Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto

I have been so proud of myself this week because I have been able to make all of my dinners using only what I already had in my pantry or fridge and everything I bought at the farmer's market last Saturday. All of my meals this week were made with organic, farm raised, grass fed and fresh ingredients. What's better than that?!

This gnocchi dish came about when I was trying to think of something to make using my basil growing in my windowsill, spinach from the farmer's market and sweet potatoes from the farmer's market. Spinach and basil make a delicious and fresh pesto and the sweet potatoes made some of the best gnocchi I've ever made.

The first time I ever made gnocchi last year was sort of a failure. They were edible but they were extremely doughy. This time I made sure to not add too much flour to the potato mixture and the gnocchi came out extremely tender and delicious. I would say that is definitely the trick to making great gnocchi. You have to find a balance of flour to potato ratio where the gnocchi don't fall apart when boiled, but don't take on the flavor or texture of the flour.

This may have been my favorite dish that I made this week with my farmer's market finds. The competition was tough considering this dish was up against bourbon chicken, caribbean stewed beef over couscous, roasted fennel and sausage pizza and a lemon and herb haddock dish. However, I have to say this dish is loaded with amazing flavors that are pretty hard to beat. It is a must try dish!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto:
(gnocchi recipe slightly adapted from: http://www.wander-crush.com/)

Sweet Potato Gnocchi:

2 large sweet potatoes
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1-2 cups basil pesto
1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated
  1. Peel the potatoes and dice into chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and place the potato chunks into the water. Let boil until the potatoes are tender. Drain and let cool.
  2. Either transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and mash by hand or puree in a food processor, then transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Mix in the egg and salt into the mashed potatoes. Mix in the flour 1/4 cup at a time into the potato mixture until the mixture holds together, but is not too doughy. You may need to use more or less flour, depending on how large your sweet potatoes are. Your dough should still be a little bit sticky.
  4. Flour your countertop and separate the sweet potato mixture into four equal pieces. Roll each piece out on the countertop into a long strand about the thickness of your thumb. (If your dough is a little sticky, don't worry. Rolling it out onto the floured countertop will make it less sticky and easier to work with). Cut the strand into equal sized pieces and roll the pieces over the back of a fork to get the grooves in traditional gnocchi.
  5. After all of your gnocchi are made, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in the gnocchi and let cook until they float to the top, only about 3-5 minutes. 
  6. While your gnocchi are boiling, add your pesto to a large skillet and keep warm over low heat. Drain the gnocchi and transfer them to the pesto. Spoon the gnocchi into serving bowls and top with the pecorino. Enjoy!


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