Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sweet potato gnocchi

We've been salivating over this recipe for sweet potato gnocchi since we came across it a few weeks ago, and we decided to dedicate Saturday night to churning out bright orange pillows of deliciousness.

It was easier than we expected to make way too much gnocchi to feed the two of us, so after we played with dough and ate the first results on Saturday, we had two friends over the next night to help us eat the rest of it. Both times, we sautéed the gnocchi in brown butter with sage, but the larger crowd of night two necessitated a trip to the oven for warming -- which resulted in a delightfully crisped exterior worth replicating even when we cook up smaller batches in the future.

We tried twice this weekend to make homemade ricotta according to the recipe from the Times, since it seemed to be the zeitgeist thing to do, but failed both times to achieve the right texture in the final product. It smelled fine and tasted not-awful, but it was way too rubbery. So we resorted to local, organic ricotta from Whole Foods -- theoretically the next best thing. It added the necessary lightness to our dough, and was perfect dolloped atop a plated mound, a deep-fried sage leaf nestled in its peak.


2 large red-skinned sweet potatoes, rinsed and patted dry
1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese, drained in sieve, plus 1/2 cup for garnish
1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano, plus more for garnish
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 stick butter
6 tbsp chopped fresh sage plus whole leaves for garnish

1. Place sweet potatoes on plate; microwave on high until tender, about 5 minutes per side. Cut in half and cool. Scrape sweet potato flesh into medium bowl and mash; transfer to large bowl.
2. Add ricotta cheese; blend well. Add Parmesan cheese, brown sugar, salt, and nutmeg; mash to blend. Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms.
3. Turn dough out onto floured surface; divide into 6 equal pieces. Rolling between palms and floured work surface, form each piece into 20-inch-long rope (about 1 inch in diameter), sprinkling with flour as needed if sticky. Cut each rope into 20 pieces. Roll each piece over tines of fork to indent (or leave them smooth and simple). Transfer to parchment-covered baking sheet.
4. Bring large pot of water to boil; add salt and return to boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi until tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 250°F. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until butter solids are brown and have toasty aroma, swirling pan occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add chopped sage (mixture will bubble up). Turn off heat. Season sage butter generously with salt and pepper.
6. Transfer half of sage butter to large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add half of gnocchi. Sauté until gnocchi are heated through, about 6 minutes. Empty skillet onto baking sheet; place in oven to brown. Repeat with remaining sage butter and gnocchi.
7. Divide gnocchi and sauce among shallow bowls. Garnish with ricotta, more grated parmigiano, and sage leaves.

Yield: 6-8 servings


Joe Horn July 17, 2008 at 10:41 AM  

Love the blog, always enjoy reading it. I really like these gnocchi. I just made a gnocchi with choux pastry for the first time and it was incredible. Come take a look if you have a chance and let me know what you think. http://cookingquest.wordpress.com

Thanks so much!


Jenny November 30, 2010 at 11:18 AM  

You know, I stumbled upon this recipe with my farm share's big sweet potato harvest and it is the biggest hit with my family and one of my favorite recipes now. Thank you so much for sharing!

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