Sweet potato gnocchi with bolognese

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

I am totally not one of those people wishing summer away as we get to the tail end of the season with thoughts of pumpkin spiced this and cider donuts that, I swear. But when Ginger woke me up yesterday morning at 7:15 (about 2 hours too early for a lazy Sunday) to be let out and I stepped onto the porch half awake, I was blasted by that amazing fall-like crispness in the air that you forget about in the muggy months of June-August.  And I’m not gonna lie, I kinda liked it. At least for a day. So I spent the early afternoon indulging in this “almost fall” weather by making sweet potato gnocchi and simmering a bolognese sauce on the stove because after today, there will be no more of that fall cooking stuff until October 1. Winters suck way too much in NY to waste August on sweet potatoes, cinnamon and beef sauces.

According to that line of thought, I probably should’ve saved this post for about 2 months from now but reality is that I had two recipes flop face first this weekend and this was my only saving grace. I’d say sorry but I’m not really. If you make it, you’ll see why.

Somewhere within the first year of dating Ulysses we went to this horrific local pasta restaurant for dinner. Think Olive Garden but multiply the gaudy Italian-American white, green and red décor by about 10 and take away the chain restaurant aspect. Among the standard parmesans of the chicken, veal and eggplant variety, there was gnocchi. We silently looked over the menus for a minute or two when Ulys blurted out “what’s GA-NOTCH-EE?” I looked up, stared at him and said “I’m not sure we can date anymore.”

13 years later, he walks in from the garage, comes into the kitchen, looks at the sheet pan full of these and says “are these GA-NOTCH-EE??!” Aren’t I lucky?

The best part of making gnocchi is the fun little lines. I decided to play around with video a bit to show you how I do it at home since I don’t have that fancy line roller thingy. Please ignore my perpetual state of workout clothes, the fact that I never show my face and my amateur editing skills. It may also be slightly obvious that I’m Italian by the amount of gesturing my hands do in the span of 1 minute and 34 seconds.

At least there’s only one direction to go from here. Dressing myself properly next time might be the first step.

As if his gnocchi ignorance wasn’t blatant enough by the butchered pronunciation, Ulysses tried to eat one off the pan at this point of the prep. They’re cute and all, but I do suggest actually cooking them before consumption. Raw flour is never really a good taste. I debated for about .5 seconds whether to tell him that as he held it in his hand.

You could definitely stop at this point, boil them off, toss in some butter, olive oil, rosemary and call it a delicious meal but I decided to go all out and make a quick bolognese sauce to boot. If you think adding cinnamon and nutmeg to ground beef sounds weird, I’m with ya. But I took a chance and did it anyway to mimic the flavors in the gnocchi and it turned out way better than I ever thought it would. It’s meaty and hearty with a hint of cinnamon sweetness that pairs so well with the sweet potato gnocchi. Basically, it’s fall in your mouth.

We ate this around 3pm and then hiked almost 5 miles until 7pm (after making about 5 wrong turns at different trailheads) and I still wasn’t hungry when we got home. It’s that filling.

I’ll allow you one “fall” cooking day to make it if you promise to come back to basil, tomatoes and watermelon for the next 4 weeks. Fight the pumpkin urge!

2.8 from 5 reviews
Sweet potato gnocchi with bolognese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A fall inspired sweet potato gnocchi dish with a quick and easy cinnamon flavored beef bolognese sauce.
Author:
Recipe type: gnocchi
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
Bolognese
  • 1lb. ground beef (I use 85% lean)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 small carrots, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
  1. Clean and scrub potatoes well. Poke holes around the outside of each potato using a fork or knife. Wrap loosely in a paper towel and microwave until fork tender. This took me two rounds of the "potato" setting on my microwave.
  2. Remove potatoes from microwave, set aside and let cool.
  3. Once cooled, scoop flesh out of skins and transfer to a medium bowl.
  4. Mash sweet potato until smooth.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and mix until dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead into a ball. Add additional flour as needed to get the dough into a workable state so that it's not too sticky. I added about 2-3 tablespoons of buckwheat flour.
  6. Generously flour a surface and cut the ball of dough into 4 sections.
  7. Roll each section out into a long, even snake-like roll.
  8. Using a knife, cut off in ½-1 inch sections.
  9. You can leave gnocchi as is or roll each section with your thumb along the tines of a fork (see video above) to get the standard lines.
  10. Set gnocchi pieces aside on a parchment lined sheet pan.
  11. You can freeze them at this point and cook off later (from frozen) or, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook until they start to float (about 3 minutes).
  12. Remove gnocchi from cooking water carefully with a slotted spoon or strainer and transfer to a serving bowl.
Bolognese
  1. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Once hot, add garlic, onions and carrots and saute for 3 minutes until softened.
  3. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Drain fat from pan carefully if desired at this point.
  4. Add tomatoes, rosemary, parsley, seasonings and tomato paste and simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.
  5. Top gnocchi with spoonfuls of bolognese and serve.
Notes
-Potatoes could also be cooked by roasting if you'd rather not use a microwave. Prep time will obviously increase if doing so. -You could easily substitute whole wheat or all purpose flours for the almond/buckwheat/coconut mixture.

 

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Comments

  1. 5

    says

    I’m not always a huge fan of gnocchi. I find it often too gummy and heavy. However, some of the best I’ve ever had has been made from sweet potatoes. You have me craving some and I might just have to make this recipe.

  2. 6

    says

    This looks awesome! I love your video! I have a little camera with a tripod so we can definitely use that if we ever do a video :)

    Also, I really want this dish. Like really really really want it. I’m trying so hard to fight the fall but I’m afraid its’ not happening. I have six cans of pumpkin that are just crying to be used…

    • 7

      Running to the Kitchen says

      Yeah, if I wasn’t being lazy I could’ve set up my real camera or even used my point and shoot but the ease of the iphone won out ;) Let’s chat more about this video and figure out something to do this week! Ps- thinking of you guys…just saw that tweet about Art’s grandfather.

  3. 8

    says

    This looks amazing and thanks for making it gluten free! I have been lookin for gluten free gnocchi recipe for awhile but never found a good looking one and I am obsessed with sweet potato so you really sold me on this one! Can wait to make this!

    • 9

      Running to the Kitchen says

      Yeah, it’s been kind of nice trying to cook/eat close to paleo recently b/c it’s forced a lot of baked stuff to end up being gluten free at the same time. Makes it easier to answer comments of “how can I make this gluten free?” :)

    • 11

      says

      1. OH MY GOSH you’re not in spam! yay!!!
      2. Ask Cat (Breakfast to Bed) about our sisterwife status, I may already be taken ;)
      3. Come over for leftovers?

  4. 12

    Jen says

    SO excited to try this!!
    Do you think you could sub more almond flour or coconut flour for the buckwheat? I have the almond and coconut, but i have no idea about buckwheat!

    THANKS!

    • 13

      Jeremy says

      This is a really good question. I have heard that most Buckwheat while gluten free is processed on equipment that isn’t. Is there anyone that has figured out how to do this minus buckwheat?

  5. 14

    says

    Yay!! Love the post and the video clip :) And yes, next time I want to see your pretty face!! It was nice to hear your voice though, if that’s all you’re gonna give. As a side note, I did BUY the pumpkin for bread baking recipe experimentation, but didn’t have the heart to actually open it up yet. You’re right, it’s too summery still for pumpkin!!!

  6. 15

    says

    Love the light in these photos. The gnocci looks fabulous. I haven’t had it in sooo long and am very tempted with your GF version. Thanks!

  7. 22

    says

    I live in Texas and I’m ready for Fall. This heat is just tooo much. We actually have had a few Fall-like mornings too, recently; which has really put me in the mood. I’ve never made gnocchi, but I LOVE sweet potatoes. This meal looks and sounds delicious. I’m saving this for our first cool day.

  8. 24

    says

    Oh man. Now, these are some gnocci I can get behind. The first time I had gnocci, I didn’t like it because it was just kind of soft past-ish mush. I really need to get on it and try some of your recipes. Maybe I can make some friends if I cooked more because there’s no way I can justify making a bunch of delicious things for just myself.

  9. 29

    says

    The closest people in my life are the ones who say SALL-mon (salmon), CHAH-US (chaos), and ARK-KANSAS, respectively. Guess it goes to show that you can never tell with these things. I loved your gnocchi side story–and your recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  10. 31

    says

    I had no idea that you made these without processed white flour until I read the list of ingredients. We’ve just recently moved to a “whole foods” diet and we are loving the hundreds of ways to replace flour and sugars. I am so excited now and will definitely be trying this out at the first hint of coolness in the air. We used to live in NY…but now we are in super humid Houston. Ugh. I will gladly wish away summer!! Winter here is like one long fall…for which we are so grateful after the brutal summer months.

  11. 32

    says

    This looks delicious! I love the idea of a sweet potato gnocchi that is gluten free! My boyfriend’s mom makes amazing traditional gnocchi so it will be fun to see what he thinks of this version, I can’t wait to make it.

  12. 34

    says

    I was excited when I got down to the recipe and saw that it’s gluten-free! I love pumpkin and sweet potato ravioli and gnocchi, so sweet and good with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. But I’ve never seen a GF one, so thanks for posting this, it looks great! BTW I liked your video. It was instructive and I don’t want to hear you getting down on your clothes– my goodness, you had nail polish that matched your shirt, that’s more than you’d ever get out of me.

  13. 35

    says

    Um, first, love the video! Seriously, making a video has never ever crossed my mind. Too scary, haha. Second, I’ve never made gnocchi but I’ve always wanted to. I just have no idea how to do it so I’ve never tried, so thank you for the video :D I need to give it a try sometime.

  14. 36

    says

    I love your tutorial! I’ve wanted to make gnocchi for some time, but haven’t. Paired with the bolognese sauce, I bet this is really tasty! I’m definitely ready for fall to come! Living in AZ, we see temps in the 90s into October, but it’s nice to know cool weather is on its way!

  15. 38

    says

    Awesome how-to, Gina! I’ve wanted to make sweet potato gnocchi for quite some time and would not have known how to follow written instruction had you not shown me the thumb trick. Very cool and great recipe!

  16. 43

    says

    This gnocchi look beautiful! I cannot wait to give them a try. Do you think it is possible to ommit the parmesan or use nutritional yeast instead?

    And “GA-NOTCH-EE” – oh man, that’s so funny, I nearly peed my pants.

  17. 45

    Michael says

    Sorry….I just tried this recipe. Absolute worst gnocchi I’ve ever had. There was no flavor. Not enough salt and not sweet at all. Buckwheat flour? Almond flour? Really? This is supposed to taste good? I took one bite of these and three the whole batch out then went to McDonalds. Really disappointed with this dog food. 1 star is too many.

  18. 47

    says

    Wow, that recipe looks great! I try to eat Paleo most of the time, do you think the recipe would work if you cut out the buckwheat flour and instead increased the almond meal and coconut flour to 3/4 cup each?

    • 48

      Running to the Kitchen says

      I’m honestly not sure Katerina, I eat paleo most of the time too but was scared to do all almond/coconut flour with these because I felt like it needed a stronger binding agent. Even with the amount I used, they’re definitely more fragile than typical gnocchi b/c of the nut meals/flours so I’m not sure 100% nut flour would work too well without falling apart while boiling.

  19. 50

    Erin says

    I like the concept of a GF gnocchi, but I have to agree with Michael. These were bland as f***. It needs a lot of help. Perhaps some full fat ricotta or brown sugar or both! I really had high hopes for this recipe, but it is a complete waste of time and money.

  20. 51

    Stephanie says

    I made the recipe for the bolognese sauce the other night. I already had sweet potato gnocchi on hand. The bolognese sauce was good and was certainly a fall-flavored recipe. The fresh rosemary completely makes this dish. Additionally, I added another table spoon of the tomato paste for a little more of a “sauce” feel to the recipe, only a pinch of nutmeg instead of what you suggest and topped with parm cheese. Anyway – while the gnochhi didn’t get rave reviews here the topping is worth a try.

  21. 52

    Tracy says

    making this recipe right now. dough is a complete failure. had to added almost 2cups more buckwheat to get it to firm up to anything workable. have not tasted it yet. i didn’t use the parm cheese, but i can’t imagine that this alone would have made the dough so completely unworkable. i’m sad as i had such high hopes for this. husband was more patient and is trying to get it to work. hoping the flavour will come through though after added so much extra flour.

  22. 53

    Tracy says

    update: husband says they are “somewhat a success”, but he’s never had gnocchi before. the color is brown not the vibrant orange. i’m guessing it’s because i had to add so much buckwheat. next time i guess i’ll try adding the parm, but i wanted a dairy-free recipe. the bolonaise was lovely.

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