Monday, March 2, 2009

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

I love gnocchis. When I was growing, gnocchi night was such a treat. There were never any leftovers. My dad would carefully dole out even portions to all of us, and my brothers and I ate really fast hoping we could get seconds.

Nic does not share my love of gnocchis. He's tried them a few times, and he thinks they are a slimey, doughy mess. When I said I wanted to make sweet potato gnocchis, he was not excited.

This was my second attempt at gnocchis. My first attempt (at regular potato gnocchis) really was a slimey, doughy mess. The sweet potato gnocchis turned out much better, which is good since I made them for dinner Saturday when I had a bunch of friends over.

I have to say, I think I prefer plain gnocchis still, but these are still pretty good, and the sweet potato flavor is really strong. Oddly enough, Nic really liked these. Of course the brown butter and sage "sauce" doesn't hurt. Make sure you cut the gnocchis on the small side. The texture will be better that way. Mine turned out a little too doughy in the center because they were too big. Also try to use as little flour as necessary to allow the sweet potato flavor to really stand out.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2005
Makes 10-12 servings

2 1 lb. sweet potatoes, pierced all over with fork
12 oz. (1 1/2 cups) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup finely grated Romano cheese (about 3 oz.) (original recipe calls for Parmesan)
2 tbs. (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tsp. plus 2 tablespoons salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
2 3/4 cups (about) all purpose flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 tbs. chopped fresh sage

-Place sweet potatoes on a plate and microwave on high until tender, turning occasionally, 5-8 minutes.
-Let the potatoes rest until they are cool enough to handle. Cut in half, scoop out the flesh, and mash it in a medium bowl.
-Transfer 3 cups of mashed sweet potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Add ricotta cheese and stir until combined.
-Add Romano cheese, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg and mash to blend.
-Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms.
-Turn dough out onto floured surface and 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 ropes into one inch pieces. Roll each piece over tines of fork to indent. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
-Bring large pot of water to boil; add 2 tablespoons salt and return to boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer gnocchi to clean rimmed baking sheet. Cool completely. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
-When ready to serve the gnocchi: Melt butter in heavy 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 and season with salt and pepper.
-Add half of gnocchi to the brown butter-sage sauce. Sauté until gnocchi are heated through, about 6 minutes.
-Remove gnocchi from sauce with a slotted spoon and transfer to a serving dish. Repeat with remaining gnocchi.

Note: Gnocchi can be frozen after they are boiled and cooled, make sure they are dry. Thaw, then continue with recipe as indicated.


Michele said...

I made gnocchi with my honey on Vday. I still have yet to post about them but they came out great! I saw Giada make Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a sauce similar to yours. I can't wait to try these! The color is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, yum yum yum yum! These look and sound SO flavorful and SO delicious! Got any leftovers? ;)

muddywaters said...

Great picture!

I share your love of gnocchi. Growing up in Kansas, gnocchi was foreign to me, so it wasn't until two years ago that I tried it.

I've made gnocchi a couple of times, and it surprised me how it easy it was to make. My wife doesn't share my love of gnocchi, so I don't make it as often as I'd like.

I like this variation. I made it once with pumpkin and a brown butter sauce.

Thanks for sharing.