Sweet Potato Gnocchi in Lemon Artichoke Sauce

Image of Sweet Potato Gnocchi in Lemon Artichoke Sauce topped with Walnuts and Parmesan cheese.Finally, gluten-free gnocchi. If you've ever made gnocchi you know that the flour, specifically the gluten in the flour, is both a blessing and a curse. The gluten keeps the gnocchi from dissolving when they're boiled but the slightest overworking of the dough makes them  tough.

I found some gluten free all-purpose flour and decided to try it again. The remedy was in my recipe file all along. About 20 years ago, friend passed along a family recipe for gnocchi that was baked - no pre-boil required. After a little research I learned that there is another way; brown them in a frying pan! The trick is to keep them slightly moist while they brown. Low heat, a few drops of water and patience will get the job done.

In the end you'll have light little pillows packed with beta carotene and full of flavor. You can serve it as a main dish or a side if you want to add another protein, though you won't need it.

Yield: Serves 4-6
Time: 2 hours (1 hour to bake the potatoes)
Level: Average to Difficult

Sweet ppotatoes after cooking 1 hour at 400 degrees.Ingredients:

2 lbs sweet potatoes
1  1/2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour, plus more to roll out the dough
    1/2 cup ricotta cheese
    3/4 cup Parmesan, finely grated
Extra virgin olive oil
Sweet potato flesh cut up in food processor bowl2- 10oz jar baby artichokes, packed in water
2 clove garlic
3 large fresh basil leaves
Juice of 2 large lemons
1/3 cup walnut halves


Bake the potatoes in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 1 hour, or until soft. Let cool.
Sweet potatoes and cheeses in food processor, mixed until batter-like.Peel the potatoes. The skins should peel away easily after they're baked. Cut the flesh of the potatoes into chunks and place in the bowl of a food processor. 
Add ricotta and Parmesan cheeses and process until it's smooth and has the consistency of thick batter.
 rocessed sweet potatoes in mixing bowl, flour being added and mixed with wooden spoon..
Remove mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, 1/2 a cup at a time, until the mixture resembles dough. You should be able to form a shape. If the dough is too wet to hold a shape, add a bit more flour. Add as little flour as possible. If you're not using gluten free flour, make sure to work the dough as little as possible to avoid tough gnocchi.
On a clean and floured work surface, form "ropes" with the dough. Cut them into 1 inch lengths.
Sweet potato gnocchi being cut from dough "ropes"In a frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium heat. You'll cook the gnocchi in bunches, so don't crowd the pan. Place the gnocchi in the pan and turn the heat to low. They will start to brown in as little as 2 minutes. Turn them over and add a tablespoon of water. Cover and let simmer until the other side is browned. Remove to a separate bowl and keep warm. Repeat this until all are browned.
Sweet potato gnocchi being cooked in saute panUse the same pan to make the sauce, don't wash it. The bits of floury goodness will help thicken it. This isn't a sauce as much as a coating.* 

Drain the artichokes and reserve the water. Chop the garlic.
On a medium-low heat, put the garlic and about a tablespoon of the artichoke water in the pan. Cook until the garlic is soft, not brown. Add the artichokes, lemon juice and the rest of the artichoke juice. Cover the pan. The artichokes should be hot and the sauce reduced to about 1/3 the original volume. Taste it. Does it need anything? Salt, maybe a little white wine? This is the time to make those decisions.

Other side of sweet potato gnocchi being cooked in saute pan.When you're satisfied with the taste, add the gnocchi. Stir to combine  and cover the pan. After 3 minutes, taste the gnocchi to make sure it is hot and cooked to your liking (there should be no hint of flour in the taste). This part is about texture. I like them to be a consistent texture throughout. If they are slightly crusty on the outside and mushy on the inside, cook them a bit more. You'll want to cover the pan (don't stir too much) and don't let them dry out.

When they're just the way you like them, remove the large basil leaves.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Lemon Artichoke Sauce before plating.Serve them topped with chopped walnuts and a little Parmesan cheese. Garnish with basil.

*If you would like more sauce, add 1/2 cup white wine and 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan with the artichokes before the final step. Let it reduce by 1/3, then add the gnocchi and continue the process.

© Ghio Imburgio and A Kichen Takes Root, 2012-2014


  1. I am always looking for new gluten free recipes! This looks amazing!

    1. It can be tricky but I think it's worth it. I hope you do, as well. I'm about to post another g-free recipe. Stay-tuned ;-)