flour

1/3 cup olive oil

1 cup sage leaves

1 tbsp butter

Bake potatoes at 450 for 45 min to an hour until tender (I tried microwaving the potatoes in the past and it just doesn’t work – you have to bake them). Allow to cool, then peel and force through ricer onto a baking sheet. Spread into an even layer and allow to cool (I set mine outside and they cooled quickly). Mix egg, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in a small bowl.

Gather potatoes in a mound on the baking sheet, making a well in the middle. Pour the egg mixture into the center and knead. Knead in cheese and 1 1/2 flour. Add more flour if needed and knead until it is smooth but slightly sticky.

Cut dough into 6 pieces. Roll each out into a rope about 1/2 inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces.  Boil a large pot of salted water and add half the gnocchi, cooking until it rises to the top, then cook the other half. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet until shimmery, then add the sage, frying until they turn a shade lighter and crisp. Drain on paper towels.

Remove the sage and add the butter to the oil, cooking until it browns. Add cooked gnocchi to the butter and cook a few minutes, tossing. Serve with sage leaves and extra Parmesan cheese.

The gnocchi turned out really, really well. I didn’t do anything other than cut it into pieces (no fussing with marks from a fork). I really loved the flavor of it – the sweet potato gave it a nice taste. It was light and not gummy (unlike my previous attempts). I didn’t get any flavor from the fried sage though, so that was disappointing. I want to try a butternut squash gnocchi next.

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22 Responses to Gnocchi and Me

  1. Shoot! Love sweet potatoes. Love gnocchi. No potato ricer in the kitchen. :o(

  2. Susan says:

    Yum! I love sweet potatoes AND gnocchi. Now I just need the potato ricer …

  3. marthaandme says:

    Yeah, it really makes all the difference for this

  4. marthaandme says:

    Mine wasn’t very expensive – maybe $10-12? I believe you can also use a food mill if you have one of those.

  5. Frugal Kiwi says:

    My darling has conquered gnocchi, at least the regular potato kind. According to him, you need a floury potato that is cooked in the microwave to prevent it getting soggy. Seems to work, but I’ll be passing this one on to him. I love pumpkin gnocchi and this is in the same ballpark.

  6. Lyndsey says:

    I have a potatoe ricer that I keep forgetting to use for mashed potatoes, but I’ve always wanted to try to make gnocchi. Butternut squash one sounds good too.Thanks for the tips. 😀

  7. marthaandme says:

    Microwaving didn’t work for me. The potato needs to be dry and fluffy, at least in my experience – and in the microwave it always seems mushy.

  8. marthaandme says:

    I’ve tried using a potato masher for mashed potatoes, but I really just like using a hand mixer best. I know it’s supposed to not be optimum, but I guess it’s what I’m used to.

  9. My first gnocchi-making experience was so lousy, I’d given up on it. Recently, I’ve been wanting to try it again. So sweet potatoes and a ricer, huh? I came across a recipe that uses ricotta cheese instead of potatoes. I’ve been meaning to try it, have you ever tried anything like that?

  10. marthaandme says:

    I felt the same way – swore I would never bother with it again, but I SOOO wanted this. I have never heard of using cheese instead of potatoes – I can’t imagine it would have the right texture or taste. This was so easy to make – it was all about the right tool and the right technique

  11. Oh! Delish! I have a potato ricer that I’ve never used. Seems like you’d need biceps of steel to use it. I love the idea of using sweet potatoes, so I think I’m going to try this then next time I get my hands on some.

  12. This looks wonderful Brette. I haven’t had gnocchi for ages and now I know that I will have to eat some soon!

  13. marthaandme says:

    My kids love gnocchi so I make the frozen kind pretty regularly. Maybe someday I will make a giant batch of homemade and freeze it. I always say I should do that for chicken nuggets too but never get around to it.

  14. marthaandme says:

    No, it was easy. The potato is soft and you just squeeze with one hand and it goes right through. I thought it was going to be hard but it wasn’t.

  15. I’ve never tried to make gnocchi. Whenever I hear it mentioned, though, I always think of a dish my husband’s elderly Italian auntie made for us once. She called it pizzaka (I have no idea if that’s spelled right, but that’s how it sounded). It was potatoes and dough balls boiled and then tossed with copious (copious!) amounts of butter and garlic. It was SO good, but we’re lucky we didn’t all have a heart attack right there at the table.

  16. Thanks for sharing the secret for this. I’ve always wanted to try it, but have been too scared. So thanks for the courage.

  17. marthaandme says:

    That sounds good – but definitely decadent! I’ve never heard of that dish before.

  18. Kerry says:

    sounds delicious. I wonder why using the potato ricer makes such a difference?

  19. marthaandme says:

    Because it makes the potato into tiny little separate pieces, where as if you just use a potato masher you get a pile of mush. It creates a different texture – which you think would not matter since you have to knead the dough anyhow, but it does.

  20. Sometimes all it takes is the right tool to make something come out right!

  21. marthaandme says:

    Yes, that’s exactly it.

  22. megan says:

    I LOVE gnocchi and have always wanted to make it from scratch. I need a new ricer first tho. I’m glad this attempt was successful!

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