Sweet Potato Gnocchi in a Browned Butter Sage Sauce
I received a cloth bag to microwave stuff in for Christmas, have you seen those? Sort of like this one, but with pretty animal print cloth, because I'm such a wild animal. I love the darn thing because it traps the moisture in and makes the potatoes more of a steamed quality than just putting the potatoes on a plate and microwaving them dry.
Usually, I just wrap up the potatoes in a paper towel in the hopes that it keeps the bag clean. You can do what you want, it's washable! 🙂 Oh and if you're into sewing, this bag is pretty easy to make, there are tons of 'how-to's' online, just a google-a-way.
Who likes short-cuts? I DO! Gosh when it comes to cheese and nutmeg, it's definitely worth it to buy fresh and grate it yourself. There are things I will cheat with like dry oregano--I just don't eat enough of it to warrant buying fresh, it would be worth growing though, well if I could keep it alive. You should see the basil "bush" I have, it's huge and constantly wilted because I am a horrible plant person and never water it enough.
So back to the gnocchi. If you have made gnocchi before, you definitely know how time consuming it really is--it's not hard, it's just... a lengthy process. Thankfully, this recipe makes more gnocchi than I knew what to do with. There were probably around 15 services of it, no joke. I made three of the balls for just me and my quality control tester and we had leftovers for days. The other three balls I froze individually by wrapping in plastic wrap then tossing into a zip lock baggie. It actually does very well frozen, believe it or not.
A week or two later we were having some friends over and I had the extra gnocchi dough in the freezer and it was perfect. It's best to let it defrost in the fridge, but I was strapped for time so I did the defrost setting in the microwave (gasp!), rolled them out, cut, boiled, then made the browned butter sauce again and chowed down. It was perfect with a side of veggies. Tasted exactly the same. YUM.
It would be ideal to cut up the gnocchi before freezing, but they will need to be frozen on a baking sheet before being put into a baggie. I wonder if they were cut, thrown into a baggie and frozen as a one big ball would it work to just toss it into boiling water? Will they separate? Hmm... possible shortcut.
The part of this whole gnocchi process that requires some skill is making the indention in the gnocchi with a fork. Mine always squish down into a weird shape so I just stopped doing it. The indention is there to store the sauce to make a more flavorful gnoochi, but being that this is sweet potato gnocchi with browned butter sage sauce, it's plenty flavorful as it is. I just stopped trying and just cut the gnocci into bite size pieces and left it at that. You can do the same, skip that step. 😉
Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Browned Butter Sage Sauce
- Two large sweet potatoes about a pound in total weight, cleaned and pierced
- 12 oz of fresh ricotta cheese, if very liquidy drain in a sieve for two hours beforehand
- 1 cup of finely grated Parmesan, not the processed kind PLEASE
- 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons of table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 3/4 cups of all purpose flour (more will be needed for dusting
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons of fresh sage chopped and a few for garnishing
- Start by microwaving the sweet potatoes around five minutes a side. I usually stab a potato with a knife to make sure the inside is soft, if not just nuke it some more. Once complete, cut the potatoes in half to help cool them faster. Once you are able to hold them without burning yourself, scrap the sweet potato flesh into a medium bowl and mash them until not lumpy.
- Transfer 3 cups to a large bowl and add the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt, and nutmeg; mash to blend.
- Mix in flour 1/2 a cup at a time until it starts to resemble a soft dough.
- Turn dough out on floured surface and divide into six equal pieces. Roll between palms and floured work surface to form each piece into a 20 inch long or so rope that is about 1 inch in diameter. Cut each rope into one inch pieces and make an indention with a fork. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the last two tablespoons of salt. Working in batches, boil gnocchi until tender which is about five minutes.
- Transfer the gnocchi to a clean rimmed baking sheet to cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees, this will be used to keep the gnocchi warm as you cook in batches.
- Melt butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until butter solids are brown and have a delicious aroma. Swirl the pan occasionally, takes about five minutes total.
- Add chopped sage to the butter, this is neat because the mixture will bubble up. Turn off the heat and season sage butter with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add half of gnocchi to the pan and saute until gnocchi are heated through, about five minutes.
- Transfer the gnocchi to baking sheet and place in over to keep warm as you do the other batch.
- Divide the gnocchi and sauce onto plates or bowls and garnish with the leftover sage leaves