Purple Haze

Warning: this dish will have you slip into a guilty obscurity or may serve as self-enrichment during this festive season. It’s surprisingly straightforward and trouble-free. Who couldn’t benefit from that with a household of guests—you’ll have them folding in as they bite into your fluffy pillows of love melting under their tongues. They may even decide to go monastic in this new light of opportunity you’ll bestow upon them.

It doesn’t take long so no one is waiting and ready to be served. Although be forewarned, expectations will rise so if you don’t have a spectacular dessert to follow, you may want to hone your skills in a baked good or ask your guest to provide one.

Purple sweet potatoes are richly sweet and can smack you with its pungency. If eaten baked like fries I prefer to sweep Pickapeppa sauce across its side before I munch on it. However, when folding this royal tuber into some flour and crème fraîche, then I prefer to eat it as gods intended, glazed in browned butter. Pillow-soft and creamy these dumplings can also be dressed up if you desire with a nutmeg-creamed base and fried sage. In either case these little pillows of heaven will have you close your eyes as they tenderly melt away…look out 2019 I’m starting to dream again. On dusty window sills, string lights. Above barren branches, snow flurries. Under tongues, artisanal purple dough. All tummies, wishing for more!


  • 2-3 large sweet potato (I used purple here)
  • A couple of dollops of crème fraîche
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup of finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a 375-degree oven, place sweet potatoes in until tender. My oven takes about 45 minutes.
  2. Peel the skins off when cool enough to touch. Place in potato ricer and rice on surface of floured-table or in flour covered-bowl. You could also mash the potatoes if you prefer.
  3. Mix in the other ingredients, crème fraiche, Parmesan, seasoning and flour. Be careful not to over work the dough like bread. Think light and fluffy; light and tender to touch. Please note: in the photos I drop in an egg since my sous chef loves to crack eggs. A lot of ingredients for gnocchi add eggs, however, I prefer without, I think they come out lighter, at least when I made my batch.
  4. Roll into a ball and divide the dough evenly into four. I used my hands however, if you have a scraper go for it. Once in fours roll each out into ropes. Use a fork to cut ropes into pillows as seen in photos. Engrave each pillow with prongs of fork (this ensures your butter or sauce flavors each pillow.)
  5. Place all your pillows on floured-tray. You can save for when you are ready to eat up to a day or freeze them.
  6. Once your guests arrive, boil a pot of salted water and drop your pillows in one by one making sure they have enough room to float up. One by one they will float up in 3-4 minutes. Spoon out with a slotted utensil and serve immediately with your favorite sauce and sprinkle more Parmesan. Bon appetite!

14 thoughts on “Purple Haze

  1. Oh my goodness, Cristina, this is a heavenly concoction! Pretty to look at and delicious as well! Your photographs are delightful and I will enjoy doing my best to replicate the beautiful shapes. I’m not sure how skilled I’ll be, but I can try! 🙂 Thank you! Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you dear Debra…it’s a gift to receive such kind words on my gnocchi and the photos. I was afraid that my amateurish shapes wouldn’t photograph well, but I think because I chose purple potatoes, well the color can gracefully take all the credit. This was my second attempt in a month and now that I discovered that they really are not complicated, I will make more often. I hope you enjoy them and Happy Holidays to you and yours.


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