Love and Olive Oil

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.

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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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  1. 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!

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. Delicious!
    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!

  6. 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 : )

  7. 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.

  8. 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:)

  9. 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…

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

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

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

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

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

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

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

  24. This is amazing! Very impressive. Love your blog!

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

  27. That looks absolutely incredible!

  28. 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!

  29. 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!

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

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