Gnocchi are little potato dumplings that are eaten like pasta. There are a million different ways to make them and eat them, but this way is my favorite at the moment.
The gnocchi require a super small list of ingredients, just potatoes, flour and spices- you probably have the ingredients in your pantry right now. Since kale is my favorite green vegetable, that’s what I mixed in with these sweet potato dumplings. The longest part of the process is rolling and cutting all the gnocchi, with the cooking time being only about four minutes (not including the kale). But I promise, everything comes together and tastes coherently delicious, if I do so say so myself.
I often don’t have a lot of time (or motivation, let’s be real) in the evenings to make a long, tiresome meal. That’s why this dish gels so well with my lifestyle and schedule. It’s a dish that makes my life easier, and these days, anything that makes life that little bit easier is very welcome.
If you want to mix different veggies into your sweet potato gnocchi dish, go for it! Gnocchi is super forgiving and will pair well with a range of vegetables. I would steer clear from adding extra root vegetables (potatoes, cassava) because it can get quite heavy. On the flip side, I love stringy vegetables with gnocchi! Spinach is a personal favorite. Firmer vegetables like carrots and even celery go great with this dish to balance out the soft, almost falling apart (but not quite!) gnocchi.
Soft Vegan Gnocchi With Sweet Potato and Wilted Kale
1 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I know it’s a big difference- depends how much mash you get out of your potatoes) or 10/20 ounces
¼ cup olive oil (2 ounces)
10-15 fresh sage leaves
salt, to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, removed from stems and cut into 1 inch strips
2 tablespoons maple syrup
salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
crushed red pepper, to taste (optional)
While potatoes are hot and fresh out the oven (or microwave, no judgement), peel off their skin and mash them together in a medium bowl and set aside to cool.
Once cooled to room temperature, add in the salt, nutmeg, and 1 1/4 cups flour. Mix until well combined. If dough seems very sticky and not yet like a soft dough, mix in up to ¼ cup more flour and knead with your hands until a soft dough forms. Continue to add ¼ cup of flour at a time, as needed, until the dough is soft and not super sticky.
Put the dough ball onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into several chunks and roll each chunk into a rope, about 1/2” in diameter. Cut each rope into 1/2” pieces until all dough has been cut into lil nuggets.
Roll each little potato nugget across a fork to make the iconic gnocchi ridges in the dough. This step is optional!
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, and drop about 10 gnocchi in at a time. Sometimes my gnocchi float, sometimes they never do. If yours float, cook for 2 additional minutes once they’re at the top. If yours don’t float, just boil the gnocchi for about 4 minutes total. Remove the boiled gnocchi with a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat until all gnocchi have been cooked.
In a medium skillet, heat ¼ cup olive oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot and shimmering, add about 5 sage leaves at a time for a few seconds, or until crisp. If the oil is hot, it should take no more than 4 seconds. Scoop out the fired leaves with a fork and set to drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt.
Discard about half of the oil left in the pan from frying the sage, then return the pan to burner. Add garlic to the same pan/leftover oil you just fried the sage in over medium heat and sauté until tender. Add in the kale and cook, stirring frequently, until leaves are tender and wilted. Add in the maple syrup, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Toss in cooked gnocchi until coated in garlicky oil and kale is mixed evenly throughout.
If you like this dish, check out more recipes using sweet potato. Baked sweet potato with kale and tahini uses similar ingredients to this recipe, with a completely different result. Or, this vegan and gluten-free sweet potato and nooch tortilla recipe will hit all the right spots. It’s perfect for feeding a crowd!