The blog has been looking rather sweet with delicious, albeit slightly strange concoctions for desserts over the last few weeks so thought we would go a little bit more savoury, although evidently sticking to the ‘sweet’ theme with a Sweet Potato (see what I did there) Gnocchi with Homemade Pesto.

Gnocchi is one of my all-time favourite dishes. It’s the perfect cross between the inside of a fluffy potato croquet and that gooey ravioli texture combining all the carbs to create a delicious, easy to create, easy to cook and even more easy to demolish dish that can be kept as simple or made as lavish as you desire.

Made using mashed potato (in my case, sweet), flour (in my case, gluten-free flour) and seasoning you can simply create a dense log of deliciousness that hits all those warm homely, carb-loaded goodness spots in your body.

I pan-fried mine in a generous dollop of my home-made pesto with sauteed spinach, bacon lardons (I used The Jolly Hog Treacle Smoked for a depth of flavour to counteract the sweetness of the gnocchi without an overpowering smoky aftertaste) and vine-roasted tomatoes but feel free to keep it simple with just butter or a generous glug of high-quality olive oil or go all out with a spicy arrabbiata style sauce.

Makes 2 portions
Time to Make: 45 minutes.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
200g Cooked and Mashed Sweet Potato
65g Flour
1tbsp Dried Mixed Herbs
Salt and Pepper

Home-made Pesto
1 Small Garlic Clove
25g Pine Nuts
50g Fresh Basil Leaves
25g Grated Parmesan
1/2 Lemon Juice
95ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch of Sea Salt

Vine Tomatoes
Bacon Lardons / 2 rashers of bacon chopped
Basil Leaves
Handful of Spinach

To make your Sweet Potato Gnocchi: add your cooked, mashed and cooled (enough to be able to touch easily) sweet potato into a bowl, along with your dried herbs, and salt and pepper. Add in your flour and mix together until at a dough consistency.

Add more flour (if needed) a little at a time, until reached desired consistency.

Turn out onto a lightly flour-dusted surface.

Dust your hands to stop the mixture from sticking, then roll into a log, and cut into 1.5/2cm pieces.

Place on a floured baking tray until all dough is cut and using a fork, gently push down to indent.

Place in the fridge while you make your pesto.

To make your Home-made Pesto: Add all your pesto ingredients apart from the Parmesan, Lemon Juice and Olive Oil, into a hand blender or food processor then blitz until roughly chopped and combined (you don’t want this to be over mixed)

Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix with a spoon to create a paste.

Place to the side.

To make your Toppings: Cut up your bacon into small lardons. Place your tomatoes on a small baking tray drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper and pop in the oven.

To put Together: Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil, then turn down to keep on a continuous simmer. Drop in a handful of your sweet potato gnocchi. When it rises to the top of the pan remove and put to the side, and repeat until all gnocchi is cooked.

While your gnocchi is cooking, fry off your bacon in a frying pan for 4/5minutes, and place the frying pan (with the bacon inside) off the heat until all gnocchi is done.

Add your gnocchi to the frying pan and place back on a medium heat, fry for 2/3minutes until the gnocchi browns slightly. Then add in your spinach, wilt slightly for 2/3minutes then add in a dollop of pesto and stir to combine.

Plate your gnocchi mixture, top with your vine-roasted tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.

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