Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Oh Gnocchi you didn't

You want it.
Ok yall, this is a long but super high five yourself worth the effort project. For homemade pasta, this is as healthy as it gets. Sweet taters and whole wheat flour, I mean talk about your wholesome pasta treat.

I'll admit it. I'm a gnocchi addict. I've tried to cut back, but I JUST CANT STOP. It's become one of my go-to's this summer when I have no idea what to eat; Homemade spinach pesto and store bought gnocchi, with a side of steamed broccoli. The problem is I either buy slightly pricey gnocchi at the farmer's market or slightly processed gnocchi from the grocery store.
Well those days are over. Homemade gnocchi here I come. I found this recipe on a blog I recently discovered, Kath Eats Real Food. Click on the link and find a ton of healthy recipes, adorable photos and general sillyness. Great site to explore!
Good to have red wine to get you through :)
Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables because they are so freaking good for you, while still being delicious no matter how you serve them. Sweet, savory, fry like, it's nearly impossible to mess them up. They are crazy high in beta carotene which is full of Vitamin A and C. They also have vitamin E, and are high in fiber (which many of us need more of). In general they are the BOMB, and should be a staple vegetable in your house. Especially right now, its sweet potato season yall!

In researching a good site with nutritional information I found this Sweet Tater Facts, which is a North Carolina Commision on sweet potatoes. What do their meetings look like? Are they all, "I agree, Ill have sweet potatoes fries with that!" or "I do not agree with you, please take your sweet potato casserole out of my sight." One can only spend too much time wondering.......

Nothing in this is hard, just time consuming. Definitely a weekend project for any full time 9-5ers. Luckily unless you are making these for a large group, you will have plenty leftover to freeze, and then you have gnocchi whenever you want it.
My goodness, is this ANOTHER reason to visit your local farmer's market? I think so!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Gnocchi on a bed of garlic rainbow chard. Nom Nom. 

The Goods:
2 large (about a 1.5 pounds) sweet potatoes
1 egg
1 1/2-2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon rosemary, minced
Dash nutmeg (optional)

Any Sauce you like with gnocchi. I'm a Spinach Pesto girl, but to each her/his own sauce. You can also serve it on a bed of garlic greens, recipe soon to come.

The Deal:
1. At 375 degrees bake sweet potatoes for about an hour, until a knife can be easily inserted. Overcooked is better than under, you want the flesh soft.

2. When ready, cut open lengthwise and open to cool for 10 minutes or so.

3. When cool enough to touch, peel of skins with your hands and place all potato flesh in a large bowl. Add salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and egg to taters and stir to combine.
Taste, add more cinnamon or nutmeg if desired
3. Begin adding flour, starting with a cup and adding slowly to see if you're dough is forming. The dough should lose most of it's stickyness and when you push it with your finger it should only spring back a smidge (instead of completely molding to your finger.)

4. Turn the dough ball onto a flour surface and knead into a tighter ball. Use as much flour as you need to keep the ball from sticking to the surface and your hands.
Dough ball
5. Quarter the dough ball and set each one aside. Take one quarter and roll into a long tube (make a snake sound if you wish, ssssssss!) It should be about as thick as your finger, but only if you can roll it that thin without the dough breaking. If your dough is breaking, pinch it together and stop there.
Gnocchi snake goes through the hole :) Healthy boyfriend likes to play with his food.
6. Cut the tube into about 1inch long nubs, and set aside. Repeat with remaining dough quarters. While you are rolling and nubbing (not a verb....yet!) bring a large pot of water to a boil.
These are already cooked, just notice the size of the gnocchi.
7. Prepare an ice bath (water+ice+bowl=ice bath). Add half the gnocchi to the boiling water and boil for about 4-5 minutes, until the gnocchi float up and start dancing with the rolling water. Remove with slotted spoon and plunge into the ice bath to stop cooking. Let the gnocchi cool off for 2 minutes and then remove to a separate container. Repeat with remaining gnocchi.

*At this point you can freeze them for later use. Spread on a cookie sheet with wax paper and freeze. Once frozen, place in a labeled ziplock. Then you have gnocchi for life.....or as long as they last. Thaw once ready to use.

8. When ready to eat, heat oil in a large saute pan with the rosemary. When hot (aka you flick water in the pan and it sizzles) add your gnocchi and coat with oil. Get a good crust on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Remove when lightly browned.

Sit back, relax and let the compliments roll in.


  1. Yumm! I love gnocchi, but have yet to make it by myself at home. I need to change that...

    Love the title of this post! :) Ha!

  2. Thanks Laura! I had a good laugh when I wrote that title :)- Next time I may try regular potatoes with chives and garlic. Thanks for visiting my site, can't wait to check yours out!