Eggplant and Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Cooking through my cookbook! I started a cookbook a few years ago now. Although I have made a great deal of the recipes, I haven’t made all of them. So this year I have restarted my journey.

I love this recipe because it’s simple and you get to sneak your veggies in. And if you garden like me, then it’s a great way to use up an overabundance of eggplant!

                 Homemade gnocchi takes time and a lot of flour. If you like making breads, you’ll enjoy making gnocchi (cute little puff-puff pasta clouds) and other pastas. Homemade gnocchi is very simple, but time consuming, so make sure you have the time in your day for it. This recipe is meant for dinner tonight and filling the freezer, so be prepared to take your time and to make lots.    

Gnocchi appetizers

I have made this recipe with pureeing the vegetables both with the skins off and on, and both taste fantastic. So if you want to keep the skins on, it’s fine to do so.

                I like to season my gnocchi before adding sauce. A little salt, pepper, garlic, and basil. Then, once tossed in sauce and piled with veggies, I add more pepper, chili flakes, or fresh basil.  

The pieces from this batch were cut a bit big. I prefer smaller cuts. But still, it is a wonderful, warming meal to share with friends and family. Pairs wonderfully with a living Greek salad, fresh bread, and a glass of red wine. Yum!Yum!

Gnocchi with pesto, mushrooms, spinach, and artichoke

The secret to great gnocchi (probably from the Italian word ‘nocchio’ meaning ‘a knot in wood’ or ‘nocca’ meaning ‘knuckle’) is what you put in the dough. Traditional Italian chefs say that the secret is the kind of high-starch potato you use. Although, sweet potatoes and eggplant are watery vegetables, I still prefer this recipe to store bought gnocchi and have no problem gobbling these little dumplings right up!

Eggplants can enhance immunity, help lower cholesterol, and fight heart disease. It boosts tumor-fighting activity and inhibits the production of cancer-causing nitrosamines.

-Prescription Foods for Dietary Wellness by Phyllis A. Balch

The Chinese use eggplant to aid the function of the large intestines, spleen, and stomach.

-Prescription Foods for Dietary Wellness by Phyllis A. Balch

Eggplant and Sweet Potato Gnocchi

4 small sweet potatoes, cooked pureed (with or without skins)  

1 small eggplant (cut into cubes, roasted in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes, skins removed if desired. And then pureed)

1 egg

1 tsp salt

4 or 5 cups of flour, or enough flour to make a dough (add one cup at a time)

Mix all ingredients together except the flour. Add flour one cup at a time and make a dough. Lightly knead the dough, adding more flour if needed. Taking a part of the dough, roll out into a ‘rope’ (about ¾ inch in diameter) on a generously floured surface and then slice crosswise into about ¾ inch squares. Can gently press each piece with a fork for aesthetic purposes, but not necessary.   

Bring a large pot of water to a boil (I usually add a bit of salt and olive oil to the pot). Drop in gnocchi once boiled and cook until gnocchi rises to the top (about 2 to 4 minutes). Drain and serve with your favourite spices, vegetables, cheese, and sauce.

Note: freeze any unused gnocchi. Cook from frozen. About 2 to 4 minutes, until gnocchi rises to the top.  

How to Roast Eggplant Whole:

Preheat oven to 375. Pierce the skin in several places and then place on a prepared, lined baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool before slicing. The skin on larger plants can be tough but are eatable. For this recipe, slice open and scoop away the flesh from skin and then puree.

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