(sweet potato) gnocchi
Gnocchi. They are one of those things that sound super complicated and time-consuming to make, but I promise you they are not! I whipped up this batch with 2 whiny kids in the kitchen with me in less than a half an hour. My secret...I don't bother with any indentation on each individual dumpling. It just takes too damn long, and yes my gnocchi are just plain boring blobs, but time is of the essence in my house when it comes to food. I hope some day to get back to lovingly decorating each little gnocco with a fork like a grandmother in the hills of Italy, but that is just not my life right now.
So my gnocchi are plain. But very, very yummy. I use sweet potato not only for the health benefits for my family (vitamin a, beta-carotene, vitamin c, manganese, etc. etc.) but they add such a sweet and robust flavor to the dish. The key to keeping the gnocchi light and airy, is to incorporate your flour a little at a time and do not over mix. The dough will be on the wetter side. Add just enough flour to be able to work with it, and you will have little clouds ;)
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Yield: 4 portions. active time: 30 minutes.
2 large sweet potatoes
1 large egg (or flax egg)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast...I prefer the nooch to the parm in this recipe)
.75 teaspoon himalayan pink sea salt
.5 teaspoon baking powder
.5 teaspoon baking soda
1.5 to 2 cups flour of choice (I use spelt)
Cook the sweet potato. I boiled mine whole for 40 minutes, or until soft. This step can be done up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerated, which will make your gnocchi making process all the quicker!
Put on a large pot of salted water to boil.
Once cool enough to work with, scoop sweet potato flesh out of the skins and put into a bowl. Mash with a fork. Add all your ingredients except for the flour, and mix until incorporated. Next, add your flour, starting with 1.5 cups. Slowly add a couple spoons at a time after that, until your dough is workable. It will be soft and a little sticky, but you need to be able to roll it out.
Take a baseball sized ball of dough and begin to roll it into a snake with your hands on a floured surface. You can make your gnocchi into any size or shape that you wish! But I like rolling my "snake" until it's about the thickness of my index finger. Then cut the snake into rectangles about 1 inch long.
When you have all your gnocchi cut, place them in batched into the boiling water (I did 2 batches for this amount of dough). Give a quick stir so they don't stick together, and then watch until they float to the top. Once they float they are done! It should only take about 2 - 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and stir into your sauce of choice. Tonight we had them with a mushroom and pea white wine sauce topped with cashew ricotta. Hope you all like these as much as we do!