Monday, October 3, 2011

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Italian Sausage & Sage

This recipe started out as a Paleo version of my favorite pillowy pieces of Italian comfort but when the dough wasn't yielding that consistency I was hoping for, the sinking feeling in my stomach let me know that my Italian ancestors were rolling over in their graves. There was no way that my Great Uncle Leonard would allow me to get away with these recipe alterations. I quickly re-joined reality and accepted the fact that any sort of "healthy" pasta was a no go. I mean really, what was I thinking? Never again. This Italian needs to stick to what she knows. The good stuff. How my family has always done it. And since my sweet husband is still an Italian in progress, I knew his first gnocchi experience needed to be something that would make my people proud.

Made with sweet potatoes, whole wheat flour and a lot of love, these gnocchis made the perfect mid-week comfort meal at the end of a cold and rainy day. Italian sausage makes this dish hearty but does not take away from the main attraction. It's the perfect mix of sweet with a tiny bit of salt and a hint of fresh sage.

Patience is the biggest piece of this kitchen and if you have that, you can pretty much count on an amazing meal at the end.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
recipe adapted from David Lebovitz

2.5 lbs. sweet potatoes
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, plus more as needed
1 egg, lightly beaten

Cut and boil sweet potatoes until cooked, about 20 minutes. When the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, dump into a strainer and let cool completely, for at least 30 minutes.

Remove the skins and in a large bowl, mash well with a potato masher. Add egg and with a large wooden spoon, slowly incorporate the flour into the potatoes. A doughy mixture will start to form. I used about 3 cups of flour total. Keep incorporating the flour until you get a nice soft dough. Place dough in the refrigerator to cool for about an hour.

Once the dough is cool, knead on a floured surface. Divide the dough into equal sections and roll out into logs, about 1 inch thick.

Cut the logs into 1 inch pillows. Using your thumb, press down into each gnocchi and roll away from you, creating the little dumpling shape. Place them on a cookie sheet dusted with flour.

Place in a large pot of boiling water for around 5 minutes, or until all the gnocchi have floated to the top.

I served our gnocchi with mild Italian sausage, olive oil and fresh sage. A little salt and pepper to taste and finished with freshly grated Romano cheese. Molto bene!


  1. YUM!!! i might need to try this one!

  2. So evoo as your sauce? Did you cook the sage in with the sausage? Is whole wheat flour necessary? Any reason why you boil pots w skin on?

  3. Soph-
    1. EVOO is the "sauce". Heavy sauce would drown these! And they are heavy as it is. Browned butter would be good, too.
    2. I cooked the sausage by itself and tossed the sage in when I mixed the entire dish together
    3. Whole wheat flour is not necessary. I actually really dislike it! I had some I needed to use up and thought this would be a good way.
    4. I always boil the skins on my sweet potatoes then they slip right off. No special reason, just to save time so
    I'm not peeling for what seems like forever.