Friday, February 27, 2009

Sweet Potato Gnocchi in a Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Sweet potato gnocchi swimming in butter and sage!

I am a big fan of gnocchi. I have had some light and fluffy gnocchi at some restaurants and some that were gummy and heavy. With some sweet potatoes on hand, I decided to take a stab at making my own. I found a recipe on epicurious that uses ricotta instead of an egg.

Sweet potato dough coming together with the ricotta and flour.

The dough requires some prep work but comes together pretty easily. After baking the sweet potatoes and letting them cool, you combine them with the ricotta, parmesan, salt, and nutmeg. (JAM Note: I halved the recipe and it still made enough gnocchi for 5 - 6 people). You gradually add the flour to the sweet potato mixture. I added about 3/4 cup more flour, as the dough was very stick and impossible to roll out.

Rolling out the dough into long strips.

The dough is then turned out onto a floured surface and divided into 6 parts. Each piece of dough is rolled out into a long string about 1 in thick and 12 in long. The dough is then cut into 1 in pieces. The gnocchi are then rolled off a tine of a fork to create lines in the dough. This step isn't necessary, but adds some texture and added visual appeal.

Cutting the gnocchi.

The gnocchi are then ready to be cooked in a large pot of salted water. I cooked them in four batches. The gnocchi took about 5-6 minutes, and you can tell they are ready when they float to the top. The gnocchi are then allowed to cool on a rack. While the gnocchi are cooling you can begin on the sauce. I used 5 tbsp butter and heated it in a large skillet on medium-high heat. The butter should begin to brown around 10-15 minutes. Once the butter is brown, you can add the chopped sage. Saute the gnocchi in the butter sauce for 3-5 minutes until warm and slightly golden.

Gnocchi pressed with a fork.

The gnocchi were sweet, but could have been a little lighter. The brown butter sauce added a nice savory element to the sweet pasta, and the crisp sage was the perfect compliment. The gnocchi were pretty good for my first try. However, they were a little denser than I would have liked, which may have been due to the extra flour or the ricotta. I would like to compare this recipe to one using egg. Definitely a recipe I would use again, perhaps with a few tweaks in the future.

1.5 out of 3 JAMs

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