This Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Butter Sage Sauce is a family favorite. It’s one of those magical unicorn recipes that everyone happily eats, usually asks for seconds, and we never have leftovers! It is hands-down a fall staple in this house, and P has been begging for these for days.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Do I really need to convince you?! Seriously though, these little pillows of joy are delicious, and the perfect initiation for fall. It’s one of those cozy, warm, inviting recipes that you’ll be so proud you made. I’m talking restaurant quality!
The best part is that this recipe will yield a huge batch, so you could save some in a freezer bag for an easy weeknight dinner, especially if you serve it alongside a soup or salad. We usually eat them all, though, because we are savages like that.
And my favorite part: this dinner won’t leave you feeling heavy, since it’s gluten-free!
For such a delicious dish, you’d be surprised at how few ingredients it takes to make!
- for the pasta: 3 cups of gluten-free flour and 3 sweet potatoes (+ grated cheese, if you like)
- herbs and spices: nutmeg, salt, pepper, and fresh sage leaves
- liquids: butter
I originally developed this recipe for our What a Good Eater! cookbook, but here I use a different gluten-free flour than suggested in the book (both work fine, I just like this one better these days).
For the equipment, you’ll want to use a food processor to mix your flour. If you don’t have one, don’t worry; you can use a blender to blend the sweet potatoes and then mix the flour in with a spatula.
Scroll down for the full video, and you’ll see me using a wooden gnocchi board to make the lines in the pasta. You don’t need to do this, but if you like making pasta I’d invest in one. Those lines are on pasta because it helps the pasta grab the sauce. And more sauce is always a good thing 😉
I hope you love this one as much as we do!
How to Make Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub sweet potatoes clean, then pierce with a fork a few times all around. (This lets the potatoes release juice and pressure as they cook in the oven.) Place a lined cooking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven to catch drips, then place the sweet potatoes directly on the rack above. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.
While the potatoes are baking, place the flour, grated cheese, ground nutmeg, salt, and pepper into a large bowl and stir until fully combined.
Once the potatoes are out of the oven, slice open and allow to cool enough to be handled (about 10 minutes). Scoop out the flesh, place in a food processor, and process until you reach a completely smooth consistency, then transfer to a large bowl. (See FAQ if you do not have a food processor.)
Add the flour mixture 1 cup at a time to the processor with the sweet potatoes. The mixture should slowly take on a doughy consistency; you will know it is ready once it forms into a large ball that is firm and moist, but does not stick to your fingers. Then, add in the grated cheese (if using), and mix until combined. (Add additional flour/arrowroot powder as necessary by the tablespoon until you reach the desired consistency.)
Transfer the dough to a clean surface lightly dusted with a bit of flour. Divide the dough into 8-12 smaller balls of approximately equal size (the amount may vary depending on how large your sweet potatoes are and how much flour you had to add).
Using the palms of your hands, gently roll 1 of the dough balls back and forth until it takes on the shape of a long rope, about 16 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter.
Using a sharp knife, cut the rope into 1-inch pieces, and transfer to a parchment-lined plate.
If you have a gnocchi board (like you see me use in the video) you can roll each gnocchi on the board to give it lines. The reason lines are put onto pasta is to help them “grab the sauce” more, so if you have a board, don’t skip this step!
Repeat this process with the remaining dough balls until all pieces are on the plate (you can stack in layers and add more parchment in between). Place in the freezer for 20 minutes to allow gnocchi to firm.
Fill a large pot with water (approximately 4 quarts) and bring to a boil over high heat. While you wait for the water to boil, prepare the Butter Sage Sauce (see below).
Once the water is boiling, lower the heat to medium and place the desired number of gnocchi in the pot (this recipe is based on approximately 42 pieces of gnocchi, which will feed 2 adults and 2 children), stirring gently with a wooden spoon to be sure they do not stick together. They are cooked when they begin to rise to the surface.
They cook fast (only 3-5 minutes!) so don’t leave them unattended after you drop them into the water. Using a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi from the water as they rise and place them directly into the pan with the butter-sage sauce. Stir to coat well.
Sprinkle lightly with extra nutmeg, and grated Pecorino Romano (optional), if desired. Buon appetito!
For the Butter-Sage Sauce:
Place the ghee or butter in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. If using butter, you will begin to see brown flecks appear. Remove from heat and add sage leaves. (They should begin to turn crispy right away.) Stir and set aside. Drop the gnocchi into the pan once they are cooked.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Can I use ghee instead of regular butter?
Answer: Yes, you can use ghee. I sometimes substitute the butter with grass-fed ghee instead, since ghee has the lactose removed (which can be problematic for our son and myself). But you just can’t get that true brown butter without using regular butter, so sometimes (like here), we indulge! Just be aware that ghee won’t brown like butter does, but it will still taste delicious.
Question: Can I use a different flour here?
Answer: Yes, another gluten-free flour that you trust should work fine. If you don’t like Namaste brand, try Cup 4 Cup. The main thing is to make sure that the packaging says you can substitute it cup for cup so that you don’t have to alter any measurements.
Question: Help, my flour is too sticky! What should I do?
Answer: If your flour is too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour until it is still moist but not sticking to your hands. That’s the consistency we are going for here.
Question: Help, my flour is too dry! What should I do?
Answer: Add a few drops of water to your hands and try again. Repeat until you get the right consistency (again, moist, but not sticking to your hands). Flour that is too dry or too sticky can usually be remedied, so deep breaths! It takes some finesse, but you’ll get it!
Question: I don’t have a food processor. What should I do?
Answer: If you don’t have a food processor you can place the sweet potato flesh into a blender, and blend until smooth. Then, place the pureed sweet potato into a large bowl and add in the flour, one cup at a time, mixing it in to the sweet potato with a spatula. Continue until all the flour is mixed in and the dough reaches the desired consistency.
If you don’t have a blender either, you can mash the sweet potatoes with a masher until they are very smooth, then add in the flour one cup at a time, mixing with a spatula, until it is all blended and the dough is the correct consistency.
If you love fall recipes like this, try my Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Ravioli (it’s one of my favorites!). You can also try my Creamy Mushroom Celery Soup. And if you make these gnocchi, please rate the recipe, and leave me a comment telling me how you liked it!