This mildly sweet and nutty gnocchi was made white sweet potatoes, but any potatoes will do. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

This mildly sweet and nutty gnocchi was made white sweet potatoes, but any potatoes will do. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

Gnocchi brings it home

Enjoying an afternoon in the kitchen

My life has been rapidly changing.

Almost every aspect of my day is different than it was just a few months ago, and the speed of it is disorienting. My first week of my new job passed like the first painful seconds after diving into chilly water — with my ears ringing and the breath pulled from my lungs.

Where before I struggled to find things to fill the time, now each morning and evening is a rushed flurry of tasks to be completed in the few hours I have around my professional day. After a few stressful mornings and many lessons learned, I am satisfied with my ability so far to work full time while also maintaining my home as though the clock still doesn’t apply to me.

My sister and her children came for a brief visit this past weekend. My husband had to work, and the weather was cold and blustery, so we let the children enjoy each other’s company indoors with a movie and their many, many toys strewn about the house.

It reminded me of the many hours my sister and I spent alone in our house together as children. We would take turns reading aloud to each other, play video games for hours on the floor, and eventually wander into the kitchen to scrounge for entertainment. We liked to take inventory of the pantry and brainstorm things to make with the odds and ends inside. It was a game we played all the way to college.

This past drizzly Saturday we saw a bag of pale sweet potatoes my in-laws had given me and decided to use them to make some gnocchi. We joked and giggled together in the kitchen just like we have so many times, and it was an immeasurable comfort to me that no matter how much my life changes, I can always go back home in my heart if I can just have an afternoon with my sister. That will never change.

This gnocchi is mildly sweet and nutty. We had white sweet potatoes, but any variety of sweet potato will work just fine. I served mine in a brown butter sauce with sage, Italian sausage, and toasted walnuts with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.


2 medium to large sweet potatoes

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Use a fork to poke a bunch of holes in the sweet potatoes then bake for about 55 minutes or until a fork can be inserted easily all the way to the center.

Let them cool completely (or at least enough to be comfortably handled) before continuing.

Remove the skin and press them through a potato ricer. If you don’t have one, use a fork to mash them until there are absolutely no lumps. This will be very important in the final texture.

Salt the mash and add the nutmeg and stir.

Add the flour and mix until it forms a dough.

Generously flour your surface before rolling the dough out into a snake about 1 inch thick. You will need to work in batches.

Cut the snake into about 1.5-inch pieces and roll them into ovals.

You can use a fork to add grooves to the gnocchi, but it’s not necessary.

To cook: Boil in salted water until they float, then add to whatever pan or sauce you choose.

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