Left-Brain / Right-Brain Cookery

A double-take in the kitchen

Sweet Potato Gnocchi


Sautéed Sweet Potato Gnocchi by Left Brain Marilyn


I often prepare the evening meal when visiting family in British Columbia. My daughter-in-law Nikki suggested gnocchi made with sweet potatoes.


There was leftover ricotta in the ‘fridge which, along with an egg, would up the protein content for a vegetarian meal. I read numerous recipes on the internet. So many called for adding sugar and spice to the gnocchi – horrors!


With grand-daughter Nora rolling, and I shaping, we made a batch using my freshly written, strictly-savoury recipe. And received so much acclaim at dinner that it’s a keeper! Pair this fresh pasta with colourful hot vegetables and a salad.


Makes 6 to 8 generous servings



2 lb (900g) sweet potatoes, about 2 large

1 1/2 -2 cups (345 – 454g) ricotta cheese, drained briefly

1 egg

2 tsp (12g) salt

3/4 cup (90g) finely-grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (or mixture of both)

About 2 3/4 cups (365g) all-purpose flour


To serve

2 tbsp (28g) butter

2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil

1 large garlic clove, minced

Chopped fresh basil (optional – see tip)


  1. Prick sweet potatoes and place in glass pie dish. Microwave, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, turning once, or until soft. Cool, scoop out interior and discard skins.


  1. Using food processor, whirl sweet potatoes. Then add ricotta, egg and salt until well mixed. Turn into a mixing bowl; stir in Parmesan. Stir in flour slowly, adding as needed to get a consistency similar to dough for rolled cookies.


  1. Turn out onto a floured work surface; knead briefly. Roll pieces into a rope about 3/4-inch (2-cm) in diameter. Cut into lengths about 1/2-inch (1-cm) long. For authenticity, roll each cut off the back of a fork to form ridges and slightly hollow insides, however it is not totally necessary. Lay slightly apart on parchment-lined trays.


  1. If using right away, get a large pot of salted water boiling and in batches, boil for 5 minutes, drain and spread out on tray to cool. [Alternately without boiling, place newly-formed gnocchi still on the tray in freezer. Once frozen, bag airtight. When ready to enjoy, boil directly from the freezer without defrosting.]


  1. When ready to serve, heat butter, oil and garlic in a very large frying pan over medium heat, or divide between two pans as needed. Sauté gnocchi for 10 minutes, shaking pan frequently or until hot and lightly browned. Serve right away with extra Parmesan or Romano.


Flavour tips:


As available, chop and lightly-sprinkle the sautéed gnocchi with fresh basil, oregano, sage, sorrel, etc. to your taste. Pass a shaker of dried chili flakes for those who “like it hot”.



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