Sweet Potato Gnocchi

While I’m sure that many can agree that a good helping of garlicky mashed potatoes is perhaps one of the best comfort foods, I would also have to lump mashed sweet potatoes into this category. Growing up, baked sweet potatoes would almost always be a eaten with steak at dinner (a treat of a meal). I would anxiously unwrap the steaming little potato, scrape the flesh from the inside, and mash it along with some butter and black pepper. I am always looking for new ways to incorporate sweet potatoes into my diet- baked, stuffed, in soup, in a pancake, etc. This week, I used mashed sweet potatoes to make gnocchi. Although I generally prefer pasta over gnocchi (because gnocchi tends to be a bit heavy for my taste), I figured that it was worth the effort to make my own sweet potato gnocchi for the experience. IMG_0680

I started by baking two sweet potatoes for about an hour and then mashing the cooled flesh. I then added a cup of ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 2 eggs, about 2 cups of flour and salt according to this recipe. This created a sticky ball of dough that I rolled out on the countertop.

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I then divided the dough into quarters, rolled each into a rope, and cut the rope into bite-sized pieces, arranging them on a baking sheet so that they wouldn’t stick together.

IMG_0685Next, I boiled the gnocchi in salted water in batches, removing them from the water when they floated to the top. Unfortunately, I took this picture while my camera lens was a bit steamed up. This is what the gnocchi looked like in the colander immediately after cooking.

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Since this process was rather involved, Brian was in charge of cooking some marinated chicken breasts to top our gnocchi. For the sauce, I sauteed butter, onions, red bell pepper, zucchini, and roasted garlic with some of the remaining pasta water, italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and parmesan cheese.

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The final product ended up being extremely tasty, owing largely to the well marinated chicken and the buttery, garlic vegetable topping. The gnocchi did retain a good amount of sweetness from the sweet potato, but were I to make gnocchi again, I would definitely cut the dough into smaller pieces. These ended up as more of two-bite sized pieces, making the dish rather filling, therefore I must express my newly born appreciation of gnocchi with a light and fluffy quality. I’m extremely pleased with how smoothly the entire process went from start to finish, and know that this will probably not be the last time that a gnocchi recipe catches my eye.

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