To Gnocchi or not to Gnocchi?

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Rosemary Brown Butter

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For the past five days I’ve had three sweet potatoes staring at me. It’s getting warmer here in Vegas and I wanted to do something other than roasting or mashing them which I’ve done a lot this winter. What’s something that I’ve never done with a potato anyway, what’s something I can challenge myself with? Then I thought gnocchi. I’ve never tried to make it at home and from what I’ve read about them the little morsels can be a bit testy. But I figured why not try? I mean what are we talking about here honestly; sweet potato, cheese and flour how hard can it be? In reality if you’re a good home cook with some relative experience in the kitchen this really shouldn’t be a problem for you but I wouldn’t recommend it for the novices cook. Gnocchi also takes some time to make so pick a day where you have the time to execute the dish. Don’t try to do this on a busy weekday with the family wanting dinner in a flash.

Ingredients:

For the Gnocchi

2 or 3 sweet potatoes, you need enough for about 3 cups.

1, 12 oz. container of ricotta cheese

1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

2 ½ cups sifted flour, you’ll need more for the cutting board.

2 teaspoons salt

For the Brown Butter

1 whole stick of unsalted butter

¼ cup of chopped rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

First put the ricotta cheese in a sieve over a bowl and let it drain for two hours in the frig. Meanwhile, set you oven to 400 degrees. With a fork poke your sweet potatoes all over and pop them in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or till fork tender. Once they are done pull them out and let them cool. After the ricotta has drained, scoop the flesh of the sweet potatoes into a bowl and add the ricotta, parmesan and salt mix this together. Next add the flour a half a cup at a time. This is an arm workout so be resilient. I eventually abandoned the spoon and used my hands. Just be careful to not over-mix or the gluten in the potatoes will make them gummy and not pillowy. You also don’t want to add more flour than you need your looking for a soft dough to form if you add too much than your gnocchi will be dense.

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Once this is finished plop the mixture unto a floured board, forum the dough into a nice ball and cut it into six wedges. Then tacking one wedge at a time roll it on your board till it’s about 1 inch wide then using a knife or scraper cut this into 1 inch pieces.

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Once you gnocchi is formed, start bringing a pot of salted water to a boil. While you wait for your water, begin making the brown butter. In a large sauce pan place your butter and let it melt. Once it is melted add the rosemary, salt and pepper. Let this cook till it has turned a light brown color.

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Once your water is boiling add the gnocchi in batches using a slotted spoon. Let them cook till they float to the top about two minutes. Next remove the gnocchi and place in a bowl. Continue till all your gnocchi is cooked. Then add your gnocchi to the pan with the brown butter and gently toss. Serve immediately with extra parmesan.

This makes a lot of gnocchi, so if you aren’t feeding enough people what you can do is place all your formed gnocchi onto a floured cookie sheet and pop them in the freezer for about thirty minutes. Once frozen toss them in a zip lock bag and keep them frozen till you want to cook them.

Or if you have some leftover dough, you can forum them into potato pancakes. I did this by dipping each pancake in egg, coating them in bread crumbs and then pan frying them in olive oil and butter. Yummy!

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