Good news for all Primal/Paleo enthusiasts who still crave potatoes. Today’s blog post for sweet potato gnocchi offers all that’s best about the much-loved spud - golden and crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside - without going off-piste. These delicious little pillows of potato-like perfection have the heart of soft, light-tasting mashed potato and the soul of crispy, caramelised, umami-flavoured chips.
Sweet potatoes offer a healthier, lower-starch alternative to other potato varieties, but here I’ve tamed down their sweetness and cancelled out their higher water content with primal-friendly ingredients to mimic the taste and texture of regular potatoes. As a cook, there have been many occasions when I’ve thought that only potato can properly complete a meal that’s lacking the comfort and pleasure of something satisfyingly starchy. No longer. These sweet potato gnocchi have the density and depth of flavour I’ve been missing and are the perfect potato substitute for any meal crying out for chips, mash, roasties or croquettes.
However, I think today’s recipe for Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Sage Butter & Goat’s Cheese is at its best presented as a gratifyingly simple, vegetarian main course. With just enough sweetness from the gnocchi to complement the saltiness of strong-tasting goat’s Cheddar, it’s a combo that’s so tasty you won’t even think about reaching for the ketchup! Also, these beauties are a brilliant dinner-party starter or, piled onto a platter with freshly grated goat’s Cheddar and crispy fried sage leaves scattered over, they will blow your guests away when handed around as a hot savoury canapé to accompany drinks.
Unlike traditional gnocchi that’s made from regular potato and refined wheat flour, Primal Plate gnocchi are grain-free, potato-free and gluten-free too. They may require a little effort to make but the pre-cooked and cooled gnocchi ‘sausages’ can be stored, still in their cling-film wrapping, for up to 2 days before being cut into gnocchi-sized pillows and quickly fried off in butter. Finally, without compromise, my appetite for potato is satiated!
Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Sage Butter & Goats Cheese (Serves 6)
750g organic sweet potatoes (should yield about 500-550g sweet potato puree)
1 organic egg yolk, lightly beaten
200g organic ground almonds
1½ tsp Celtic sea salt
40g organic butter
Freshly ground black pepper - to serve
Pre-heat oven to 180°C / 350℉ / Gas mark 4
Place the sweet potatoes on a baking tray and bake for 45-60 minutes (depending on their size) until completely cooked through.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and whilst they’re still hot cut them in half, then scoop out the centres of each. Pass the sweet potato flesh through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Discard the skins.
Add the ground almonds, coconut flour, arrowroot powder, cream cheese, egg yolk and sea salt to the sieved sweet potatoes and mix everything together well.
Cover and chill for 20-30 minutes in a refrigerator.
Bring a wide, deep pan of water to boil.
Divide the cooled gnocchi mixture into manageable portions (about 200g each). Roll each portion out between cling film into a 2 cm (¾ inch) thick long sausage. Twist the ends of the cling film together tightly then cook each sausage for 6 minutes in the boiling water.
At the end of the cooking time, remove the gnocchi sausage from the boiling water with the aid of two spatulas and lay each one down in an ice-cold water bath to cool down.
Once cool, remove the cling film and slice each sausage into little gnocchi ‘pillows’ i.e. about 2.5cm (1 inch) long pieces. Cover and keep chilled. N.B. They can be stored for up to 2 days in a refrigerator.
When you’re ready to eat, heat 40g grass-fed butter in a large frying pan set over a medium heat. Do not let the pan get too hot - you want the butter to foam, not burn. Sizzle the sage leaves for 1 minute, then remove from the pan and set aside.
Now add the gnocchi pillows to the pan and fry them in the sage-infused butter until golden on the outside and light and fluffy in the centre. Depending on how many people you’re feeding, you may have to do this in several batches. N.B. It’s important that you don’t overcrowd the pan and if the butter starts to burn, clean the pan out and start afresh with more butter. When the gnocchi are nice and golden on all sides, lift them onto a warm plate lined with kitchen paper.
Serve the gnocchi hot with a generous amount of grated goat’s Cheddar sprinkled over and a good grinding of fresh black pepper. Garnish with the crispy sage leaves.
Carbohydrate 29g Protein 13g - per serving