Gnocchi; the classic Italian dish in the pasta family, little pillows of happiness simply made with potato, egg and flour, tossed in a little butter and you have heavenly, melt in the mouth deliciousness!
Traditionally gnocchi is made with white potatoes, in this recipe the nutritional and wow factor is amplified by using the purple Stokes sweet potatoes, and gluten free flour of course.
The Stokes purple sweet potato originated in Stokes county, North Carolina, but is now grown exclusively in California for Frieda’s Specialty Produce, who where kind enough to send me a box of these beauties to play with.
The term ‘super-food’ may seem over-used, but the purple sweet potato certainly earns this title! With more antioxidants than blueberries, a good source of vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium and fiber it certainly earns the title.
Three varieties of purple sweet potatoes exist, the Stokes, Okinawan and Ube. The Stokes sweet potato is the nutrition queen, boasting the highest levels of antioxidants known as anthocyanins. A valuable antioxidant food, great to help lower and regulate blood pressure and a good choice for blood sugar handling with slow time release.
I had so much fun creating this recipe! The addition of ricotta cheese yielded the fluffiest version, however it can also be made without.
A key tool to achieve a great texture in making any type of gnocchi is a potato ricer. Roast the sweet potatoes jacket intact until soft to the touch. Slice open and into slices before passing through the ricer, this way the fibers are broken up. You’ll love having this around for your Thanksgiving mashed potatoes too!
The amount of flour needed will depend on the moisture content of the sweet potatoes; blend in the smaller amount and add a little more at a time until the dough is easier to handle. Keep in mind when the dough is rolled out more flour will be added in the process.
Once you have the dough prepared, it will be easier to handle if allowed to rest until cool. A pastry cutter is a key tool to cut up the gnocchi into the little pillows. At this stage they can be left as pillows, or rolled off the back of a fork or gnocchi board into the classic gnocchi shape.
The gnocchi can be cooked fresh, don’t overcrowd the pot, they will take literally two or three minutes cooked from fresh, and they also freeze really well. Cooked from frozen add approximately three more minutes to the cooking time, you will know when they are done as they will float to the surface.
And now for the sauce, a simple brown butter sauce with a grating of Parmesan will do just fine, for this creation a citrus beurre blanc sauce is balanced with biter greens and topped with whipped citrus goat’s cheese. Sublime!
This recipe was prepared live on the WCNC Charlotte Today Show, thank you to Dianne Personett Photography for the gorgeous images!
In Health and Wellness,
Chef Carol Green, NTP
Packed with vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants, purple sweet potatoes are nutritious along with the wow factor of the gorgeous vibrant color.
Transformed into little parcels of sweet potato happiness, these gnocchi bites are light and fluffy, complimented perfectly with citrus and bitter greens.
For the Gnocchi:
2 pounds Purple Stokes Sweet Potatoes
1½ –2 cups Gluten free all-purpose flour (approximately)
1 Egg, beaten
½ cup fresh Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1 tsp. Orange Zest
½ tsp. Savory Spice Store Barnegat Bay seasoning
½ tsp. Salt
For the Citrus Goats Cheese:
1 10 oz log Goat’s Cheese
1/3 cup Olive Oil, approximately
1 tsp. orange zest
1 Tbsp. Parsley, diced
Salt to taste
For the Wilted Greens in Citrus Butter
1 bunch Broccoli Rabe, rough diced (or greens of choice)
1 clove Garlic, smashed and finely minced
1 stick Grass-fed Butter
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. fresh Orange Juice
½ tsp. Savory Spice Store Barnegat Bay Seasoning
¼ tsp. Salt
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Wash the potatoes, pierce each one a few times with a fork, place on a roasting pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes (depending on size), until they are soft and collapsed.
- While this is cooking prepare the rest of the gnocchi set up and sauce
- Prepare the Whipped Citrus Goat’s Cheese:
- Place goats’ cheese and seasonings in a food processor, add oil with the motor running to achieve a whipped consistency
- Place in refrigerator until serving.
- Prepare the Sauce:
- Heat a large pan over medium high heat, add a little butter and the oil, add the garlic and broccoli rabe, and sauté until wilted, for around five minutes.
- Add the orange juice and seasoning, melt in the rest of the butter in small pieces until combined.
- Continue with the gnocchi:
- Blend the egg, ricotta and seasonings together.
- When the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, slice open and scoop out the flesh.
- Work the sweet potato through a potato ricer, or mash with a fork.
- Mix the sweet potato and ricotta mixture together, fold in the flour a little at a time until a firm consistency is reached, and the dough is no longer very sticky.
- Roll into a large log and cut into quarters with a pastry cutter.
- Roll each piece into a smaller log, about 1 inch thick and cut into smaller ¾ to 1” pieces with the pastry cutter.
- Prepare a baking sheet lined with a towel or flexible cutting mat. Fill a pot with 5 quarts of salted water and bring to a simmering boil.
- Form the gnocchi; use the side of a box grater, a butter paddle or a fork, dip the end pieces in flour and roll off the utensil of choice to form the dumplings; place on the prepared tray.
- Lift and bring together the corners of the towel or mat, and gently drop the gnocchi into the boiling water. Cook until the dumplings float to the top, two to three minutes.
- Retrieve with a slotted spoon or strainer, and immediately toss through the sauce.
- Serve, garnish with the citrus goat’s cheese and finish with grated parmesan.
- Note: The gnocchi can be prepared and rest at room temperature lightly covered up to two hours, or frozen.
- If cooking from frozen add an extra two to three minutes to the cooking time.
- Prep Time:50 minutes
- Cook Time:10 minutes
- Category:Main Entree
Keywords: Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Antioxidant, Healing Food