Hi everyone!  Happy first of the month!  Today’s post is the third in my latest series called “Reader Recipes.”  In Reader Recipes, I am highlighting one F&F reader a month so they can share their fave recipes with all of you.  This month’s recipe comes from reader Shannon, a former co-worker of mine.  Thank you, Shannon, for sharing your reader recipe!

November Reader Recipe of the Month

First a quick thank you to Athena for letting me be a part of her fantastic blog!

In the spirit of fall and the upcoming food oriented holidays, I’m excited to share my spin on Giada’s awesome Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a maple and sage, brown butter sauce.

I came across this recipe three years ago when we hosted my husband Kevin’s entire family for Thanksgiving.  I’m not sure what I was thinking when I offered since Clare was only a month old.  Against all odds and with over twenty people packed in like sardines, we survived and the gnocchi was a hit.  Why wouldn’t it be, who wouldn’t want yummy pasta smothered in a sweet butter sauce!?!?

Since then and the addition of quite a few pant sizes, I’ve learned the error of my buttery ways…sort of.  I don’t have the will power to cut this deliciousness from my life so I found a way to make it healthier-ish.

Shannon’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi


  • ⅔ cup(s) fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 2½ tsp table salt:  1 tsp for sauce and 1.5 tsp for gnocchi
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon:  1 tsp for gnocchi and 1 for sauce
  • ½ tsp black pepper:  1/4 for sauce and 1/4 for gnocchi
  • 1¼ cup(s) whole wheat flour
  • 2 lbs sweet potato
  • 1 oz fresh sage, 20 leaves – whole fresh leaves really makes this dish!
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ cup(s) regular butter


  1. Cook the sweet potato until soft in oven or microwave.  Scoop the sweet potato out of the skin and mash to make 2 cups.  The less chunks the better.
  2. In a bowl, combine sweet potato, ricotta, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4tsp pepper and 1 tsp cinnamon.
  3. Add flour 1/2 cup at a times until soft dough forms.  It might not seem like there is enough flour, but trust me, don’t add more.  If you do, the pasta will be dense and won’t be the light fluffy cloud like morsels they are meant to be.
  4. Divide dough into 6 parts.  Roll out each dough part into 1″ rope and cut into 1″ pieces.
  5. Boil gnocchi in batches for ◴ 5-6 minutes or until they float.
  6. For the sauce, melt butter then add sage.
  7. When butter starts to brown and there is no more foam remove from heat and add syrup, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp salt
  8. Toss gnocchi in sauce and serve.

Here’s the original recipe.  I swapped in whole wheat flour and fat-free ricotta.  I also found that if you want to double the batch, it’s best to just make two separate ones.  We made three batches for Clare’s 3rd birthday party in October!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

If anyone is interested in being featured on Reader Recipes, please email me at akaralekas@gmail.com.  I’m open to any recipes (healthy or not), you just need to be willing to write up a little post about it and photograph your food.  Would love to feature you, and you do not need to be a blogger to participate!