Gluten Free – Sweet Potato Gnocchi

gnocchi

Coming from an Italian family, it’s been hard to make a full switch to the gluten free life. The struggle applies particularly to gnocchi – one of my favorite Italian dishes ever and one of the only dishes I’ll ever order at an Italian restaurant. (On principle, I don’t love going to Italian restaurants because I can make most of the dishes at home – gnocchi being a strong exception because it’s so labor intensive and so hard to nail. For those of you in the Providence, RI area, you’ll understand – especially if you’ve ever had the gnocchi from Siena.)

Anyway, I stumbled across a recipe for sweet potato gnocchi on one of my favorite food blogs, Pinch of Yum. If I was going to have to quit real carbs, I thought I’d try making one of my favorite dishes the GF way – with sweet potatoes. Plus, it fits in really well with Mike’s low-carb diet.

Here is my adaptation of the recipe from Pinch of Yum.

Gnocchi Base:
3 lb sweet potato, microwaved until soft
2.5 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tsp salt
3.5 cup flour (more for dusting)

Sauce (for one batch only):
1 pkg broccoli rabe, chopped
8 tblsp butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 sage leaves
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

How To: 
Scoop the microwaved, soft potato flesh out of the skins and throw the skins away. Mix with ricotta, parmesan, and salt until well combined and almost completely smooth. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, kneading very gently after each addition. Do not knead so much that the dough gets tough. This part can get pretty sticky until the dough becomes mixed and easier to handle, at which point you can transfer to a floured work surface.

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Form the dough into a loaf. Cut a slice off of the loaf on the short side, then roll and stretch the slice until it forms a skinny rope. Cut the rope into 1 inch segments.

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Transfer your gnocchi pieces to a bowl. Make sure they are well floured so that they don’t stick together in the bowl.

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I made enough gnocchi in this batch to make freezer meals – there was so much, it was great! I ended up using the same batch of gnocchi for two additional meals after I made them.

To Cook:
Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the gnocchi, and boil until the gnocchi rise to the top of the water. I like to use my OXO fish fry spatula to drain the gnocchi as I pull it out of the boiling water once they float.

Drain the gnocchi on a paper towel covered plate or cutting board until dry. Toss the drained gnocchi in a bowl with olive oil to prevent sticking. Portion out the gnocchi you will freeze now and put into the freezer; keep the rest out and continue on to make the sauce.

Boil a large pot of water and add the broccoli rabe. Cook for 1 minute. While the broccoli rabe is boiling, fill another large bowl with ice water. Drain and transfer the broccoli rabe to the ice water to stop it from cooking further. Then drain out of the ice water and set aside.

For the sauce and to cook the gnocchi:
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat until foamy/bubbling. Add the gnocchi and pan-fry until golden brown. You may not be able to do this all at once.

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When you’ve fried all the gnocchi, add it back to the skillet and then add broccoli rabe, garlic, sage, and salt and pan-fry for another few minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly so the butter thickens. Add heavy cream and Parmesan cheese; toss gently a few times to coat the gnocchi and broccoli lightly.

Serve immediately with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice if you want.

This gnocchi dish was delicious. Great for a cool, early spring night, and a good freezer meal all year round.

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