Sweet Potato Gnocchi_4317

Trying to make the perfect gnocchi has become a bit of an obsession in my house…and we have a freezer full of homemade gnocchi to prove it. I’ve learned that the key to making them light and fluffy is to add as little flour and egg as possible.

This week I set out to make a healthier version: whole wheat sweet potato gnocchi. Because sweet potatoes naturally contain more liquid than white potatoes, I did everything possible to remove excess liquid so that they required less flour to form a dough.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Like normal gnocchi, I first baked the potatoes until tender and then cut them open immediately to start releasing steam.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Once the sweet potatoes were cool enough to touch, I scooped out the flesh into my potato ricer. (A food processor or food mill would also work.) I riced the potatoes right into a non-stick skillet, which leads to the next step.

To get out the excess liquid, I used a trick that I learned from making butternut squash gnocchi last year: cook down the puree on the stove top to let the water evaporate and puree thicken.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

When the thickened potato puree was cool enough to work with, it was time to add some whole wheat pastry flour and an egg yolk. Like I said, the key is to add as little flour as possible. You should be able to roll out the dough, but barely. It will still be a bit sticky.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi_4323

A recipe I saw for gnocchi with kale and sausage on Bev Cooks seemed like the perfect way to serve these sweet potato gnocchi. I used some spicy Italian chicken sausage and a healthy amount of kale. The sweet gnocchi were especially good up against the earthy kale and spicy sausage. And some freshly grated Parmesan obviously didn’t hurt…

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage and Kale

Yield: 4-6 servings

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage and Kale

Sausage and Kale Adapted from Bev Cooks

Ingredients

    For the Gnocchi
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • Salt
  • For the Sausage and Kale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 bunches Tuscan (lacinato) kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a sharp knife, poke several holes in each sweet potato. Bake them whole until tender. Depending on their size, this could take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. They will be soft to the touch when tender on the inside.
  • When the sweet potatoes are cooked, slice each one open immediately to release steam and let cool slightly. Scoop out the flesh and put through a potato ricer.
  • Place the riced potatoes in a non-stick skillet heated over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, or until some of the liquid has cooked off. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly.
  • When cooled slightly, add the egg yolk and a half cup of the flour. Stir to incorporate. The goal is to add as little flour as possible, so keep adding flour little by little until the potatoes form enough of a dough that can be rolled out into gnocchi. It will still be a bit sticky.
  • Transfer the dough to a flat surface dusted with more flour. Cut the dough into four pieces. One by one, roll each out into a log about 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick. You can dust more flour on top of the potatoes to make this easier. Using a sharp knife, cut each log into pieces about an inch long. Transfer the pieces to a parchment lined or flour coated surface.
  • For the sausage and kale, heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken sausage, breaking it up as it cooks. Cook for a few of minutes, or until browned. Add the garlic and chili flakes, and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the white wine and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Then, add the kale, season with salt, turn down the heat to medium, and cover. Cook for about five minutes, stirring the kale around occasionally. Remove the lid and to the kale finish wilting and the liquid mostly evaporate.
  • Cook the gnocchi in heavily salted boiling water for just a couple of minutes until they float. Transfer the cooked gnocchi to the sausage and kale mixture, reserving a bit of pasta water.
  • Add a small ladle full of pasta water and the Parmesan to the gnocchi, sausage, and kale. Cook for a minute until a light sauce forms. Serve with additional Parmesan on top.
http://www.culinarycolleen.com/whole-wheat-sweet-potato-gnocchi-chicken-sausage-kale/
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