I usually wouldn’t ask you to put in this much effort to a recipe, but the end result is so so worth it that I had to publish this recipe. Homemade gnocchi is fluffier, less stodgy and far more flavoursome then ready-made, packet gnocchi. The sweet potato adds another dimension of flavour to the crispy gnocchi that regular potato wouldn’t provide. Plus we get all the amazing nutrients in sweet potato. Sometimes I find gnocchi can be a bit bland and stodgy, which is why I’ve add the extra step of browning/frying the gnocchi at the end. The pan-fried gnocchi has so much more flavour and textural interest to it. It’s like eating a saucy, healthy tater-tot, which we obviously love.
The foundation to this delicious homemade gnocchi. It’s rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and many more micronutrients.
On top of the sweet potato, I wanted to add even more nutrients with some greens. Cavolo nero is so vibrant and crisps up so nicely, so I knew it would be a great addition. If you can’t find cavolo nero, feel free to sub with kale.
A warming, autumnal/wintery herb that adds loads of flavour to this cosy pan-fried gnocchi.
To ensure that we get nice browning/crispiness on the gnocchi, we want to use a high heat. We therefore need to use an oil with a high smoke point: enter rapeseed oil.
Everyone knows that any butter/parmesan combo is great so no explanation needed here.
Preheat oven to 180°C
Note: After preparing the dough to form the gnocchi pillows, I reserved ⅔’s of the gnocchi pieces to eat later as it’s best to boil and pan fry the gnocchi in batches. We don’t want to over-crowd the pan when frying and also, if we boiled all the gnocchi at once, it would be hard to remove all of the pieces at the right time. If you’re serving for 4 or 6 at once, follow the steps but cook in batches. Although there are quite a few steps to this recipe, it’s definitely worth the effort!
Start by adding the sweet potatoes to a baking tray and prick the potatoes with a fork to allow the moisture to escape whilst baking. Pop in the oven for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes.
Remove the skins and add the potato to a large mixing bowl. Mash until smooth and season with salt.
Mix the egg into the bowl until combined. Then, slowly stir the flour into the bowl. Once roughly combined, transfer the dough to a flour dusted surface.
Dust your hands with flour and start to knead the dough for around 15 seconds (we don’t want to over-knead)! If you find the dough is too sticky, add more flour.
Slice the dough into 4 chunks and use your hands to roll the piece of dough into a long tube. If you find the tube is getting too long, slice it in half and work with one piece at a time. Dust the surface as you go.
Slice the tube into small gnocchi ‘pillow’ pieces then place on a floured tray. From here, I froze ⅔’s of the batch.
Add the gnocchi into salted boiling water. When the gnocchi rises to the top, remove from the water and add to a bowl.When the gnocchi rises to the top, remove from the water and add to a bowl.
Next, add the rapeseed oil to a non-stick frying pan on a high heat. Once hot, pour the gnocchi into the frying pan along with the cavolo nero. Distribute across the pan and leave to fry for around 3 minutes. Season with salt.Reduce the heat when the gnocchi and cavolo nero is nice and crispy, stir the butter, garlic and thyme into the pan. Continue to heat for a couple of minutes and then serve with a sprinkle of parmesan.
What is gnocchi?
Gnocchi originated in Italy and could be described as an Italian type of potato dumpling.
Can I make this with regular potatoes?
You sure can! I love the flavour that the sweet potatoes offer in this recipe but you can definitely swap with regular potatoes, follow the same steps and achieve a great result.
Can I skip the frying step?
I wouldn’t recommend skipping the final frying step as creating the pan-fried gnocchi texture is one of the best aspects of this recipe.
This recipe creates 6 portions of dough and it’s best to boil and fry the gnocchi in batches of two. This is because you can overcook/undercook some of the gnocchi pieces if boiled all at the same time as it’s hard remove all the gnocchi pieces at the right time when working with a huge batch. Whilst frying, we don’t want to fry all the pieces at once as not all of the pieces will have contact with the bottom of the pan, making it hard to brown/crisp up when left to fry. Therefore, I’d advise making the dough, rolling and slicing into gnocchi pieces. Then divide into 3 (2 servings in each pile), freeze 2 of the piles to cook at a later date and continue with the other steps with the reserved pile of two portions. Alternatively you could cook all of the gnocchi in batches and freeze in meal prep containers. For maximum crispiness I would freeze the uncooked gnocchi to cook fresh at a later date though.
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