As the temperatures cool down, it’s time to enjoy warm, comforting dishes that are perfect for fall. Why not try making a delicious sweet potato gnocchi bake topped with bacon and sage? This easy-to-prepare dish is a perfect way to welcome the autumn season.
When the temperatures drop in the fall, it’s time to break out the sweaters, blankets, hot beverages, and hearty comfort foods we’ve been waiting all year to enjoy. Sweet potato gnocchi is a simple dish to prepare for the fall; you only need a few ingredients, and it’s as easy as making dumplings for chicken and dumplings.
Interestingly, sweet potato gnocchi is one of the few variations of gnocchi that still needs to be done. Searching for “sage butter sauce” on Google turns up mostly results for the sauce.
Reinventing The Gnocchi
Cheese-topped baked sweet potato gnocchi is a tasty alternative to traditional gnocchi. The ricotta-nutmeg-and-cinnamon-seasoned sweet potato gnocchi is baked in a casserole with a silky, peppery bechamel sauce.
To achieve that yumminess, we added mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. And to top it all off, there’s fried sage and crispy bacon for a true taste of autumn.
After a day of leaf-peeping, apple-eating, and pumpkin-buying, reward yourself with this cheesy baked sweet potato gnocchi with bacon and sage.
For the Gnocchi:
- 1½ to 2 lb. of sweet potatoes
- ½ cup of whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 tsp. of salt
- ¼ tsp. of ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. of nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. of black pepper
- 1¼ – 1½ cups of all-purpose flour
For the Cheesy Bechamel:
- 3 tbsp. of butter
- 1 tbsp. of olive oil
- ¼ cup of flour (plus 1 tablespoon)
- 3 cups of whole milk
- ½ tsp. of salt
Freshly ground pepper:
- 1/8 tsp. of nutmeg
- 5 slices of bacon (cooked and chopped into bits)
- 12 pcs. of sage leaves (julienned and fried in the bacon fat)
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese (about ½ pound, 225g, plus some additional to sprinkle over the top)
- 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- Fork-poke the raw sweet potatoes all over to get them ready to bake. Cook for 40–55 minutes at 400°F until tender, depending on the thickness of the cut. Turn the temperature down a notch. Using a spoon, remove the flesh by cutting it in half lengthwise. Put the mashed sweet potatoes (about 2 cups’ worth) in a large bowl.
- Mix in the ricotta cheese, then season with salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper. Gradually incorporate the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a workable dough is formed. Brush a work surface with flour and cut the dough into six even pieces. Make a rope one inch wide by rolling out each ball.
- Flour each end of the rope before cutting it into 1-inch lengths. Using a gnocchi board or the prongs of a fork, roll the gnocchi. Place the formed gnocchi on a large, floured baking sheet. To make all the gnocchi, repeat the process.
- You can prepare and freeze these gnocchi in advance. Keep the gnocchi on the baking sheets and freeze for at least an hour or until they are firm. Place them in a freezer-safe container and store them for up to two months.
- Get a pot of water boiling for par-boiling the gnocchi and preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bechamel can be made while the water is heating up to a boil. Butter and olive oil should be melted together and then added to a pan over medium heat. The flour should be whisked in and mixed thoroughly until lumps disappear.
- Whisking constantly, heat the flour for 1-2 minutes. The sauce will become smooth after you add the milk and whisk it in. Use salt, pepper, and nutmeg as seasonings.
- The bacon and sage can be made while the bechamel sauce is simmering. However, you can also get them ready ahead of time.
- When the water is boiling, par-boil the gnocchi for 1–2 minutes before adding it to the bechamel sauce along with the bacon, sage, mozzarella, and parmesan; save any extra bacon, sage, or cheese for garnishing the top of the casserole.
- Put everything in a casserole dish and bake 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.