These Handmade Gnocchi are so Healthy and still, so Tasty and Fluffy, that your Italian friends will be surprised by your skills!
There are these Sundays that you just want to relax at home, feel creative by cooking something nice and comforting, eat on the terrace with a glass of red wine (in my case) and maybe later, read a book or watch a movie. But you also want to keep it healthy..
This is what this recipe is all about.
I LOVE Gnocchi pasta, it's so different than any other kind of pasta and it's also super easy to make, because the dough can be made fast and you just need a bowl and a knife.
The recipe for this pasta dough has only Buckwheat Flour and Sweet Potato. These two simple ingredients transform this dish to a bomb of flavour and nutrition, compared to the classic Gnocchi which is made from potatoes and white flour, both full of empty calories.
Buckwheat is a Pseudocereal, which contains a variety of healthful nutrients. It is a good source of protein, fibre, and complex carbohydrates with low-medium Glycemic Index (GI). Actually studies have shown that it helps diabetics to maintain the blood sugar low and not get the regular spikes in the sugar levels which we usually get when we eat carbohydrates.
Buckwheat is a source of vitamins and minerals, such as Manganese, Copper, Magnesium, Iron, Phosphorus, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Vitamin K, Vitamin B-6 and has protein of a very high quality, due to its amino acid profile. It is also richer in antioxidants than most of cereals and pseudocereals.
You can see all the nutritional profile of Buckwheat Flour by clicking here.
On the other side, Sweet Potato is full of Beta-Carotene (a type of Vitamin A), which is known for protecting the skin from sun damage and ageing. Also, sweet potato has a Glycemic Index that is lower than normal potato, meaning that it's a better option for people who want to keep their sugar levels stable.
This time, I made my Gnocchi with a classic tomato sauce, which is full of Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant which is known for reducing your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, macular degeneration and even sunburn. It's also known for multiplying itself and being more effective when the tomato is cooked! Also just like Sweet Potatoes, tomatoes have high amounts of Beta-Carotene.
Sweet Potato Boiling Time: 15-30m | Time Working on Dough: 20m | Pasta Boiling Time: 1-2m
- 500gr Boiled Sweet Potato (any variety is good)
- 250-400gr Buckwheat Flour (and some extra flour for spreading on the table and on the tray)
- 1 tablespoon Himalayan Pink Salt for the boiling water (or other natural sea salt)
1. Peel and boil your sweet potatoes (if you didn't already) and when there are ready and soft let them cool down completely (don't use it warm or the dough will be too sticky). If you prefer, you may also prepare them from the night before.
2. Put them in a big bowl and mush them into a cream using a fork, electric mixer or which ever tool you prefer.
3. Now start adding the flour in the sweet potato cream. Add 250gr of it and start mixing very well (preferably with your clean hand) until it is absorbed. Then keep adding slowly and mixing, until you have a dough that is not too sticky. It will always be a bit sticky, you will know it's ready when you can lift it up and it doesn't spread all over the table.
4. Next, spread some flour on a big surface to work your Gnocchi and some on the tray where you will place them.
5. Separate your dough in pieces and start by rolling the first piece on the surface (check photos in the end of the post). By rolling it on the flour it becomes easier to work with. You want to give it a "worm" type of shape and then with your knife you cut your Gnocchi and place them on the tray.
6. When you are done, boil enough water with a tablespoon of your Natural Sea Salt and when it is boiling, put all your Gnocchi inside.
7. When your Gnocchi starts floating it means that it's boiled. This usually happens fast, like a minute or two. That's because part of the pasta is already cooked (the boiled sweet potato).
8. Use a skimming spoon to fish your Gnocchi as they start floating, and wait until you have them all. Enjoy with your favourite sauce! 😙
1. You may try with with other wholegrain flours if you like, but I believe that Buckwheat gives one of the best results.
2. Also there are many varieties of Sweet Potatoes that you can try, the texture will not change.
3. Last, instead of boiling the Sweet Potato you can bake the whole thing (with skin) in the oven for 40-45´ and peel it when it's cold. But in this case, its Glycemic Index could be as much as double than when it's boiled, meaning that it can raise your blood sugar much faster.
This post is only about how to make handmade Gnocchi, but I will briefly describe a tasty tomato sauce, for anyone interested.
1. In a hot non-stick pan add an eggplant sliced in very small pieces and burn it, until it takes out all of its juices. Leave aside.
2. In another pan, add a tablespoon of refined avocado oil (or refined coconut oil, or light/refined olive oil) and add 2 sliced garlic cloves. We use these oils because they have a much higher smoke point, their virgin/unrefined versions are not that suitable for frying.
3. Then add a can of tomato juice, a tablespoon of tomato paste, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, a pinch of cayenne pepper, half teaspoon of honey and let it cook.
4. Approximately 5 minutes before your sauce is ready, add the cooked eggplant and lots of basil (fresh or dry).
5. Before you remove from the fire, add all your Gnocchi inside, mix them fast, add some olive oil for the finishing touch and remove from fire. Enjoy!
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