• Karine Wlasichuk

Sweet Potato Gnocchi: Unleash the (Bored) Artist in You

If these annoyingly restrictive times have taught me anything (wash your hands, practice social distancing, virus mutations are a terrifying thought), it is that there is no better time to make homemade gnocchi: simple and oh so time-consuming- until you become good at it, which I can openly say I am not. Nobody comes home from a 10-hour workday and decides they want to make gnocchi from scratch. But what if I told you that you were already home, wearing sweats, and most likely not contributing tons to society at the moment? If you work in hospitals or grocery stores right now please disregard- you are a god/goddess. But everyone else, listen up. This is a perfect 'I appreciate you' dish to prepare for a healthcare worker (or 'I'm bored', depending on your situation) and its tiny ingredient list makes it incredibly quarantine-friendly. No need to rush to the store to grab a potato or an egg (hopefully your fridge and pantry are not at that emptiness level today- yet no judgement, I've been there).

I am already such as fan of sweet potatoes and their many uses (soups, hummus and dips, mashes, roasts) as well as their rich flavour and beautiful tone (the golden potatoes look so miserable next to this beauty)- so this new discovery was a very pleasant one. Note: I only had 1 (large) potato and it made enough pieces for 2+ bowls! I even froze some for later.

You will need,

Sweet potato, mashed (typically 3, I only had 1 large)

Salt (1 tbsp)

Egg (1)

Flour (1 cup- but add as you go if you feel your dough needs more!)

Butter (2 tbsp)

Garlic (2 cloves, minced)

Parsley (1/2 bunch, thinly chopped)

Parmesan (1/4 cup)

Remember, it's not a beauty contest, they are cousins, not sisters, and it is perfectly fine if some of them are chubbier and the texture differs a tad. They were all delicious!

A few steps,

1. Using a small knife or a fork, pierce holes all over the sweet potato.

2. Wrap the potato in a damp towel and microwave for 8-10 minutes until tender (test with a fork). Let cool down for a few minutes.

3. Cut in half and discard the peel. Transfer to a bowl and mash away! It will take 30 seconds as it has incredibly soften.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Pour into your mash bowl and mix thoroughly.

5. Mix the salt and flour together and then start adding to the dough- it is important to fold the dough and not mix it thoroughly, which is why mine ended up being sticky- yet still yummy!

6. Sprinkle flour on the surface of your choice and start rolling the dough into fist-sized balls, then rolling those into 1-inch thick ropes. Cut those into 1/2 inch pieces (ahem, not full inches like I did- lesson learned part 4 or 5!?). *

7. You can now start boiling them in batches (you only need a couple of minutes, they rise up to the top when they are ready) and retrieve them with any slotted utensil you have. Lay on paper towel to soak up the excess water.

8. In a skillet over medium-heat, melt butter and cook garlic for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant. Add half the parsley, salt and pepper and stir. Add gnocchi and stir for a few extra minutes until golden.

9. Add half the Parmesan and stir for another minute, until lightly melted. Remove from heat.

9. Serve by sprinkling portions with the remaining Parmesan and parsley.

* Ahem. Another lesson learned: you want to shape your gnocchi with the back of the fork, gently rolling and pressing with your thumb, following the curve. I just shoved my fork deep in my pieces and acted surprised when they came apart. Again, lesson learned.