I have to admit to being very proud of this post. I have always wanted to home-make pasta. I tried once a few years ago, and the linguini was just too heavy. Gnocchi is a lot easier, but in my attempts I have learned one important lesson!
Size matters. (insert joke here). See, when you roll quarters of the the dough into long strands and cut them you aim for 1/4 inch thick, but that is very hard to do! So I rolled 1/2 inch thick, like so:
These come out as big as both my thumbs together. I then had to roll them again and cut them in half. This is because the large pieces will struggle to cook evenly all the way through. The gnocchi should be as big as your thumb (give or take) but trial and error is what will get you to your perfect size. I made about 1 lb of sweet potato gnocchi and 3/4 of it was the correct size, the rest was boil, taste, and adjust.
My advice is to persist, because they only take 2-3 minutes to boil and its not really much of a bother to re-roll while you wait for boiling, and just dump them in the water in batches.
The second thing is: My recipe calls for boiling them and then putting them back in the pan to crisp up and soak up your chosen sauce. You should know that you CAN eat them when they are just boiled, and look like this:
You can pour sauce once boiled if you want to save time, but I find they take on the sauce better if you add the pasta too the sauce, in any pasta recipe.
OK enough from me! I hope you like it:
Easy Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- 1 large sweet potato (about 8″ long)
- 2-3 cups flour (you will have to base this on texture of the dough)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 3-4 cups salted water to boil (I did it with 3 tbsp salt)
Poke holes all over the sweet potato with a fork and place in the microwave (on a plate) for 8-10 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes and scoop out the soft flesh of the sweet potato into a medium mixing bowl. If the centre is still a bit hard, you can microwave the scooped potato in the microwave for a further minute or two as needed.
Mash the sweet potato with a fork
Add the egg and mix thoroughly
Add Salt and mix
Add flour slowly and fold with a large wooden spoon or spatula until you get a soft dough that you can work with without it getting stuck on your fingers.
Knead the dough for a minute or so
Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes
Flour a surface and cut the cooled dough into quarters. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick (or as thin as you can as per my instructions above)
Cut into 1/2 inch segments
Now, bring the salt water to a simmer
In the meantime, roll the individual gnocchi with a fork. This is designed purely to shape them.
Simmer in the salt water in batches for 2-3 minutes. The gnocchi will puff up and float to the top when done.
If you are making these with a sauce or butter I recommend then heating the sauce/butter in a frying pan, and adding the gnocchi, cook for a further 2 minutes.
I served mine with my creole shrimp (you can get the recipe from my Shrimp & Polenta):
- Marinade shrimp in the creole seasoning
- Heat oil on a frying pan and cook shrimp for 5-8 minutes until pink
- Add gnocchi and cook, stirring a bit, for a further 2 minutes.