Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter

Teacher is Italian. Well, mostly Italian. He’s actually got a bunch of different ethnicities in his background, including Italian, Native American, Irish, and others that I can’t remember. Sometimes I affectionately call him a mutt. Like Benji, but MUCH cuter!

My ancestors all came from Germany, so my background isn’t nearly as exciting. Teacher loves me anyway – he’s like that.

Anyway, Teacher grew up eating more Italian-style than I did. His mom cooked with olive oil, garlic, peppers, and onions all the time. At my house, we cooked with butter, garlic powder, dehydrated onions, and no peppers. Ever. “Italian” was Thursday night pizza and Kraft Spaghetti in the green box.

Teacher introduced me to the Wonderful World of Italian Cuisine: homemade spaghetti sauce, Chicken Parmesan Angel Face’s favorite, pesto, and one of his favorites – gnocchi. Especially sweet potato gnocchi.

Every time Teacher’s made sweet potato gnocchi he’s tried a new recipe. This time he used Giada De Laurentiis’s recipe, and it’s our #1 favorite so far.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter – in Pictures

Bake about 2 pounds of sweet potatoes until soft, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, put a large pot of salted water on to boil.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Sweet PotatoesWhen the baked sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, skin and mash them in a large bowl.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Dry IngredientsMix in ricotta cheese, salt, cinnamon, pepper and flour.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Balls and RopesDivide the dough into 6 balls, then roll each ball into a rope about 1″ wide.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Flour CounterBe sure to flour your work surface or you’ll end up with a huge sticky mess.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Cut RopesCut each rope into about 1″ segments.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Fork the SegmentsLightly press each segment with a fork.

Boil the gnocchi in 3-4 batches, about 5-6 minutes per batch. Teacher says you know they’re done when they float to the surface. Remove each batch with a slotted spoon and place in a baking pan. Cover with foil to keep warm while you cook the remaining gnocchi.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Brown ButterWhile the gnocchi are cooking, melt butter in a large skillet. When mostly melted add fresh sage leaves and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter stops foaming and the sage is a little crispy. Yum yum yum!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Add to ButterAdd the gnocchi to the sage butter, a little at a time so they don’t stick together.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - TossToss gently to coat.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - ServeTransfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter – Official Recipe

Ingredients for the Gnocchi

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 2/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the work surface

Ingredients for Sage Butter

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 20 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (for Maple Version


  1. For the Gnocchi: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Poke the sweet potatoes with a fork and bake until fully cooked, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cool slightly. Cut sweet potatoes in half, scoop the flesh into a large bowl, and mash. Transfer to a large measuring cup to make sure there are about 2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes. Return to the large bowl. Add the ricotta cheese, salt, cinnamon, and pepper and stir until well mixed. Add 1/2 cup of flour at a time until a soft dough forms.
  2. Place the dough on a floured work surface and divide into 6 equal balls. Roll each ball out into a rope about 1″ wide. Cut each rope into 1″ pieces and press lightly with the tines of a fork. Transfer to a large baking sheet and continue with the remaining gnocchi.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the gnocchi in 3 batches and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 6 minutes – until tender but still firm to the bite. Using a slotted spoon, drain the gnocchi onto a baking sheet. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm and repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
  4. For the Brown Butter: While the gnocchi are cooking, melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. When almost melted, add the sage leaves. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the foam subsides and the butter begins to brown. Remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Toss the cooked gnocchi in the brown butter until evenly coated. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately with extra pepper and Parmigiano-Reggiano

For Giada’s Maple Cinnamon Sage Butter: Before adding in the gnocchi carefully add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to the melted butter and sage mixture. The mixture will bubble up. Continue stirring gently until the bubbles subside, then add the gnocchi and toss until coated. Serve as directed.

Original recipe from Giada De Laurentiis.

Amy Sue

Photo credit: Dogington Post

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