Friday, August 2, 2013

Paleo Sweet Potato Gnocchi

I love gnocchi.  I discovered it a few years ago, and I became obsessed.  It is just so delicious and chewy and wonderful.  Unfortunately, they are traditionally made from regular white potatoes, which are generally unacceptable in the Paleo diet.  So, I decided to try to create them out of sweet potatoes, since those are much more Paleo-friendly.  I found a few ideas online and used this recipe as the basis for my creation, with some changes. This was fairly time consuming (about 45 minutes start to finish), but I was very happy with the result.  It wasn't too difficult, and if you love gnocchi like I do, you should definitely try it.  Here is what I did:

Paleo Sweet Potato Gnocchi
(serves 3-4)
  • 1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes (2 cups mashed)
  • 1 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 1/4 c almond meal
  • 3 T arrowroot powder

Poke holes in the sweet potato(es) with a fork and cook in the microwave on HIGH for about 5-6 minutes, or until softened.  Once cool to the touch, cut in half and use a spoon to scoop out the insides.  You want about 2 cups of the insides.
In a bowl, or stand mixer (which makes it easier), combine potato insides, salt, pepper, and almond meal.  Mix until well combined.  Add in the arrowroot powder and mix well until it starts to create a dough-like consistency.  You want it to be fairly thick and kind of like play-dough. 

Spread out a pastry mat or make a nice clean surface.  Take some arrowroot powder and coat the surface.  It is also a good idea to put some on your fingers.  Take a scoopful of the dough and roll it out on the surface to make a long snake-like roll.  Repeat this with the rest of the dough until you have a bunch of little snakes.  During this process, you will likely need to keep adding more arrowroot powder to the surface and your fingers since it will probably start to get sticky.
Use a knife to cut little 1-2 inch long bits from each roll.  I also like to take a fork to make the little indentations on each gnocchi piece, just so they look professional of course.  Meanwhile, get a large pot of water boiling on the stove.  Once it is boiling, cook the gnocchi in batches.  I tossed in about 6-8 gnocchi at a time and let them cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Remove them with a slotted spoon to a plate/surface. 
Once they are out of the boiling water, they will hopefully look like this (or even better!):
To serve these gnocchi, I cooked some bulk sausage and sauteed garlic and mushrooms in olive oil. I mixed it all together and tossed in the gnocchi, which I will admit, made a bit of a mess.  The gnocchi got a little sticky and gooey when I stirred them around with the other ingredients, but they did stay in tact fairly well.  I would advise that you do not stir them around in your meal, but try to plate them first with the other components on top or on the side.  Regardless, the meal tasted great!
If you love gnocchi, try this out for sure.  You can pair this with red sauce as a typical pasta dish, make an alfredo type meal, or do an olive oil sauteed dish like I did.  The sky is the limit!  Enjoy!

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