Rye & sweet potato gnocchi

A healthy take on the classic Italian dish

Rye has been shown to lower the risk of diabetes and blood pressure and is rich in fiber. "It's great for gnocchi because it binds easily with water molecules, giving it a light texture," says New York City-based chef Lauren Gerrie. For a gluten-free version, use 2 cups of rice flour instead of rye, which when toasted has a nutty, rye-like flavor.


For the gnocchi:
2 large sweet potatoes (1 pound)
¾ cup rye flour + more for rolling
¼ cup gluten-free all purpose flour
2 egg yolks
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cayenne
⅛ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

For the orange chili oil:
½ cup coconut oil
½ teaspoon hot chili flakes
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 cardamom pods
1 clementine: zest and juice

Directions for the gnocchi:

1. Preheat oven to 375° and roast the sweet potatoes, skin on, until tender (about 45 to 50 minutes).

2. In a medium-size non-stick pan on medium-low heat, toast the rye flour and gluten-free all purpose flour until you can smell a slightly nutty aroma (about 3 to 4 minutes). Keep an eye on this to make sure the flours don't burn.

3. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool completely and remove skin. In a medium-size bowl combine the sweet potatoes, yolks, salt, sugar, cayenne, and nutmeg. Add in the toasted flour until a dough forms, which will be very delicate and a bit loose and wet to the touch.

4. Divide the dough into four portions, generously cover a work surface with rye flour and gently roll out each section into a 1 inch-thick tube. Then cut the tube into 1-inch pieces. Place the cut gnocchi on a sheet tray that is also covered in rye flour. Repeat this step with all the dough then place the sheet tray of gnocchi in the freezer until you are ready to cook them.

5. Boil a medium-size pot filled with water and add 1 to 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. With the water at a rapid boil gently drop the frozen gnocchi into the pot and cook for about 2 minutes or until the little orange dumplings float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Directions for the orange chili oil:

1. Combine all ingredients except clementine juice in a medium pot and bring to a simmer.

2. Once simmering, turn off the heat and allow to steep and come to room temperature.

3. After cooling, remove the cinnamon stick, star anise, and cardamom pods and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To Serve: Place gnocchi in a serving bowl and top with chili orange oil and 1 to 2 teaspoons of clementine juice.

Also in this series: Hazelnut Flour Dukkah, Lime and Almond Tortillas, Coconut Crumble,Buckwheat Waffles

Photography by Julia Gartland