Gnocchi in Basil Cream Sauce

     Several weeks ago I purchased some potato gnocchi. Because I did not use them within a week, I froze the package and forgot it. It literally fell out of my overstuffed refrigerator's freezer today. Thought it might be a good idea to finally use them.....and this Basil Cream Sauce would be good. If it's good with pasta, why not with gnocchi?
                                                    Basil Cream Sauce
 Make a roux of: 2T butter and 2T flour.
Melt butter and add flour. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste.

Slowly add:
2c half and half
1/8tsp garlic powder
Cook with stirring until thickened.
Stir in 2-3T fresh basil or 2-3tsp dried ( I love basil and it is hard to have too much for me. Add more if you want, I could so with an additional tablespoon)
Optional - add 1/2c chopped deli ham of your choice
Stir in 1/4c Parmesan cheese. PLEASE use a good quality cheese.
Stir until smooth.

Serve over cooked gnocchi and garnish with fresh basil. I used potato gnocchi for these, purchased and not homade.

     Have you ever tried to make gnocchi from scratch? I did that today. Sweet Potato Gnocchi's. My mom is a new diabetic, and I thought she might not want the regular potato gnocchi from above. I found them to be very similar to making knoepfli ( a flour and egg dumpling my family puts in some soups. They take the place of bread or crackers). They did not get too heavy, a problem I sometimes have with knoepfli. I haven't figured out what I do wrong - I make knoepfli the same way each time, yet sometimes they are light, sometimes not. I wonder if I overcook them, either in the initial water or in the soup??
                                            Sweet Potato Gnocchi's

1/2 large sweet potato baked until soft enough to mash.
an equal amount of flour.
1/2 egg, small
1-2T milk, if needed
     * have your sauce ready before cooking gnocchi*   a suggested recipe follows
     Mash sweet potato and add flour. Work in well. Add the egg and mix well.

If dough is too dry, add just a bit of milk until dough is workable. Take about 1/2tsp dough and dip in flour. Roll into a ball and set aside on wax paper. When all dough is rolled out, start the process of shaping the gnocchi. Take a ball and push/roll it off the very end of a fork. Each one should have indentations from the fork tines, and on the opposite side, an indentation from your finger.

   ( The gnocchi above are my first attempt, so are not so pretty. They are made with 1/2tsp dough. I would recommend 1/4tsp - recipe I had was not clear in how much to use. These were OK, but I think they would look nicer if they were smaller.)
     Bring a pan of lightly salted water to a gentle boil. Add half of the gnocchi to the boiling water. they are done in about 3 minutes - when they float to the surface of the water.
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     Serve with sauce.

      Suggested Sauce - a variation of the Basil Cream Sauce above. This is a Garlic Cream Sauce:

Saute 1/2 small onion, finely minced along with 3 cloves garlic, finely minced. Make the roux. Add the onion/garlic to the roux. Continue with recipe. Parmesean may be omitted if you wish.
I was a little disappointed with the recipe as listed above. So, I added 1tsp brown sugar, a few flakes of hot pepper, a dash of smoked paprika, 1/8tsp salt. I liked this sauce much better.

This is all that was left -