Gnocchi are a delicate, dumpling-like Italian pasta typically made with white flour and potatoes. While delicious and slightly decadent, I wanted to create a healthier version I could feel good about giving my family at any meal, any day of the week. Here I’ve swapped out the traditional ingredients for antioxidant-rich sweet potatoes and whole-wheat flour. And with a sauce of apple cider and sage, this dish is as sweet as it is earthy, nutty, and savory. A perfect choice for toddlers as well as kids and adults; it’s sure to become a winter staple in our house.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Apple Cider-Sage Sauce
12 months + up
Makes 6-8 servings
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, plus more for serving
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves (about 4 leaves)
- 2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 425. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork and place in oven for 30-40 minutes or until soft. Remove and let cool slightly. (Alternatively, they can be wrapped in saran and placed in microwave for 7 minutes each).
Cut sweet potato in half, scoop out insides, and mash until smooth, discarding the skins. Stir in salt, pepper, eggs, cheese, and 1 cup of the flour. Knead, adding more flour as necessary, until mixture forms a smooth but slightly sticky dough. Turn onto a dry surface that has been lightly floured. Cut dough into 6 pieces, roll each out into 1/2″ ropes and cut into 1/2″ pieces. Indent gnocchi with the tines of a fork. Repeat with remaining dough. (These can be cooked immediately or you can freeze half. To freeze, place gnocchi in a single layer on a lightly floured sheet. Once frozen, place into an airtight container and keep in the freezer for up to two weeks. When ready to eat, allow them to thaw for 30-45 minutes before cooking.)
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place half the gnocchi in the boiling water and let cook for 4-5 minutes (about 1 minute after they float to the top). Remove with a slotted spoon.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the apple cider over moderately high heat until reduced and thickened to approx. 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Stir in the sage and cook 1 additional minute. Whisk in the butter until well combined. Once gnocchi are done, toss with sauce and serve. Serve with parmesan cheese or a dollop of ricotta cheese.