Recipe: Sweet potato and spinach gnocci


I’m a HUGE fan of Italian food. Seriously, I can’t get enough of it – Bolognese, lasagne, stuffed cannelloni, you name it, I love it.

But sometimes I’m in the mood for Italian food, but not pasta.

What’s a girl to do?

I’ll tell you what! Make sweet potato and spinach gnocci!

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Sweet potato and spinach gnocci
served with Spanich meatballs
in a tomato sauce with
chorizo, beans and vegetables

Seriously, it’s one of the simplest recipes ever and it’s not only quick to make, but ultra-quick to cook. And it’s a little healthier than plain old pasta, even if you use the wholewheat kind. It only has three ingredients (or five, if you like to season it with salt and pepper) and it’s pretty much impossible to get it wrong – it’s fool proof and guaranteed to work every time. Plus it’s a tasty way to get your kids to eat spinach if they won’t have it on their plates! I’ve even persuaded Tadpole to eat this on several occasions (although he’s “off” it at the moment – shame!).

Ingredients:

  • Sweet potato
  • Spinach
  • Wholewheat flour
  • Optional: Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Cook the sweet potato in its skin (prick it and wet it first, then pop it in the microwave for a few minutes, turning it over half way through), then set it aside to cool a little.
  • Lightly steam or blanch several handfuls of fresh spinach (or use a few little nuggets of the frozen kind – let it completely defrost first and squeeze out excess water before use).
  • Cut open the sweet potato and scoop out the flesh into a large bowl.
  • Mash the sweet potato with a fork and stir in the spinach.
  • Add a little whole wheat flour at a time and mix well with your hands till you have a slightly soft dough that’s not too sticky, but still holds itself together easily.
  • Roll into walnut-sized balls, or roll into an inch-thick sausage and cut off inch-wide chunks.
  • Lightly flour a plate to pop the gnocci on so it doesn’t stick together and then pop it in the fridge to firm till you need to use it (or use immediately if you want).
  • Drop the gnocci into boiling water – when it rises (just a few minutes) it is ready to serve.

You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned amounts. This is because it will vary depending on how big or small your sweet potato is. One medium-sized sweet potato (about the size of my fist) and a few handfuls of spinach, with enough flour to make it into a dough will make enough gnocci for two adults. If you use a larger sweet potato, you’ll need extra spinach and more flour.

One it’s cooked you can toss it in with whatever sauce you’re using – it’s fabulous with Bolognese – and serve. Once it’s cooked and in the sauce, it freezes well. Just defrost your meal, cover with tin foil, and whack it in the oven to re-heat. Maybe with a little cheese melting on top. Whatever you fancy.

It’s an entirely vegan recipe and if you substitute a gluten-free flour (I’ve never tried this, but I’m sure you could) it’s gluten-free too. It’s a bit tastier than regular plain potato gnocci and a bit better for you too, with the addition of the spinach for extra kick.

I hope you’ll try this recipe ad let me know what you think of it. It really couldn’t be simpler and it only takes about 10 minutes to make it and another couple to cook, so it’s one of the quickest things ever to make for dinner!

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5 thoughts on “Recipe: Sweet potato and spinach gnocci

  1. Firstly I did not know you had a different blog, so firstly congratulations on the pregnancy, hope all is going well. I think I might give this recipe a go. I am not sure if I like sweet potato (can you use normal spuds in its place?), but as my daughter is a veggie, it looks like a really easy recipe that she could take to Uni with her. Thirdly I like your 52 things challenge and may very well start one myself. Does it have to be done at the beginning of the year or will any 52 weeks do?

    1. Thank you for the congrats. I’m certainly feeling better now that the intense morning sickness has abated (I still have an occasional bout, but I can cope with once in a while!). Now I just have to get over this bout of labyrinthitis which is making me dizzy – LOL!

      Regular gnocci is made with ordinary mashed potato and flour (with some seasoning if you fancy it), but it wouldn’t be gluten free and not quite as nutritious or tasty as the sweet potato kind (I find regular gnocci rather bland). πŸ˜‰ The sweet potato flavour is quite mild as you pair it with spinach (which doesn’t taste particularly strong either) so give it a try – you may find you like it! πŸ™‚ If you wanted to make sure there was more protein, you could always add an egg to the mix, but you’d need to use more flour to bind it all together. I’ve never tried this as I’m a meat eater and have no difficulties getting enough protein into my diet. πŸ˜‰

      You can start the 52 things challenge any time you like. You could time it so that you take 52 weeks from the start date, or you could try to do the 52 things in the remainder of the year, or you could just work out how many weeks there are left in the year and pick a challenge for each week- it’s entirely up to you. The challenges can be large or small, easy or difficult – things like get to bed before midnight every night for a week, or no alcohol for a week/month, or remember to put my dirty socks in the laundry basket every day for a month. Whatever you fancy. Choose things that will make YOUR life a happier and easier in the long run and you’ll find you fulfill the challenges. Make sure yo uhave plenty of things you’ll enjoy in there too! πŸ˜‰

      1. Thanks for the reply Kell, sorry that you have had morning sickness and are now having dizziness. Let’s hope as your pregnancy progresses things get easier. I am going to start the 52 challenge on the 1st July, I hope you don’t mind if I borrow a couple of yours mainly in the books section and finance, the Β£2 is a good one. I will give this recipe a try out in the week when Hannah and I can have a veggie meal together. In fact I think one of my challenges will be to have two veggie days a week, as I am not fussed by having meat.

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