Good morning! The sun is finally shining here, tulips are in bloom, and I have my cup of tea in hand. Oh, and Mother’s Day is coming up! We have an exciting weekend planned, and I can’t wait to help my family celebrate. It’s going to be a great week.
My mom likes to go out to dinner on Mother’s Day. So, since there isn’t any menu planning to do, I’m spending some time making a bunch of meals to freeze for the coming weeks. What’s on the menu? Among other things, how about a big batch of sweet potato gnocchi!
I absolutely LOVE making gnocchi. Pasta is one of my favorite dishes, but sometimes it’s nice to mix it up a little bit. Gluten free gnocchi can sometimes be on the pricey side. With an average of only two servings per container, each serving ends up being about $3 (that’s the price of the gnocchi in my grocery store).
I know I have to buy gluten free food, but why pay that much more for something I can make myself! So, how much does it cost to make yourself? With the ingredients I bought at my local grocery store, my dough made about 5 servings and cost just about $3.50 to make the whole batch… that’s about 0.70 cents a serving! I’m all for a good deal. Plus, I just got a potato ricer for my birthday to make the whole gnocchi-making process that much easier. Hey, priorities change as you get older! But I’m telling you, go out and get yourself a potato ricer if you don’t already have one. You’ll thank me later, and your gnocchi will thank you too.
If you don’t already know, I’ve had an obsession with mascarpone cheese lately. I’ve been adding it to everything I can, including brownies. It just makes everything a little bit better…Like with this gnocchi. Sweet potato gnocchi hasn’t always been my gnocchi of choice. But this recipe completely changed my mind. The gnocchi is delicate and smooth, with a hint of sweetness from the mascarpone. It’s not always the cheapest ingredient to find, but it’s definitely worth it! I’ve also been using Bob’s Red Mill gluten free 1:1 flour in my recipes. It has a little a xanthan gum in it, which I think helps hold gluten free gnocchi together, and I find my recipes always turns out great with this flour!
If using an oven, cook your potatoes at 400℉ for about 40 minutes or until they are tender. Once they have cooled slightly, just enough for you to handle them, peel the potatoes and run the inside through a potato ricer. Place the riced sweet potato into a medium bowl and set aside.
Mix the egg, salt, and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Stir in the nutmeg if you choose to use some, then add the wet mixture into the potatoes and stir until totally combined. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, work in 1 1/2 cups of flour (1/4 cup at a time). Continue to add flour until your dough comes together and is no longer tacky. If your dough is still too soft or tacky, slowly sprinkle in another 1/4 cup (mine used 1 3/4 cup). If your dough starts to crack a little, it’s ok – don’t add any more flour and just work the dough until it’s all combined. The dough should be soft enough to roll into logs, but not too soft that it smushes when you roll it. It also should be able to hold its shape when rolling on the gnocchi board. Once the dough comes together, form into a ball and cut into 4 equal pieces. I eventually cut mine into eights for easier rolling.
Using one piece of dough at a time, roll onto a floured surface until dough forms a log shape (about 1/2-1 inch thick, depending how thick you like it). Use a knife to cut the log into small “pillows” or squares, then roll each gnocchi piece on a gnocchi board. You can also press lightly with a fork to indent instead, or skip the ridges completely and leave as pillows. Whatever your heart desires! I usually portion them out to have about 25-30 gnocchi in a serving.
I cook my gnocchi in a smaller pot with about 10-15 pieces at a time. This ensures that the pot is not too crowded and that the gnocchi will not stick to each other. If you have a large stock pot, you could cook one batch of 25-30 at a time. I only cook them for about 30 seconds or so until they float. Use a strainer or spider (yep it’s called a spider!) to scoop out the gnocchi and place aside in your serving bowl. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi you are cooking, then toss them all in the sauce of your choosing! You can also place them in a pan with melted butter over medium-low heat, and cook them for an extra few minutes until the outsides crisp slightly.
Now, if you’re like me and you make this batch to portion out and use in the future, you’re in luck! I found that this recipe actually does freeze and reheat very well. I’ve had problems in the past with gnocchi turning out gummy our falling apart in the water after freezing, so here are a few tips for you to ensure that they come out great every time:
Go through step 6 of making the gnocchi (cutting your pieces of gnocchi and rolling them on the gnocchi board), then lay the cut gnocchi out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spreading them out so they do not touch. Place in a freezer and freeze until they are firm enough to handle without smashing when picked up (about 30min-1hr). Then, section out your gnocchi into desired portions and place each portion in a freezer-safe bag. Place back into the freezer until ready to use. When you’re ready, cook 10-15 gnocchi at a time in a pot of lightly boiling water for about 3-4 minutes or until they float. If your water stops boiling after adding in the gnocchi, turn up the heat slightly until the light boil starts again. Remove the cooked gnocchi and repeat with the remaining gnocchi. Toss with your favorite sauce.
EXTRA TIP: make sure you let your water come back to a light boil after cooking each small batch. Frozen food drops the temperature of the water, and if the water isn’t hot enough the gnocchi will cook on the outside before the inside cooks – leaving you with a gummy texture or gnocchi that falls apart.
Sweet potato gnocchi goes with a variety of sauces. Try it with a cream sauce, marinara, pesto, or even a simple brown butter and sage sauce. Or try my recipe with spinach and garlic butter sauce. However your decide to serve them, they will definitely leave you feeling satisfied!
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