These gnocchi are soft sweet potato pillows – oh yeah they certainly are. The addition of the ricotta and using as little flour as possible is key. Bathing in a creamy sauce with a little bit of cheese makes for a fantastic dinner. Also wonderful as a side dish.
After some trial and error, I believe I found a recipe that you will enjoy, at least when you enjoy heavenly soft gnocchi that will not fall apart.
The trial and error part had to do with how little flour I could get away with and it turned out to be 1/4 cups + 1.5 tablespoon. This is in combination with 8 ounces of sweet potato and 1/2 cup of ricotta and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Key Ingredients in This Recipe
- Sweet potato
- Ricotta cheese – whole milk or low fat
- Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
- All-purpose flour
- Gruyere cheese – or any other cheese that adds flavor to the creamy sauce
- Salt & pepper
- Nutmeg (optional)
How to Make Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi in Cheese Sauce
- Cook the sweet potato. Do that in a way you are comfortable with. I cook my sweet potatoes in the microwave, using the sweet potato setting in this case. After that I wrap the potato in aluminum foil and rest for approx. 10 minutes.
- Cut the potato in half, allow it to cool and scoop the flesh in a bowl and mash it.
- Add the ricotta, Parmigiano Reggiano, flour, chopped sage and salt and pepper and mix all together. You’re looking for a ‘dough’ that holds together, that’s all. Add as little flour as possible. Flour will make the gnocchi firmer and heavier and you want the opposite – you want light, melt-in-you-mouth softness.
- Place the ball of sweet potato dough back in the bowl and place the bowl in the refrigerator to cool, for at least an hour, so it is easier to handle later.
- When it’s time to start creating the gnocchi, take the dough out of the fridge, dust the counter with flour. Work in manageable portions. E.g. cut the dough ball in 4 parts. Roll each part into a long rope. Here you can decide how big you want your gnocchi to be; the thicker the rope, the bigger your gnocchi pillows. I rolled until the rope was about 1-1.5 inches thick. Then cut the rope into 1-inch pieces and you just created your first gnocchi.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the gnocchi and boil until the gnocchi rise and start to float. Do this in portions, not all gnocchi at the same time. You don’t want the water to cool down and then take a long time to boil again. This may result in the gnocchi falling apart. When you cook them in portions it take 1-2 minutes for the gnocchi to rise to the top.
- Transfer floating gnocchi onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Make sure they do not touch each other. Continue with the rest of the gnocchi.
- While cooking the gnocchi, create the cheese sauce, by heating cream, with some salt and pepper in a skillet. Add grated cheese and a pinch of nutmeg.
- Continue to heat the sauce and once all gnocchi are done add the gnocchi to the sauce, and warm them up for a minute or two.
- Scoop the gnocchi with the sauce onto 2 heated plates or bowls. Sprinkle with a little bit of chopped sage and serve.
Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi in the cheese sauce are a delicious main dish, without the sauce they are a brilliant and healthy side dish.
Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi in Cheese Sauce
For the gnocchi
- 1 sweet potato about 8 ounces cooked
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano cheese grated
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (more for dusting)
- 1/2 teaspoon sage chopped
- salt and pepper
For the Cheese Sauce
- 1 cup cream
- 1 ounce Gruyere Cheese grated
- salt and pepper
- nutmeg optional
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Prick the sweet potato a few times with a fork in order to ensure the potatoes won't burst during the long bake time by providing steam vents.
- Place a sheet of kitchen towel in your microwave to catch the juices that may drip from the sweet potato during baking. Place the sweet potato on the kitchen towel and bake for approx. 7 minutes. (NOTE 1)
- Allow the sweet potato to cool and scoop the flesh in a bowl. Discard the skin. Add ricotta, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, sage, salt and pepper. Mix until relatively smooth.
- Add the flour, first 1/4 cup and after that a tablespoon at a time. Knead the dough, but don't overdo it. You need to end up with a cohesive mix that simply holds together, that's all. Add as little flour as possible. (NOTE 2)
- Shape the dough in a ball and return to the bowl. Place the bowl in the fridge for a couple of hours. It will be easier to make the gnocchi from cooled dough than from warm dough.
- Transfer the dough to a clean, floured kitchen counter. Cut the ball in 4 pieces and start to roll each 1/4 ball into a rope of 1.5 inches thick.
- Cut the rope in 1-inch pieces, your gnocchi are here!
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the gnocchi in portions to the boiling water. When the gnocchi rise to the top of the water, they're done. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the gnocchi to the baking sheet. Make sure the gnocchi are not piled on top of each other. Work on the rest of the gnocchi.
- Pour the cream in a skillet and warm it up.
- Add the grated Gruyere cheese, salt and pepper and make sure the cheese melts. Continue stirring to prevent the cheese from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and if you like a pinch of nutmeg.
- Transfer the gnocchi from the baking sheet into the cheese sauce. Heat for a few minutes and divide over 2 plates or bowls.
- Sprinkle with some chopped sage and Enjoy!
- Depending on your microwave, you may have a setting for baked potato or may be even for sweet baked potato. Follow the directions of your microwave as to how long to bake them. My microwave has a Sweet Baked Potato setting which means approx. 5 minutes in the microwave and then 10 minutes wrapped in aluminum foil.
- Flour will make the gnocchi firmer and heavier and you want the opposite – you want light, melt-in-you-mouth softness. Just enough flour, so the gnocchi does not fall apart while cooking.