So I made sweet potato gnocchi today. It was the first time I’ve ever made gnocchi and it went surprisingly smooth, minus the flour all over the kitchen floor… the woes of being a messy cook. Needless to say, it was delicious! I wrote up the recipe below for anyone interested.
This recipe requires ricotta. And yes, you can use store bought ricotta but what’s the fun in that? Plus making it at home saves money and plastic packaging, not to mention it tastes like a gazillion times better! Ricotta is actually quite easy to make, just make sure you have an hour to let it strain prior to use. Heat 1 cup of cream and 3 cups of milk with a dash of salt in a pot. Heat to 180 degrees and then remove from heat. Add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and let curdle for about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth lined colander with a bowl underneath to catch the whey. Let it strain for about an hour until you have a nice creamy ricotta. And don’t throw away that whey! It can be used in baking in place of milk, in smoothies, and in various other recipes.
For the gnocchi, you will need 2 large sweet potatoes, 1 egg yolk, 2/3 cup of ricotta, 2 cups of flour, and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. To bake the potatoes, pierce the potatoes with a fork, then wrap in a damp towel. Cook in the microwave for 8 minutes, turning halfway through. Once soft, scrape out the flesh and mash until smooth. Then add the rest of the ingredients to the mixture, kneading to form a soft dough. Divide the dough into 6-8 segments and roll into logs about one inch thick. Cut into small rectangles with a knife and create grooves on the top with the tines of a fork. Cook in boiling water for about 3-5 minutes.
For the cheese sauce, I used a vegan cashew cheese sauce recipe but in place of non-dairy milk, I used the whey from the ricotta. Soak 1 cup of cashews overnight in water (or if you don’t think of it until the day of, just soak for a few hours in warm water). Drain the water and add to a food processor or blender. Add ½ cup of nutritional yeast, 1 cup of non-dairy milk (or as mentioned before, whey), a dash of garlic powder, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Blend until you reach the desired consistency. Add to drained gnocchi with a large handful of chopped spinach. Cook until warm throughout and serve.