Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a Brown Butter and Sage Sauce

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A few weeks ago, I took a great cooking class at school! Not only was I extremely happy to learn new recipes, but I also loved the idea of cooking at school. Unfortunately, we can’t ordinarily take cooking classes here. Wouldn’t it be amazing to bake a cake, grill a steak, or poach an egg for credit? I certainly would love to! And I truly believe that cooking is a lifelong skill that should be taught like sciences.

Anyways. Back to business. A couple weeks ago then, members from the food magazine Penn Appétit offered a “class” called Gnocchi-ing on Pasta’s Door, and I had to jump on the occasion! We first learned how to make ricotta gnocchi with a spicy marinara, and then these sweet potato ones, with a brown butter sauce. It was so delicious that I made them again at home, and have to share the recipe with you today. Based on the state of my pantry, I made a few changes, like use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose and pecorino romano cheese instead of parmesan. It gave an even deeper flavor to the dish, and still made for perfectly fluffy and light “pillows” of dough. Additionally, I decided to pan fry them, which really made a huge difference! Though these take some time and effort, they are well worth the trouble and will leave you licking your plate. Bon appétit!

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Total time: 1h from scratch, or 30 minutes with pre-roasted potato

Ingredients for the gnocchi: Serves about 4  (you can freeze the extras and cook them to order)

  • 1/2 sweet potato
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 5 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cup grated romano (or parmesan)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 2 oz. unsalted butter
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 1 medium shallot (sliced)

Directions:

  1. Bake the sweet potato in the microwave: prick the skin all over the potato quarter and bake for about 4 minutes on high heat. Alternatively, you can bake it in the oven at 425°F for 20 minutes, or boil it until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, make the brown butter sage sauce. In a medium pan, melt the butter over medium heat. When it’s fully melted, add the shallots and cook them until they caramelize, and the butter browns (about 10 minutes). Add sage leaves and turn off the heat. Season with salt & pepper.
  3. Mash the baked potato in a large bowl, and let it cool.
  4. Meanwhile, bring salted water to a boil.
  5. Add the ricotta, parmesan, egg, and flour to the bowl, and mix until you form a dough (if the mix is too wet, add flour gradually).
  6. Cut the dough in 4, and roll snakes of about an inch diameter with each piece. Then, cut 1-inch gnocchi and apply pressure on them with a fork. I usually hold a piece with my fingers, and roll it against the fork (as you can “see” on the picture) in order to get the little waves. However, this step is time consuming and only serves the purpose of holding the sauce better, so you can skip it if you’re in a rush.
  7. To cook the gnocchi, plunge the pieces in boiling water, and scoop them out with a slotted spoon about a minute after they rise to the surface.
  8. (optional) If you want to pan fry them, melt some butter in a pan, and add the cooked gnocchi for about 5 minutes. Toss around to make sure they don’t burn. They’ll be ready when golden brown, and deliciously crispy on the outside.
  9. Serve with the brown butter sauce, caramelized shallots and top with extra parmesan. Enjoy!

TIP: Since this recipe makes a big batch, you can cook all the gnocchi at once, and freeze whatever you don’t eat. Just plunge them still frozen in boiling water for a second, and toss with your favorite sauce. You can also keep the cooked ones in the fridge for a couple of days, and just pan fry them directly out of the fridge! 

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Temps total: 1h, ou 30 minutes avec une pomme de terre précuite

Ingrédients pour les gnocchi: Sert 4 (vous pouvez congeler le reste)

  • 1/2 patate douce
  • 1 œuf battu
  • 140g de ricotta fraîche
  • 73g de parmesan râpé
  • 1 c.c de sel
  • une pincée de noix de muscade
  • 162g de farine complète

Ingrédients pour la sauce:

  • 55g de beurre doux
  • 3 feuilles de sauge
  • 1 échalote émincée

Etapes:

  1. Faites cuire la patate douce pendant 4 minutes au micro-onde, après avoir percé sa peau à la fourchette tout autour. Vous pouvez aussi la cuire au four, à 218°C, pour 20 minutes, ou la faire bouillir dans l’eau jusqu’à ce qu’elle soit tendre.
  2. Pendant ce temps, préparez la sauce au beurre noisette et à la sauge. Dans une poêle, faites fondre le beurre, ajoutez l’échalote, et laissez le tout caraméliser (10 minutes). Ajoutez les feuilles de sauge, éteignez la plaque et assaisonnez de sel et de poivre.
  3. Écrasez la patate douce dans un grand bol et laissez la refroidir.
  4. Faites bouillir de l’eau salée.
  5. Ajoutez la ricotta, le parmesan, l’œuf battu, et la farine dans le bol. Pétrissez le tout jusqu’à ce que ça forme une pâte. Ajoutez de la farine si le mélange est trop humide.
  6. Coupez la pâte en 4, et roulez des colombins d’1-2 cm de diamètre. Puis, coupez des gnocchis d’environ 1 cm de large et marquez les avec le dos de votre fourchette.
  7. Faites cuire les gnocchis dans l’eau bouillante, et égouttez les avec une cuillère à trous environ 1 minute après qu’ils remontent à la surface.
  8. (optionnel: Je vous conseille de les faire revenir à la poêle. Faites fondre un e noix de beurre dans une poêle, et faites les dorer pendant 5 minutes environ. Ils seront croustillants et encore plus délicieux!)
  9. Servez ces gnocchis avec la sauce au beurre noisette, sauge et échalote, et saupoudrés d’un peu plus de parmesan. Bon appétit!

LE PLUS: Comme cette recette fait une grosse quantité de gnocchis, vous pouvez tous les cuire d’un coup, et congeler les extras. Vous n’aurez qu’à les plonger dans l’eau bouillante pour quelques secondes avant de les déguster avec une sauce maison. Ou alors vous pouvez les garder dans le frigo pendant quelques jours et les faire revenir à la poêle directement!

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2 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a Brown Butter and Sage Sauce

  1. The course must’ve been lovely: will you find and go to others, Julie ? Working in a group like that must be really helpful …

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