Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

I realize that this is more of an “Autumn” type of recipe, but there’s something about Sweet Potato Gnocchi that makes me go against the seasons.

Tulio is one of my Favorite restaurants here in Seattle. It’s a Northern Italian influenced place. Every time I go there, I get their Sweet Potato Gnocchi, as everytime I have some, it makes my eyes roll to the back of my head and lightly slam my hand on the table. This is a good sign.

This recipe is my attempt to recreate theirs. I think it came out fairly well, even though I’m more critical of my own cooking than I am of other’s.

It does take some time as there are several stages needed to get the texture you need for the dish. Expect anywhere between 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

  • 2 lbs of sweet potatoes
  • 6 oz. ricotta cheese, drained
  • 6 oz. creme freche
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 3/4 cups Semolina Flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 6 Tablespoons Sage, chopped

Bake or cook the sweet potatoes until the insides are tender. The quickest way to do this is to microwave the potatoes, 7 minutes per side. Make sure that the skins are pierced before placing them in the oven.

Once cooked, cut the potatoes in half and allow to cool. Scrape the potato flesh into a food processor and puree, and then transfer to a large glass bowl. Add the Ricotta cheese and Creme Freche and mix in well. Add Parmesan cheese, brown sugar, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon, mashing together as if you’re making mashed potatoes. Add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time. Once the flour is incorporated, you should have a soft gnocchi dough.

Place the dough on a floured cutting board and shape into a circle. Cut into six equal pieces. Roll out each of the pieces into a 1 inch thick, 20 inch long “rope”. Cut the rope into 1 inch pieces. Place in a seperate bowl and set aside. Feel free to flour the pieces if needed.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Working in batches, cook the gnocchi for 5-6 minutes. Drain and place in yet another dish. Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until butter solids are brown and have toasty aroma, swirling pan occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add chopped sage. Turn off heat. Season sage butter generously with salt and pepper.

Transfer half of sage butter to large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add half of gnocchi. Sauté until gnocchi are heated through, about 6 minutes. Repeat with remaining sage butter and gnocchi.

Divide gnocchi and sauce among shallow bowls. Garnish with sage leaves. Top with Mascarpone.

Serves 10 – 12 very happy people

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