This is the kind of dish that could have totally flopped because I kind of winged it but, luckily, it was DA BOMB. Yup, so good that I need to use all caps and some early 90’s lingo. The problem with winging it is that you aren’t paying attention to measurements so it makes transcribing a recipe rather difficult. So I’ll do my best to guide you guys through this recipe using a lot of non-technical cooking vernacular and many hand gestures that you unfortunately cannot see. I promise you that it’s worth a shot though because it’s that good. These sweet potato gnocchi are like little clouds that melt in your mouth. They remind me more of gnuddi (no potatoes, just ricotta cheese) than regular gnocchi, which can be quite dense. Mike and I agree that it’s one of the best things I’ve ever made – and that has me RAISING DA ROOF.
Serves 4-6 people
1. Using a fork, prick your potato all over then pop it in the microwave on high power for about 5 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and cook for another 5 minutes or until soft. (You can also do this in the oven: 350 degrees for about 1 hour). When cooked, leave them to cool fully.
2. Peel your potatoes and pass them through a potato ricer or mash them up really well so that you have a very smooth purée.
3. Add the flour in small batches, gently stirring until well incorporated. I recommend using your hands for this because you need to have a feel for the dough’s texture. Then add the parmesan, nutmeg, egg and salt and pepper and mix gently until you have a consistency that you can work with. The dough should be pillowy and not so sticky that you can’t handle it without your hands being stuck to it. If it’s still sticking to the bowl, add more flour. You aren’t looking for the texture of a pasta dough. It should be closer in consistency to a pizza dough.
4. Dust your work surface with some flour and then drop the gnocchi dough onto it. Knead it very gently, dusting it lightly with flour if it’s still sticking too much. When it’s light, fluffy and workable, roll it into a ball and divide into 6 pieces.
5. Take a piece into your hand and roll into a rope that’s about 1 inch in diameter (again, sprinkle with flour if you need it). Cut your gnocchi from this rope (about 1 inch pieces). You can leave them as little pillows or roll them over very delicately with a fork to leave indentations – it depends what you prefer really. I like them to look uneven and rustic (because I’m impatient).
6. Place them on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or lightly dusted with flour. I recommend placing them in the fridge for about 1 hour before cooking them. You can even freeze them if you are doing this ahead of time, the cooking method won’t change.
7. To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Carefully drop in the gnocchi in batches, making sure not to crowd the pot. When they float to the surface, the gnocchi are ready! Remove them from the water and drain them.
The best way to serve these is with some browned butter, fried sage leave and fresh parmesan shavings (I added some wild mushrooms to my butter this time around). You can’t beat it! Enjoy and let me know how yours turn out!