So lets talk gnocchi. I’ve had a love for gnocchi for a long time, and I buy store bought to use in recipes somewhat frequently. Every so often, I get the itch to make it from scratch, and I always wonder why I don’t do it more. This sweet potato gnocchi recipe is my favorite to date, producing pillowy, chewy gnocchi with a light flavor of sweet potatoes. Our sage plant has been growing at an exponential rate, and I thought it was due time to use some of it up in some sage butter.
The recipe makes quite a lot of gnocchi. When I don’t have a ton of time, I often halve the dough and store it in the fridge for a few days. Also, the original recipe called for only 2 pounds of sweet potatoes, which worked since the potato flesh was simply mashed. To improve the texture of the gnocchi further, I usually opt for ricing the potatoes, which removes the stringy parts and requires a bit more sweet potato flesh. If you don’t have a ricer or food mill, I have tried just mashing the potatoes as the recipe suggests, and the gnocchi still come out tasty. The original recipe also had instructions that made for gigantic gnocchi. I reduced the size by about half to produce what I deem normal-sized gnocchi.
I had a nice, peaceful morning earlier this week making the gnocchi before work. Like most pasta making, there is just something wonderfully therapeutical about rolling the little pieces of dough down a gnocchi board.
2.5 lbs. sweet potatoes, rinsed and pierced all over with a fork
12 oz. ricotta cheese
1 cup (about 3 oz.) finely grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. plus 2 Tbsp. salt
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
3 – 3½ cups flour
½ cup unsalted butter
6 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
1. Place sweet potatoes on a plate and microwave on high until tender, about 5 minutes per side. Cut in half and cool. Scrape sweet potato flesh out of skin and press through a ricer or food mill; transfer 3 cups to large bowl. Mix in ricotta cheese, then add parmesan, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg and stir to combine. Mix in flour, ½ cup at a time, until a soft dough forms.
2. Turn dough out onto a floured surface; divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into an 18-inch long rope (about ½ inch in diameter), sprinkling with flour as needed. Cut each rope into ½ pieces. Roll each piece over tines of a fork or a gnocchi board to indent.
3. Bring a large pot of water and 2 tablespoons salt to boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer gnocchi to a clean rimmed baking sheet. Cool completely.
4. Preheat oven to 300 °F. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until butter is browned and has a toasty aroma, swirling pan occasionally, about 5 minutes.
5. Carefully add chopped sage, as butter often boils up. Season sage butter generously with salt and pepper and add half of the gnocchi to the skillet. Sauté until gnocchi are heated through, about 5 minutes. Empty skillet onto rimmed baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining gnocchi.
Yield: 6-8 main dish servings
(Recipe slightly adapted from Epicurious)