Sweet potato gnocchi with basil pesto

A few weeks ago I decided to be healthy and meal prep, so I bought a sack of sweet potatoes from Costco.

I’ve been eating sweet potatoes non stop, but I still had some left and was so tired of eating them I needed to figure out a way to somehow repurpose them.

And what better way to repurpose sweet potatoes than turn them into gnocchi?

This was my first time making gnocchi, and it is a PROCESS. Don’t make any plans, you’ll be at this all afternoon.

As an added bonus, you can make your own pesto. It’s super easy and the leftovers will keep well in your fridge.

You will need:

Gnocchi

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic

First, make your pesto.

Throw everything except for the olive oil into a blender or food processor. If needed, pour a little oil to get the mixture going, but try to reserve as much as you can. I find that blending the oil in the blender/processor can make your pesto bitter, so I try to add it to the mixture once everything’s blended and whisking it in.


Set your pesto aside, and start on your gnocchi.

Cut your sweet potatoes in half (width wise), and steam them for about 45 minutes. When they’re done, peel the skin off and place them in a bowl.


Most recipes call for a ricer or something, but I just used a hand masher to mash the sweet potatoes. Let the potato mash cool off.


Once it’s cooled, make a mound with your sweet potato mixture and form a little well in the middle. Crack your egg in the middle, and use a fork to beat the egg and start incorporating the sweet potato. Once you’ve got the sweet potato and egg mixed together, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and start adding your flour slowly.


  
You want to add as little flour/knead the dough as little as possible. Overkneading the dough or adding too much flour will make dense gnocchi, instead of the fluffy texture it should be.

It’s a messy, sticky process. Add some flour, and fold the dough over with your hands, carefully mixing it in. Your finished dough will still be a bit sticky, but that’s fine. Form the dough into what I can only describe as a log, then cut the log into about 6 sections.

Take one section, sprinkle flour on a cutting board or other surface, and roll the section into a narrow log – about one 1/2 inch in diameter.


With a floured, non serrated knife, cut the log into small pieces -again, about 1/2 -3/4 inch.


Get a pot of salted, boiling water going. Carefully drop your gnocchi in, and they should cook in about 3 minutes. They’ll float to the top when they’re ready. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain well.

Heat up some olive oil in a pan, and add your gnocchi. This is what makes the gnocchi nice and fluffy: I tried a gnocchi right after boiling it and was worried I had made a mistake somewhere because it was a bit dense. But after pan frying them for a bit, they were nice and pillowy.


Serve with pesto drizzled on top, or cook together in the pan. My Italian roomie inhaled her plate of gnocchi in about 4 minutes, so it’s safe to say this was a success.

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