I quickly emailed my recipe for homemade gnocchi to Jill last week, certain she could master a version made with sweet potatoes. I knew I had given the task to the right woman because after two attempts, she’s made a version of sweet potato gnocchi that looks absolutely perfect. Thanks, Jill! -Maggie
This is utterly delicious. It’s just fluffy morsels of sweet potato tossed in fried sage and brown butter, and it’s wonderful. I made it last week as a side dish for our Canadian Thanksgiving, but I was distracted and didn’t watch them as they over-cooked and boiled into a pile of orange mush. Despite being mush, it was still very good and we ate it anyways.
Still, I was committed to making it work. So I made it again this week, because I wanted to shoot a pretty plate of gnocchi and not mush, and also because I wanted to eat it again, enjoying it on its own, fresh out of the pan, without the turkey and all the trimmings.
Don’t let the thought of having to make gnocchi from scratch stop you from trying this recipe. It took no time, from raw sweet potato to plate in 30 minutes. It’s not complicated, takes just few ingredients, and I don’t measure. Hint: you don’t have to measure either, just pay attention to the dough.
Originally, three sweet potatoes were baked in our earth oven. This time around, I microwaved them which only took a few minutes. Do not boil as they will become too wet, requiring a lot more flour. Extra flour is bad for gnocchi; it makes for a heavy gnocchi.
Whether you wrap in foil and bake, or wrap in plastic and nuke for a few minutes, it all comes out fine. Just make sure the potatoes are soft.
Peel the skins, and mash until fluffy. Add your flour, starting off with a cup, then gradually add a quarter cup at a time, blending the dough with a spatula (very sticky) until you’ve added just enough to work into a soft dough. Don’t add too much flour as it will be heavy and not light as air. I can’t give you an exact amount as it will depend on how much moisture is in your potatoes, but it was approximately two cups for me.
Work in small manageable amounts on a heavily floured surface, rolling until 3/4″ in diameter. Cut into bite-sized pieces. If the dough starts to stick to your fingers, dredge them in flour.
Keeping pinching off small handfuls and rolling out, placing cut pieces on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Drop in small batches into boiling water and lift out with a slotted spoon as soon as it surfaces, floating in the top of the pot. Set aside and reserve in a bowl. My Thanksgiving batch was ruined because I neglected this, overcooked into a mushy mess. Watch your boiling gnocchi closely.
Melt 8 tablespoons of butter, add a handful of fresh sage leaves. When you add the leaves, it will go frothy, then clear. The butter bits will brown, but watch that it doesn’t burn! Squeeze half a lemon to stop the butter from browning further.
Quickly add the reserved gnocchi into the brown butter pan. Season with sea salt and toss. It’s all so fragrant, buttery and nutty.
Keep it warm in the oven for a side dish, or you can add whatever you want to make it more like a main dish. I suggest bacon, Parmesan, kale, or Brussels sprouts. It all works!
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage & Brown Butter
This recipe was adapted from Maggie’s Gnocchi Recipe, substituting with sweet potatoes and roasting, not boiling first.
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, bake or microwaved, skins removed and mashed
- 2 cups plain all-purpose flour (approximate, as you may require more or less)
- 8 tablespoons butter
- Handful fresh sage leaves
- Squeeze half a lemon
- Sea salt
- Microwave the potatoes in a microwave for a few minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel them.
- Mash the potatoes until fluffy. Add your flour, starting off with a cup, then gradually add a quarter cup at a time, blending the dough with a spatula (very sticky) until you’ve added just enough to work into a soft dough.
- Work in small manageable amounts on a heavily floured surface, rolling until 3/4″ in diameter. Cut into bite-sized pieces. If the dough starts to stick to your fingers, dredge them in flour. Keeping pinching off small handfuls and rolling out, placing cut pieces on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. The gnocchi cooks in a few minutes. From the moment you pop them into the boiling water, you’ll notice them buzz around and then quickly float to the top. Once they surface to the top of the water, they’re done. Pull them out and place them in a buttered or oiled baking dish while you cook the rest.
- Make your brown butter and sage sauce by melting 8 tablespoons of butter and adding a handful of fresh sage leaves. The butter bits will brown, but watch that it doesn’t burn! Squeeze half a lemon to stop the butter from browning too much.
- Quickly add the reserved gnocchi into the brown butter pan. Season with sea salt and toss.
All photos styled and photographed by Jill Chen.
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