Most people are intimidated by the prospect of homemade gnocchi but My Little Hong Kong Kitchen’s Laura Williams’ sweet potato version will have you begging to try. Thanks to her simple and straightforward instructions, you will be a gnocchi master in no time. Kalettes are mini bunches of young kale that are sweeping the #foodie world but substitute with regular kale no problem. (In Hong Kong, you can find them online at Eat The Kiwi) Williams adds mozzarella to serve and includes Parmigiano in her pesto but vegans can easily omit both for a totally #plantbased dish. Bonus: it’s gluten-free too!
For the gnocchi
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 cups gluten-free flour (+ extra for dusting)
- pinch of Himalayan or other sea salt
- 150g fresh Kalettes (or Kale)
- Buffala mozarella to serve (Optional)
For the pesto
- large handful of fresh basil
- 100g sundried tomatoes
- 50g Parmigiano-Reggiano (Optional)
- 50g toasted pine nuts
- extra virgin olive oil to loosen
- Preheat the oven to 200 C. Use a fork to prick holes in the sweet potatoes and place onto a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for an hour or until you can easily push a fork all the way through the largest part of the potato. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Once the potatoes have cooled, peel the skin off and push the soft potato through a potato ricer to remove any lumps. Place the potatoes into a large bowl along with the salt and flour. Bring the ingredients together into a soft dough and tip out onto a floured surface. Kneed the dough 3 or 4 times to ensure it is well combined. Cover in cling wrap and place into the fridge for 20 minutes.
- While the gnocchi dough chills, make the pesto by blending the basil, sun dried tomatoes, cheese (if using) and pine nuts in a food processor. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until you achieve a thick pesto paste. Place into a jar and cover with olive oil and an airtight lid (this will keep the pesto fresh for up to a week).
- Once the dough has chilled, cut into quarters. Keep the remaining dough wrapped in cling wrap and use one quarter. Break the quarter into two and roll each piece out on a floured work surface into a long ‘sausage’ shape about 2cm wide. Take a knife and cut the ‘sausage’ into small bite-size pieces (about 2-3cm long). Use a gnocchi board or a fork to gently roll the piece of gnocchi down to create tiny ridges (or just can leave the pieces whole). Continue this process until all of the dough has been cut and rolled. NB: Any excess gnocchi can be frozen and cooked straight from the freezer- just add an extra minute of cooking time.
- Place a large pan of boiling water on the stove and add a pinch of salt. Blanch the kalettes for 2-3 minutes until softened and bright green. Remove from the water and place into a bowl. Into the same water, place the gnocchi (about 10-15 pieces per person depending on size and appetite). Cook the gnocchi for around 3 minutes until the little dumplings begin to float to the top.
- Place a shallow frying pan on medium heat and drizzle with a little olive oil. Remove the gnocchi from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and place straight into the frying pan. Allow the gnocchi to crisp up slightly, shaking the pan to prevent sticking. After a minute or two, add in the kalettes and two spoonfuls of the pesto. Toss through until well coated. Serve the gnocchi and kalettes topped with a few pieces of torn mozzarella (if using).
Laura Williams is a Hong Kong expat working in food writing, styling and photography. She created My Little Hong Kong Kitchen three years ago to share her passion for good food and great produce. Her mission is to create delicious recipes that are easy to follow, healthy and practical to make at home whether cooking for yourself or your whole family. Follow her and her incredible food photography on Instagram and make sure to like her Facebook page.
Image courtesy of Laura Williams.