Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Will you look at this recipe? I mean, really, look at it! I made gnocchi! And it was a life lesson disguised as a recipe, let me tell you. I loathe trying and failing at things. So much so that I’ve been known to avoid things I suspect I will suck at. I worry that Esme is picking up this propensity and so I’m constantly encouraging her to see her work as a part of a progression rather than an effort towards perfection. But the gnocchi showed me how little progress I’ve made myself.

When I spotted something like these on Pinterst (do you follow us?) I thought it would be a great recipe for SPC. But as I got into it I started losing confidence. In fact, as I was working on the recipe in Maya’s studio I kept saying, “I don’t think it’s going to work. Let’s bail on this one.” But Maya would say that it looked good to her and I why didn’t I just keep going a bit more. So I’d roll out the dough and say, “I’m sure this is wrong. Maybe let’s just move on to the next recipe.” And Maya would say, “No, come on, it looks good!” Poor Maya. The ENTIRE time I was making these I was telling myself, “It’s not going to work, it’s not going to work, it’s not going to work.”

You know how it ends, right? These gnocchi do not look at all like the gorgeous image I saw when I researched the recipe but they were freaking delicious. My kids inhaled them for dinner that night and then I put more in a thermos for Esme’s lunch the next day. No one in my family cared that they didn’t look perfect enough to be served in a restaurant. They cared that there were seconds. And hello, this recipe makes a whack of gnocchi. Do it when you’ve got people coming over because it’s good enough to serve for guests and you can do it!


photos by Maya Visnyei

Sweet Potato Gnocchi


  • 3 cups sweet potato puree (pumpkin puree works, too)
  • 1 x 12 oz container of fresh ricotta
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter (depends on how many gnocchi you're serving)
  • 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced (again, depends how much pasta you're serving)
  • 6 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped


In a large bowl, combine potato puree with the ricotta cheese until they are well blended.

Add the Parmesan, sugar, salt and nutmeg and blend together.

Now begin to add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time until a dough forms.

It will be very soft and pillow-y

Turn dough out onto a very well floured work surface and break it apart into 5 or 6 pieces.

Place the dough you're not working with in the fridge while it waits for its turn.

Using your hands, roll the rough out into a long, even tube, about 1 inch in diameter.

You'll have about a 18 to 20 inch rope of dough.

With a sharp paring knife, cut each rope into about 20 pieces.

If you want to be fancy, you can roll each piece over the tines of a fork to create a pattern.

Place the pieces on a baking sheet.

Keep working on each piece of dough until you have about 120 pieces.

Boil up a big, big pot of really well salted water.

While that's happening get out a large skillet and melt the butter.

If you're only cooking up half of the gnocchi, you'll only need half the butter.

Let the butter melt, sizzle and just start to brown.

Now add the mushrooms and sage (only half the amount if you're breaking this in half), allow the mushrooms to soften - maybe 3 minutes - and take the pan off the heat.

When your pot of water is really bubbling away, start adding the gnocchi in small batches.

Maybe a dozen at a time so they don't get stuck together.

Cook each batch for about 5 or 6 minutes and the gnocchi will pop up to the top.

Allow water to come back to a boil between batches.

Place cooked gnocchi in a large bowl and set aside as you work.

Once all of the gnocchi is cooked, put the skillet back on the heat.

Add your gnocchi and allow it all to heat up together.

Gently stir so the pasta gets covered in the sage butter.

Serve with a fresh sage leaf for garnish (if you're feeling fancy).




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