Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Gnocchi, when done right, are simply marvelous. Italians have taken a potato, a hefty, dense tuber, and crafted a dumpling that is light on the tongue and filling in the tummy. I have attempted gnocchi only once before. I enlisted the help of two friends who, over the course of a few hours, managed to make a disgusting and overworked dough. This time, I'm changing my attack plan - I used sweet potatoes instead of whites and I used a Bon Appetit recipe.

Raw Gnocchi

Firstly, you microwave a few sweet potatoes, let them cool and scoop out the flesh. Add ricotta cheese, Parmesan, brown sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Flour is gradually mixed into all of this. The dough is rolled out into long logs and cut into little, softy, floury gnocchi. You can pass the gnocchi over a fork to give it the characteristic ribs, but I skipped this step since I had about 100 gnocchi and I felt it was too much work.

Cooked Gnocchi

Cook the gnocchi in batches in salted water. It was very easy to see when they were done because they floated to the surface of the water after about a minute. Drain the gnocchi and set aside.

Brown Butter-Sage

Saucy Gnocchi

Melt 2 sticks of butter in a large saucepan and continue to cook until it turns a bit brown and smells nutty. Add in the chopped sage and remove from heat. Working in batches in a skillet, cook the gnocchi in the sauce until they are heated through.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

These gnocchi turned out great. They were a bit labor-intensive, but well worth it in the end. Sweet potato, brown butter and sage all meld very well. Everything I love about this food was present in this dish. The best part is you savor every bite. You can't eat them too fast or your stomach might explode like a pigeon's after a wedding. So you really get to taste all of the subtle flavors - nuttiness, sage, butter, sweet potato, nutmeg, salt, pepper. Nothing is more satisfying after a food project (other than a good result) than sitting down to really enjoy your hard work.

1 comment:

Bob said...

They look fantastic. I've never made gnocchi because of all the work you mentioned. Plus my girlfriend doesn't like them. Heh.