Italian food is great with fine ingredients and simple flavors. Butter and sage, two simple ingredients on their own, make an excellent gnocchi sauce. Gnocchi is a type of potato dumpling pasta–it reminds me of a cross between polish Perogies and ravioli pasta. Gnocchi is usually made with white potatoes but I decided to try sweet potatoes for a more savory flavor. The sage fries in the butter as it browns which smells and tastes great.
As for the gnocchi making process it was surprisingly easy. The only thing to watch out for is overcooking the gnocchi. It really only needs 3 minutes and should be immediately scooped out when it floats to the top. I learned this the hard way by overcooking it by about 2 minutes which created a slimy bunch that was totally gross. I thought this recipe turned out really great, and I will be making this again–perhaps with pumpkin the next time to mix things up.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage
(Makes 4 Servings)
- 2 1-pound red-skinned sweet potatoes
- 1 12-ounce container fresh ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons chopped fresh sage plus whole leaves for garnish
- Microwave the sweet potatoes until tender, about 6 minutes each side. Cut in half and cool.
- Scrape out the sweet potato into a medium bowl and mash well.
- Mix in the ricotta cheese.
- Mix in the Parmesan cheese, parmigiano-reggiano, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg.
- 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. Role out a rope and cut it into 1 inch long pieces.
- Roll each piece over tines of fork to indent. (you can freeze and store what you don’t want to cook).
- Bring a pot of water to boil.B Working in small batches, boil gnocchi until tender for 3 minutes or until they float to the top.
- With a slotted spoon, set them aside and let stand at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
- In a saute pan, melt 1 stick of butter (save the other stick for the leftover dough). Cook until butter solids are brown and smell toasty, about 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped sage and saute for 1 minute.
- Add the gnocchi and saute until golden brown and crispy, about 6 minutes.
- Garnish with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and sage leaves.