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Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

All these years and we’ve never made gnocchi. We’ve made gnocchi dishes, but have always purchased pre-made gnocchi from various sources. And to be honest, it’s never very good. Dense and gummy would be appropriate adjectives to describe the little potato lumps. Which is maybe why we’ve never attempted the homemade version; we just assumed it was something we didn’t really like very much.

I’m glad we made the effort (and yes, it takes quite a bit of effort), because these homemade gnocchi were fabulous. Granted, they look a bit more like packing peanuts than the pretty little dumplings they’re supposed to be, but I just need to work on my technique. The ricotta cheese gives each bite a light and airy texture, like petite potato pillows drizzled with browned butter and sage.

Note to self: pay attention to the serving size on recipes before you prepare them. Do the math. Two of us. A recipe serving 10-12? Hello leftovers. Luckily gnocchi freeze quite well, and we froze a ton of them. Tomorrow night’s dinner will be as easy as boiling and buttering.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Makes 10-12 servings. Recipe from Epicurious.


2 1-pound red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), rinsed, patted dry, pierced all over with fork
1 12-ounce container fresh ricotta cheese, drained in sieve 2 hours
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 3/4 cups (about) all purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons chopped fresh sage plus whole leaves for garnish


Line large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place sweet potatoes on plate; microwave on high until tender, about 5 minutes per side. Cut in half and cool. (We personally felt that the microwave didn't adequately cook the potatoes, we ended up cutting them into chunks and boiling them. You could also roast them for an even richer flavor, which is probably what we'll do if we make this recipe again).

Scrape sweet potato flesh into medium bowl and mash; transfer 3 cups to large bowl. Add ricotta cheese; blend well. Add Parmesan cheese, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg; mash to blend. Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto floured surface; divide into 6 equal pieces. Rolling between palms and floured work surface, form each piece into 20-inch-long rope (about 1 inch in diameter), sprinkling with flour as needed if sticky. Cut each rope into 20 pieces. Roll each piece over tines of fork to indent. Transfer to baking sheet. (At this point the gnocchi can be frozen on the baking sheet overnight, then transfer to a freezer safe bag for long term storage).

Bring large pot of water to boil; add 2 tablespoons salt and return to boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi until tender, about 5 minutes or until gnocchi float to the top of the pot. With a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to clean rimmed baking sheet. Cool completely. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Preheat oven to 300°F. Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until butter solids are brown and have toasty aroma, swirling pan occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Add chopped sage (mixture will bubble up). Turn off heat. Season sage butter generously with salt and pepper.

Transfer half of sage butter to large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add half of gnocchi. Sauté until gnocchi are heated through and lightly golden brown and crispy, about 6 minutes. Empty skillet onto rimmed baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining sage butter and gnocchi.

Divide gnocchi and sauce among shallow bowls. Garnish with sage leaves.

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30 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Blog is the New Black
    Posted On January 15, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I am making homemade rav with brown butter sage sauce- this would be good too!


  2. 2
    Posted On January 15, 2011 at 10:22 am

    This looks wonderful. I just made gnocchi for the first time yesterday and you are right, it does take a while. But, oh it is so worth it. I will definitely try your version soon. Thanks for the recipe!


  3. 3
    Posted On January 15, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Gnocchi is one of my favorite things in the world! we attempted to make it once & it was alright…will for sure be trying out this recipe!


  4. 4
    Posted On January 15, 2011 at 11:04 am

    That looks absolutely incredible!


  5. 5
    Posted On January 15, 2011 at 11:18 am

    this is SO weird my mom made gnocchi with brown butter the other night and she used pre-made store bought gnocchi and you’re right, it wasn’t very good. i need to give her this recipe now. thanks!


  6. 6
    Posted On January 15, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Wow. They look wonderful. I made my first gnocchi a couple of weeks ago. Good but not great. I think the secret is not to “mess” with the dough too much. Just enough to get it to stay together before you make the snakes. I will definitely try this very soon.


  7. 7
    Posted On January 15, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    This is amazing! Very impressive. Love your blog!


  8. 8
    Posted On January 15, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    This looks delicious, Lindsay. I have never made Gnocchi. That’s something I’d really like to get around to this year.


  9. 9
    Posted On January 15, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Yum!!! Though I’ve never made gnocchi from sweet potato, I love the brown butter-sage-sweet potato flavor combo! Sounds delicious, I’ll have to try this one soon!


  10. 10
    Posted On January 15, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    It sounds like a long process, but I bet worth it to have non-gummy gnocchi! I’ve never had sweet potato gnocchi, worth a try!


  11. 11
    Posted On January 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    YUM!! Cannot wait to try this! :) I love gnocchi, and my favorite is traditional with gorgonzola sauce, but this might just take the cake


  12. 12
    Posted On January 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I love sweet potato gnocchi and have made it a couple times. If you’ve got extra in your freezer and are looking for ideas, I have two recipes in my blog – one with apple cider pan sauce and one with arugula and hazelnuts. I got the second idea from Not Eating Out in New York, and I must say, it’s incredible. Sweet potato + wilted bitter greens = heaven.


  13. 13
    Posted On January 15, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I’ve never had sweet potato gnocchi but this looks fabulous…I will have to make this as soon as possible! Thank you for sharing!


  14. 14
    Posted On January 15, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Sweet potato gnocchi sounds, and looks, absolutely divine right now! I wish I had seen this earlier in the day….I will save the recipe for later this week.


  15. 15
    Posted On January 16, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Just lovely. I’ve been looking for a sweet potato gnocchi recipe, this looks delicious.


  16. 16
    Posted On January 16, 2011 at 9:21 am

    … and I just bought sweet potatoes the other day. Yum!


  17. 17
    Posted On January 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    These are adorable! I love the combination of the sweet potatoes and brown butter.


  18. 18
    Posted On January 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I’m still not sure I like them. I made pumpkin gnocchi a while ago, and I used expensive organic eggs, organic flour and evrything….and the dumplings turned out raw and dense and gummy even after cooking them for 10 FREAKING minutes and then sauteeing them to death. The whole batch went into the trash. SIGH.
    I need to eat good gnocchi somewhere to convince me that they CAN be really tasty.


  19. 19
    Posted On January 16, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Homemade gnocci is sooo worth it. When I was living in england my roommates and I made a massive batch and had a big dinner party. Even with people helping it was still a lot of work.

    Yours looks delicious


  20. 20
    Posted On January 17, 2011 at 6:56 am

    I would love to make light and airy gnocchi at home. I need to try this recipe and work on my technique!


  21. 21
    Posted On January 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I’ve never made my own gnocchi either but this recipe looks too good to pass up!


  22. 22
    Posted On January 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I’ve made gnocchi before with butternut squash and it is delicious!! Excited to try sweet potato. Definitely takes awhile to get strategy for forming it. Will also have to try the freezing idea! We too ended up with too many and it doesn’t reheat well after it’s been boiled…


  23. 23
    Posted On January 19, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    It looks absolutely delicious and whats more the taste combination seems to be just incredible! This is for sure a recipie to try.

    ps. I am first time on your blog and it is so lovely. I ‘ll take a closer look.

    Greetings from Poland:)


  24. 24
    Posted On January 20, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    You are spot on about bought gnocci never tasting that good. Going to try this recipe soon – it looks great.
    Love the design of your blog – the notebook design is very effective.


  25. 25
    Posted On January 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    These gnocchi look perfect. Good job, guys. I tried to make them from sweet potatoes too once but they turned out to be a hot mess. I’m using this recipe next time : )


  26. 26
    Posted On January 23, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I’ve made gnocchi quite a few times before but always with regular potatoes. Tried this recipe last night and they were so good! However, I totally missed your note on the serving size and made a whole recipe (I live alone!)
    Guess I’ll be having gnocchi for the next few months :)
    Thank you!


  27. 27
    Posted On January 26, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I LOVE gnocchi! But I’m spoiled – I fell in love with it at restaurants run by Italians in NYC and in Italy where they make it on site. I’m always bummed out by the inferior quality of premade gnocchi here. This is going on my to do list ASAP!


  28. 28
    Posted On February 18, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    So I only stumbled upon your blog recently, and this was the second recipe I decided to try during my 20+ pages of archives browse.

    Well, I tried it today (I halved it, of course). IT WAS AMAZING. I’ve never even made gnocchi before, but after this, oh, bring on the recipes!

    Thank you OODLES for sharing this recipe. I was convinced that when I got around to trying my hand at gnocchi it wouldn’t be any kind of easy. While it kept me in the kitchen for awhile, it wasn’t that bad!


  29. 29
    Posted On February 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    I just made this recipe this past weekend!! Delicious!! Will definitely make it again!!


  30. 30
    Posted On May 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    These look delicious – I’m a sucker for anything sweet potato/brown butter. And that fork is the coolest ever – where did you find it? Love your photos, recipes and writing!


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