Sweet potato gnocchi recipe by Sun Temple Food
Who doesn’t like gnocchi? I honestly don’t know a single person. Dumplings in general are so lovely to eat. We even use the word as a form of endearment. You know…..”my sweet little dumpling” or words to that effect…..Ok, maybe TMI but you get my point. The problem with dumplings is they are usually made with processed white flour and are a lot of empty calories carrying a sauce which is often gratuitously rich. These gnocchi are not that. They are made with sweet potatoes which we know are good for us. These sweet potatoes are grown here in St. Lucia, which you know is important to me. That is, to try and eat food that hasn’t travelled far to get to my plate. I try to be a locavore. It isn’t always easy and I am not a purist, so moderation in all things, but where possible, eat fresh and local.
The sauce is a watercress pesto which I shared with you before. Watercress is chocked full of good stuff for our temples, so the combination of the two makes for a pretty amazing bowl of healthy tastiness. You could use regular basil pesto as well or indeed cook up a fresh tomato sauce. The point is these beauties mix and mingle with a varied crowd and they are pleased with whomever they choose to socialise.
Sweet potato gnocchi – Serves 4 as a main course
700g (1lb 9oz) sweet potatoes roughly cut to pieces all the same size and unpeeled
salt and pepper
2 egg yolks
150g (5½oz) wholewheat spelt or plain flour
freshly grated parmesan, to serve
Boil the sweet potatoes in lots of salted water until they are well cooked through but not mushy. Let them cool off a bit and peel them as soon as you can handle them.
I pride myself on being unaffected by gadgetry. In fact my mother in law talks about the time a few years ago when I “went through” her kitchen drawers, with her involved, eliminating all unnecessary gadgets. My parents in law by contrast, love a good gadget. Every decision was consensual but I suspect they are still feeling the pangs of parting with many and varied “tools” to perform every task from hulling a strawberry to housing a banana.
I tell you all this because I actually own the gizmo shown in the photo below. It is a potato ricer and I had forgotten I had it and can’t remember why I bought it. This sneered at “tool” was brilliant for the gnocchi because it broke down the sweet potato really finely without lumps and made for lovely smooth dumplings. You could of course simply mash them using whatever technique suits you.
Sweet potato gnocchi.
Once you have the potatoes mashed or riced, add the remaining ingredients and get your hands in there to thoroughly mix. I don’t think you could achieve this using any other tool. You will think it will never come together, but persevere. Its worth it.
When you have a consolidated lump, roll the mixture out in a long snake or two on a clean kitchen surface and cut through as per the photo below.
While you are rolling and cutting, get lots of salted water boiling in a largish saucepan. Drop the gnocchi in one by one and trust me when I say “it will all turn out alright” They lie lethargically at the bottom and then soon enough get some energy and float to the top. When they do this, scoop them out with a slotted spoon onto some paper towel to drain.
Toss the cooked gnocchi in your sauce of choice and sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan on top. I made these gnocchi on the spur of the moment and thought I would have to serve a second course to my hungry hoards, but it turned out everyone was satisfied. So, a good vegetarian meal option. If you were very adventurous, you could try adding chia seeds in place of the eggs for a vegan option.