Nov 172013
 

Gnocchi has been on my things-to-make list for a while now but I’ve always been a little intimidated. Well, I’m pretty glad I finally gave it a shot, because this is by far one of the best things I’ve made in a while. This fall-inspired sweet potato version is both healthier and way cooler than your standard potato gnocchi. This is guaranteed to blow your thanksgiving guest’s minds.
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Not only was I seriously impressed with the gnocchi quality on my first ever attempt, I was also really impressed with the simplicity. The gnocchi only has 6 ingredients (sweet potato, ricotta, parmesan, nutmeg, salt, and whole wheat flour) and it came together pretty quickly. You roll out the dough, cut it into little dumplings, add some fork indentations if you want to get fancy, and boil them for 4 minutes or so. And then you are left with the most delicious, tender, sweet potato gnocchi–I’m actually getting sad writing this because there are not leftovers.
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Nutritional Highlights: By swapping regular potato and white flour for sweet potato and whole wheat flour, you up the fiber and nutrients in a big way. Sure, there is parmesan and ricotta all up in there, but they are necessary. The key is also keeping the sauce light–I just used a simple mix of olive oil, garlic, and a tiny tiny bit of butter. I also added baby spinach, toasted pecans, and pomegranate seeds to add a little extra color, texture, and nutrients.
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Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Pomegranate, Pecans, and Spinach
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What’s in it:

For the Gnocchi:
– 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (from about 2 large or 3 small sweet potatoes)
– 8-ounces fresh ricotta cheese, drained in sieve or wrapped in paper towel to remove liquid
– 2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
– 1 tablespoon brown sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for the pasta water
– 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1 1/2 – 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

For the sauce:
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 tablespoon butter (it’s OK, I swear)
– 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
– 3 cups baby spinach
– 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
– 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

How to make it:

1. Cook sweet potatoes. You can use any method you like, but I punctured them several times with a fork and microwaved for about 10 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Baked potatoes work fine as well. Scoop out the flesh of the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl and mash.
2. To drain the ricotta, I wrapped it in several paper towels and squeezed out as much liquid as possible. Add the ricotta to the mashed sweet potato and mix well.
3. Add the Parmesan cheese, brown sugar, salt, and nutmeg and mash to blend.
4. Mix in the flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms. I ended up using 1 1/2 cups.
5. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and cut into 6 pieces. Roll the dough in your hands to form long thin ropes that are about 1 inch in diameter. If it gets too sticky, sprinkle with additional flour or coat your hands in flour. Cut the ropes into about 1 inch pieces and indent each one with a fork. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. (You can stop at this point and refrigerate the gnocchi until you’re ready to cook them.)
6. When ready to cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of water to boil and add about a tablespoon of salt and return to boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer gnocchi to clean rimmed baking sheet. Cool completely. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
7. When ready to serve, heat a large saute pan over medium-high and add the olive oil and butter. Once melted, add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the gnocchi and toss occasionally for about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 more minutes. Season with an extra pinch of salt.
8. Transfer to serving dish and top with pomegranate seeds, toasted pecans, and a little extra shaved parmesan for garnish. Enjoy!!
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  2 Responses to “Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Pomegranate”

  1. make this for me please!!!

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