Spelt & Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Fresh Asparagus
Recipe type: EntrĂ©e
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 entrees or 4 sides
Surprisingly easy gnocchi tossed with fresh asparagus, garlic, onions, and butter to make for a light yet indulgent meal featuring local seasonal produce.
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 small to medium egg, at room temperature
  • 1.5 c spelt flour
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ c fresh chopped herbs such as basil or parsley or a mixture
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and roast the sweet potatoes until fork tender, about 35 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing the skins and adding them to a large bowl.*
  2. Mash the sweet potatoes well then gently fold in the egg and the salt, mixing well. Add the spelt flour about ½ cup at a time, mixing it into the sweet potato with a large spoon or spatula. By the time the last ½ cup is added you will likely need to begin hand kneading the dough to fully incorporated the flour.
  3. Place the pasta dough on a well floured cutting board, and form a rectangle about 1.5" thick. Cut the rectangle into fairly equal slices, about 1" wide. On a well floured surface roll out each slice of the dough into a log about ¼" in height. Cut each log into ½" pieces then roll each piece with a wooden gnocchi roller or a fork to create ridges on the dough (this helps the sauce adhere).
  4. Place each completed gnocchi on a parchment lined or well floured baking sheet. When they are all completed put the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 20 minutes to allow the gnocchi to freeze.**
  5. When you are about 20 minutes away from being ready to serve, bring a large pot of water to a boil. At the same time heat a large skillet to medium heat and add the butter and onions, cooking until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, asparagus, and 1 t salt and ½ t pepper plus more to taste. Stir regularly.
  6. When the water is boiling, gently place in the gnocchi. When they float to the top they are finished, this will take about 3-6 minutes depending on how large your gnocchi are. Gently scoop out the gnocchi or carefully pour them into a colander. Then immediately add them to your skillet with the asparagus.
  7. Turn the heat in the skillet up to medium high and cook the gnocchi until they are lightly toasted and well covered with the butter, about 5 minutes. Drizzle with the olive oil and most of the fresh herbs, reserving some to garnish and cook one minute more. Serve immediately with the remaining herbs and freshly cracked pepper.
*This can be done in advance and the sweet potatoes can be stored in the fridge until ready to use.
**To make the gnocchi in advance, leave them in the freezer for 1-2 hours then remove them from the baking sheet and store them in an airtight bag or container until ready to use. You will cook them directly from frozen. It is important to freeze them on the baking sheet first to avoid them sticking together.

I was able to make this from start to finish in about 45 minutes. If you do not have experiencing making gnocchi this recipe might take a bit longer but is a lot of fun.

Note that this recipe doesn't reheat particularly well. It is meant to be enjoyed fresh.
Recipe by The Mexitalian at http://themexitalian.com/sweet-potato-gnocchi-asparagus/