JOURNAL: Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Ever since I made my first great batch of gnocchi, I have been trying to develop a sweet potato variation, but baked sweet potatoes are so much wetter and stickier than potatoes that it has been a struggle.

The ratio for my regular gnocchi is:
4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
2 large eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup grated cheese

Simply substituting sweet potato for Yukon Gold yielded nothing recognizable as gnocchi.

Substituting sweet potato for half the Yukon Gold was a step in the right direction, but required 4 times as much flour to achieve the same dough consistency, which yielded extremely dense dumplings.

I did a little research and found recipes that used comparably large amounts of flour, but were critiqued for their brick-like density and I feel strongly that gnocchi should be light and fluffy. Other recipes used as much flour but added other moist ingredients such as ricotta, a direction I did not want to take.

I found one recipe that used less flour and rather than rolling the dough it instructed the cook to put the dough into a pastry bag and squeeze it into the boiling water. Last week I attempted this with the ratio listed above (but half of the potatoes were sweet potatoes and the other half was russets) and the result was delicious and light but did not hold together well. When fried, they resembled sweet potato pancakes but the inside was still the consistency of mashed potatoes.

For last night’s batch, I doubled the flour and once boiled, they were precisely the consistency and flavor I desired. Oddly, when fried, the middle again became a bit looser, nearly as much like mashed potato as pasta in texture, but I think this is as close to perfect as I have the patience to reach, so I will post the recipe now.

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