Sweet Potato Gnocchi Recipe with Cooking Video
I made sweet potato gnocchi this weekend. But instead of making regular potato gnocchi with eggs as a binder, I used chana dal paste and a little tahini. The dough comes out a little sticky compared to using eggs, but the texture turns out the same. I paired the gnocchi with Asian ingredients for the sauce and bok choy.
I haven't posted anything over the weekend because I spent the last few days filming my very first cooking video! I had no clue how long it would take to film and edit the takes, and I have to admit, it was quite a lot of work. I hope you like it! Let me know what you think and check out the blooper reel below for a few laughs.
Yields: 10 servings3 pounds sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons kosher salt (or regular salt)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup canola oil
2-¼ cups all-purpose flour, as needed, more for rolling
¼ cup chana dal
2 teaspoons tahini (optional)
1 pound baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar (or any white vinegar)
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon red miso paste
2 teaspoons raw honey
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons cilantro (or flat leaf parsley)
Making chana dal paste:
In a bowl wash the chana dal thoroughly. Pick out and discard any badly-shaped beans, then soak them for at least 30 minutes. Drain as much liquid as possible. Set aside.
In a saucepan, combine the soaked chana dal and1 tablespoon of oil. Add water; the water should cover the lentils entirely. Bring to a boil then lower to a gentle simmer for about 35-40 minutes. Add salt half-way through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the lentils and the lentils will be more tender) and keep stirring every now and then so the lentils don't stick to the bottom of the pot. The liquid should have evaporated. Remove any liquid (if necessary).
Check doneness: The chana dal should be soft when gently pressed and crushed between your thumb and index finger.
Using the back of a spoon or a mortar and pestle, grind the lentils into a thick paste.
Note: For a faster cooking time, you could also cook the lentils in a pressure cooker. It would take only 15 minutes.
For the gnocchi sauce: In a small bowl, dissolve the miso paste with 2 tablespoons of water. Warm in the microwave if necessary. Add honey, mustard, 1 teaspoon tahini and rice vinegar. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of canola oil and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil.
Prepping the bok choy: Blanch the bok choy in about a quart of salted boiling water. Cook for about 3 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer the greens into a cold water bath. Pat dry on a towel. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Set aside.
Boiling the sweet potatoes:
Peel the potatoes and dice them into 2" chunks for even cooking. It's preferable not to cut them too small as they might fall apart. Place them in a large pot. Fill with cold water until the potatoes are barely covered. It's important to start with cold water so the potatoes cook evenly. Bring to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt and reduce the heat to medium-high (if you cook the potatoes at a full boil, they might fall apart). As soon as the water reaches a boil, cook for about 30 minutes. Test, using a fork; the sweet potatoes should be tender. Remove from the pot. Drain the potatoes thoroughly and let them cool a little (do not rinse and let the liquid evaporate).
Forming the gnocchi:
Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle and have dried thoroughly, mash them using a potato masher. Form a well in the center of the potatoes and add the ground chana dal and 1 teaspoon of tahini. Season with salt and pepper. Add about 1-½ cups of flour. Mix until the batter is smooth. Do NOT over-mix. Add about 10 tablespoons of canola oil. Add the rest of the flour and knead the dough until it becomes a smooth ball.
Create 5 (1-¼" diameter) 16-inch logs. Using a paring knife, cut the logs into 1-¼" pieces.
This step using the fork is aesthetic and optional: Using the back of a fork, flatten the gnocchi, creating a striped-pattern on one side. Flip the piece over and then fold the edges together to form a round shape. Dust the formed gnocchi with flour.
Boiling the gnocchi:
Bring about 3 quarts of water to boil. Add the gnocchi, bring back to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle boil. That way the gnocchi is cooked all the way through evenly. Cook the pasta for about 3-4 minutes total until the gnocchi float to the surface. Salt the water half-way through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the gnocchi and they will be fluffy and more tender) and keep gently stirring every now and then so the gnocchi doesn't stick to the bottom.
When the gnocchi are cooked, reserve about 1/3 cup of pasta water and drain the gnocchi (do NOT rinse). Let stand in a colander.
In a large NON-STICK sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons canola oil. Add the shallots and cook until they're slightly golden. Add the gnocchi pasta. Toss the gnocchi by moving the pan in circular motion (the pan should be lifted in a low angle to facilitate the movement). Season with salt and pepper. If the pasta starts sticking to the bottom, add the reserved pasta water. Add the bok choy. Toss well. Transfer to a large serving platter. Sprinkle with red chili flakes and garnish with parsley (or cilantro).
Serve immediately with sauce on the side.
Count about 10 gnocchi per person.
I used bok choy but you can use any other green vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, choy sum, sugar snap peas or broccoli.
May 17, 2010.