Homemade gnocchi is by no means an exact science. In fact, if you’ve never made it before, I suggest trying it with regular white potatoes first!
I used orange sweet potatoes because I love their colour, but they’re a lot more moist than regular white potatoes, and even yellow sweet potatoes – this renders a much wetter “dough,” which can make working with the gnocchi difficult.
First off, you should know that gnocchi dough is naturally a wetter, stickier one, so don’t become frustrated. Stick through it and the rewards will be surprising. There’s not much as satisfying as a soft, airy pillow of homemade gnocchi!
I love gnocchi for creating a “fancy” dish because they’re so structurally sound, unlike spangly spaghetti or roving rice! The dish itself isn’t fancy at all, but it just looks so darn pretty.
Sweet potato pairs well with spicy, savoury chorizo, and I’ve always adored the bright freshness that raw tomatoes award cured meats. This is the perfect dish for the last haul of winter since it’s still comforting, but also a little lighter and fresher too.
PS. You should totes ditch the pasta the next time you make bolognaise and opt for homemade gnocchi instead!
How to make homemade gnocchi
- 2 medium orange sweet potatoes baked until soft (this will take about 1 hr)
- 1 Tbs cream cheese, plus extra for serving
- 2 tsp thyme leaves
- 1 free range large egg whisked
- 1 cup parmesan or any hard cheese
- 200g plus plain flour
- 1 large tomato very finely chopped
- Handful fresh basil very finely chopped
- Drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- 80g – 100g chorizo sliced
1.Once potatoes are cooked, remove skin, chop, place in a large bowl and mash until as smooth as possible.
2.Add cream cheese and thyme while still slightly warm, and mix to combine.
3.Add egg and parmesan cheese when slightly cooled and mix to combine, season liberally.
4.Add 100g flour and combine. Flour your hands and slowly add more and more flour, using your hands to combine until a sticky consistency is reached where the dough is only just starting to pull away from your fingers. You may even have to use more than 200g of flour depending on the size and wetness of your potatoes. NOTE: floury white potatoes require far less flour (approximately half) and are easier to make gnocchi with.
5.Clean your hands, flour them, and flour a flat surface.
6.Cut your dough in half, and roll each half into a cigar/snake shape of between 1cm and 2cm in diameter depending on desired size of gnocchi.
7.Now cut gnocchi pillows from the rolled dough in approximately 1cm – 2cm widths. Press each one gently with a fork to create grooves.
8.Boil a large pot of salted water, and place gnocchi in pot. They’re ready when they float to the top. This takes 2 – 5 mins assuming water is consistently boiling. This may be easier to do in 2 batches.
9.Use a slotted spoon to remove gnocchi as they surface, laying them out on a flat surface to air dry.
10.While gnocchi are drying, add tomato, basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar to a bowl, and leave to “macerate.
11.Slowly heat sliced chorizo in a large, flat pan until fat is rendered. Remove chorizo from pan and set aside.
12.Now fry gnocchi in chorizo fat in two batches until golden and crispy.
13.Compose each dish by laying down chorizo, and gnocchi, and topping with fresh tomato “salsa”, and dollops of cream cheese.