Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi with Pumpkin Cream Sauce

8 Nov

Queijo Kef and I will always have Fall.  The birthdays, the pumpkin, the scarves… it’s enough to make two working women spend all day emailing each other delicious-looking pumpkin-themed treats. Oh wait…

A few weeks ago, these sweet potato and ricotta gnocchi were the object of our 9-to-5 distraction.  I have always wanted to toss my hat into the ring of gnocchi-building and, cheered by Queijo Kef’s enthusiasm, these seemed like the place to start. 

I followed this recipe for the gnocchi themselves, and then doctored up the sauce to include (what else?) PUMPKIN!

And finally–one of the most valuable culinary lessons was bestowed on to me many moons ago when I was just Kefaki, and I shall now bestow it unto you.  The “gn” makes a sound very similar to the “ny” in Kenya– so this word is pronouned “nyoki.” No hard “g.” Pass it on.

Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi with Pumpkin Cream Sauce


  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup whole milk ricotta, drained
  • 1-1 ½ cups flour (I used all-purpose GF. You do you.), separated into 1/2 c and two 1/4 c portions
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  • 1/2 c coconut milk
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 c pureed pumpkin (Libby’s is the best, but use whatcha got)
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 3 TBS flour (I again, I used GF)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • pepper to taste
  • 3/4-1 c gruyere cheese, shredded

  • kale, washed and shredded. 


1. For the gnocchi: Preheat the oven to 425. Bake the sweet potatoes until tender all the way through when poked with a fork, which will take 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the potato. Once done, rip open the skins and dump the hot flesh into a large mixing bowl (this is beginning to sound like an episode of Dexter…). Using a fork, mash the potatoes and move them around so a thin layer forms around the bowl–basically, you just want to avoid having a heap o’ potato that will trap the heat and get mushy. Let cool to room temp.

2. Drizzle the yolk, shred the ricotta, and sprinkle 1/2 c flour over the potatoes. Cut them into the potatoes using a spatula.  When combined, add an additional 1/4 c flour and combine (you will probably need to use your hands at this point).  Form the dough into a ball. If dough is not firm (cookie dough consistency), add another 1/4 c flour.

3. From the ball, shape the dough into a compact rectangle and let rest for 5 minutes.

4. Cut log into 8 individual segments. Roll one segment out at a time into 1” thick logs–resist the temptation to do this between your hands and use a cutting board for even rolling. Cut logs into individual pieces, about 1”. It will begin to look like this:

5. Cut your logs into individual gnocchi pieces and place them on a baking sheet. Refrigerate if you’re not going to make sauce and cook gnocchi right away. You will have about 60 pieces–whatever is left you can freeze (first on a baking sheet to avoid sticking together, then in a freezer bag)  and cook later easily!

For the sauce:
1. Combine coconut milk, cream, and pumpkin. Heat over medium heat until warm–be careful not to let it scald or boil. Set aside.
2. Melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and salt, whisk together. It will get clumpy.
3. Add the heated pumpkin mixture. Whisk constantly until sauce thickens, 3-4 minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Add spices and cheese. Whisk to combine.  Set aside, stirring occasionally to avoid the formation of sauce skin (if you’ve ever seen it… you know what I mean).

To combine:
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add gnocchi.  Allow to cook 2-3 minutes. They are done when they float to the top (it is awesome!).
2. While gnocchi cook, place shredded kale on plate. 
3. When gnocchi are finished, pull them out of the boiling water with a slotted spoon to strain. Place directly on kale. Add desired amount of sauce. Serve immediately.

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