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Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Garlic Herb Brown Butter sauce fills a gray ceramic bowl. The gnocchi is garnished with fresh sage leaves and freshly grated parmesan cheese. The bowl sits atop a creamy white textured surface surrounded by a blue and white striped linen napkin, two parmesan rinds, & loose fresh herbs.

Homemade Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Garlic Herb Brown Butter

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Pasta Recipes, Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These sweet potato gnocchi are perfectly light, pillowy-tender, & extra flavorful thanks to the addition of freshly grated parmesan & nutmeg. For the perfect fall meal, finish the sweet potato gnocchi with brown butter sauce infused with garlic, fresh sage & rosemary, & chopped walnuts or pecans for extra texture. A seriously impressive yet surprisingly easy meal, perfect for a lazy fall Sunday or a special occasion like Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving!


Ingredients

Scale

for the garlic herb brown butter sauce:

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1216 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 812 sprigs fresh thyme, destemmed
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to seasonSweet Potato Gnocchi with Garlic Herb Brown Butter ingredients arranged on a creamy white plaster surface: sweet potato, russet potato, eggs, grated parmesan, kosher salt, nutmeg, Bob's Red Mill Unbleached White Fine Pastry Flour, walnuts, unsalted butter, fresh sage leaves, fresh thyme, rosemary, garlic, lemons.

Instructions

  1. Bake the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Using a fork, prick the potatoes, creating holes all over the surface for steam to escape as the potatoes bake. Place the potatoes on a small baking sheet & transfer to the oven. Bake 45 minutes – 1 hour, just until the potatoes are fork-tender (i.e. you can stab the potato with a fork with very little resistance). Remove the potatoes from the oven. Carefully cut a slit lengthwise across each potato to allow steam to escape. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, just until slightly cooled.Two baked russet potatoes and one baked sweet potato that have all been cut in half lengthwise rest on a small aluminum cutting board. The cutting board rests on a creamy white plaster textured surface.
  2. Rice the potatoes: Spoon the flesh of the cooked potatoes into a potato ricer. Rice the potatoes onto a large plate or cutting board, ensuring the riced potatoes are arranged in a thin, even layer. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, at least 30 minutes.Baked russet and sweet potato that have been riced using a black potato ricer rest on a white cutting board. The potato ricer rests partially on top of the cutting board and all items sit atop a creamy white plaster textured surface.
  3. Prepare the gnocchi dough: Before you get started, I suggest reading through the 4 steps of this process carefully to get a feel for it. This is also a great time to begin boiling the gnocchi water, as well – see Step 7, below! [gallery size="full" columns="2" ids="24061,24062,24065,24066,24069,24070"]
    1.  Turn the cooled potatoes onto a clean, sturdy work surface, spreading them into a thin, even layer. Take care to avoid working the potatoes too much or pressing down on them – we want them light & fluffy!
    2. Drizzle the egg yolks over the potatoes, then sprinkle the grated parmesan, grated nutmeg, & 2 teaspoons kosher salt over top. Starting with 1 1/2 cups, sprinkle the pastry flour over the potato mixture.
    3. Begin mixing the dough by using a bench scraper or pastry blender to cut the flour into the potato mixture in vertical slicing motions. Once the flour is cut into the potatoes, use the bench scraper to pull the potato mixture into a pile. Again, take care to avoid pressing down on it too much – we want the potatoes light & fluffy! Continue to cut the dough together with the bench scraper. If the surface of the dough feels too wet (it should not be tacky or sticky), sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup flour over top & use the bench scraper to continue to cut it into the potatoes. Once the flour is cut into the potatoes, the mixture should be combined pretty well & a soft & supple dough will begin to form. If it still feels sticky or tacky to the touch, repeat the process of cutting in a little more flour. 
    4. Once the potatoes begin to form a dough, use your hands to carefully & lightly press the dough into a ball. Do not knead the dough, as this works the glutens in the flour & the starches in the potatoes, resulting in tough, gummy gnocchi. The dough ball will be pretty soft, but it should hold its shape. Congratulations – you just made fresh gnocchi dough!
  4. Cut the gnocchi: Use a clean bench scraper to divide the sweet potato gnocchi dough into 5-6 sections. Dust 1 of the sections with flour. Using your hands, lightly roll the gnocchi dough against the work surface, creating a long rope. Once the rope is about 1/2-inch in diameter, use the bench scraper to cut it into 1-inch pieces. Transfer the cut gnocchi to a parchment-lined baking sheet & set aside. Repeat rolling & cutting the remaining gnocchi dough. Once all the gnocchi are cut, you can proceed with the following steps to serve them immediately, or freeze them for later – see Recipe Notes, below, for freezing instructions.A woman's hands work to roll out cut sections of fresh homemade sweet potato gnocchi dough into long uniform pieces of dough. Approximately 1-inch long pieces of gnocchi dough about 1/2-inch thick have been cut and are arranged in a pile while other sections of gnocchi dough wait to be rolled out. The process takes place on a creamy white textured surface. A gold measuring cup filled with extra pastry flour also rests on the surface.
  5. Toast the nuts: Add the chopped walnuts or pecans to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, monitoring closely & shaking occasionally to prevent burning, for 3-4 minutes, just until toasty & fragrant. Transfer toasted nuts to a plate & set aside. Carefully wipe out the saucepan & return to medium heat.A stainless steel frying pan is filled with chopped walnuts for toasting. The frying pan sits atop a creamy white textured surface.
  6. Prepare the garlic herb brown butter sauce: Add the butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter is completely melted, it will look foamy & it will begin to sizzle & pop. Swirling the pan occasionally, continue to cook the butter. After 2-3 minutes, the sizzling & popping will slow down as the butter browns. Reduce heat to medium-low as soon as the butter is amber in color & smells nutty. Quickly & carefully add in the lemon juice, fresh herbs, & garlic. The mixture will bubble up immediately. Cook, stirring often, 1-2 minutes longer, until the brown butter sauce is very fragrant. Remove from the heat. A metal saucepan filled with garlic herb brown butter sauce for sweet potato gnocchi. The saucepan sits atop a creamy white textured surface.
  7. Boil the sweet potato gnocchi: Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. As the garlic herb brown butter sauce comes together, transfer the prepared sweet potato gnocchi from the sheet pan into the boiling water – I suggest using the parchment paper as a sling, which will prevent excessive splashing. Stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, boil the sweet potato gnocchi. They will float to the top of the pot once they’re ready, about 3-5 minutes. Use a spider strainer to transfer the gnocchi from the boiling water to the skillet with the prepared garlic herb brown butter sauce You don’t have to be too careful about draining the gnocchi really well before transferring to the sauce – the starchy gnocchi water helps the dish come together! If you do not have a spider strainer, you can drain the gnocchi into a colander, reserving 1 cup of the starchy water before draining. An overhead shot of boiled gnocchi in a pot of water. A spider strainer lifts six freshly boiled gnocchi dumplings out of the cloudy water. The pot of water sits atop a creamy white textured surface.
  8. Finish the gnocchi in the garlic herb brown butter sauce Return the skillet with the sweet potato gnocchi & garlic herb brown butter sauce to medium-low heat. Add in the toasted nuts. Stir gently to combine, coating the gnocchi in the brown butter sauce well. Cook 1-2 minutes, just to bring everything together. Taste & season with additional kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. An overhead shot of Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Garlic Herb Brown Butter sauce in a metal sauce pan. The gnocchi is garnished with freshly grated parmesan cheese and the saucepan sits atop a creamy white textured surface.
  9. Serve the sweet potato gnocchi immediately, topped with grated parmesan & chopped fresh herbs as desired. Enjoy!Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Garlic Herb Brown Butter sauce fills a gray ceramic bowl. The gnocchi is garnished with fresh sage leaves and freshly grated parmesan cheese. The bowl sits atop a creamy white textured surface surrounded by a blue and white striped linen napkin, two parmesan rinds, & loose fresh herbs.


Notes

  • Potatoes: Between the Russet potatoes & sweet potato, you’ll want 2.25- 2.5 pounds total – in my experience, this typically amounts to 2 medium Russet potatoes & 1 medium sweet potato. Try to use potatoes that are pretty uniform in size so they bake evenly. 
  • Special Equipment: There are 2 tools that make homemade gnocchi prep much easier – a potato ricer & a bench scraper. My preferred ricer & bench scraper are linked below.
    • Potato ricer alternative: If you do not have a potato ricer, you can use a box grater in its place – carefully peel the potatoes & grate the flesh against the side with smaller holes.
    • Bench scraper alternative: If you do not have a bench scraper, a pastry blender works really well to cut the dough together. If you have neither, use a sharp knife & work carefully. 
  • Storage & Reheating: While they’re best enjoyed fresh, leftover sweet potato gnocchi in brown butter sauce will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave until warmed through. 
  • Freezing Sweet Potato Gnocchi: This sweet potato gnocchi recipe yields a large batch, feeding 4 as a main dish very generously. If you don’t need that much gnocchi, fresh gnocchi freezes very well! To freeze, prepare the gnocchi according to Steps 1-4 of Recipe Directions, above. Transfer the cut gnocchi to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flash freeze for at least 1 hour, until the gnocchi are firm, then transfer the gnocchi to a freezer bag. Freeze up to 1 month. Cook the sweet potato gnocchi directly from the freezer in boiling salted water, adding a couple minutes of cook time since they’re frozen. 

Keywords: sweet potato gnocchi, herb brown butter sauce, homemade gnocchi, fall, winter, date night, girls night, thanksgiving, friendsgiving, vegetarian