Made enough Christmas cookies for the year? Gnocchi is just as easy to make and feels like an even bigger accomplishment. Plus the nutritional benefits of this gnocchi made with whole-wheat flour and sweet potatoes, far outweighs a cookie! Roll up your sleeves and impress your family and friends with this dish that looks and tastes like the holidays.
3 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cubed
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 egg white
½ cup olive oil
2 shallots, minced
¼ cup fresh sage, finely chopped
2 tsp agave or honey
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1. Place the sweet potatoes or yams in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let cook on a rolling boil for 15-20 minutes, until soft.
2. In a food processor, puree the sweet potatoes with ¼ cup of the olive oil. Add the egg and egg white and puree until smooth. You can also use a potato masher, but make sure to get the mixture super smooth.
3. Add the mixture and the flour to a bowl and stir until combined.
4. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
5. Fill a large bowl with warm water, which will be used to wet your hands. The trick to rolling the gnocchi is to keep your hands wet because this dough is sticky.
6. The best method is to individually roll small size pieces of dough, keeping them shaped like a small, very thin cylinder (gnocchi shaped). Keeping the dough thin will ensure it cooks through.
7. Roll and drop about 15-20 pieces of gnocchi into the boiling water at a time. Let the gnocchi float to the top and continue to cook on top of the water for an extra 3-4 minutes. Remove the gnocchi to a baking sheet prepared with non-stick cooking spray.
8. Repeat this process until the dough is gone. Let the gnocchi rest for at least 5 minutes while preparing the sage and shallot oil.
9. In a large saucepan, add the other ¼ cup olive oil, the shallots, sage, agave, salt and nutmeg over medium heat. Stir and cook until the shallots are golden.
10. Raise heat to medium high and add the gnocchi. Sauté for about 5 minutes tossing every 30 seconds. The gnocchi should form a nice golden crust.
11. A great variation to this recipe, is to sauté your favorite chicken or turkey sausage and toss it in with the gnocchi when it is done sautéing.
Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif. She is also a professional Xterra triathlete and mountain biker. Follow Jess’ recipes on her “Fit Food by Jess” Facebook page.