sweet potato gnocchi with fried sage

September 22nd, 2009

Gnocchi and I have a love/hate relationship. I love it, but more times than not when I try to make it things get a little crazy. When I saw this recipe in Gourmet, one that made Ruth Reichl’s top 10 list, I just couldn’t let the disasters of my past hold me back from trying this one out. So I pulled out the ricer, gave myself some encouragement and got down to business. I’m proud to say that not only did this gnocchi look like gnocchi (well, basically it didn’t dissolve on contact with water) but I can also see why Ms. Reichl chose it… this is good stuff.

This recipe takes some patience, as you have to bake the potatoes, slightly cool them, rice them, cool them, then get into action. So it’s about an hour and half before you actually get to the good stuff, but once you get there it goes by pretty fast.

Once the egg, flour and spices are mixed with the potatoes, the dough comes together quite quick. From there you make little ropes, cut them into little chunks, roll them in a ball and fork them. Tadaaa! You’ve got yourself some little gnocchi. And the good news is that this recipe makes a million of them, so you can easily freeze half the recipe and have an excellent dinner later without all the work.

Next comes the delicious fried sage. If you’ve never had fried sage, please try it. It’s so awesome. I kind of think you could put fried sage with a little brown butter on cardboard and it would taste good. Luckily you don’t have to go that far and instead you can out it on delicious little potato pillows.

The gnocchi turned out just like I wanted them to, soft and dense with a hint of sweet from the sweet potato. Topped with the crispy fried sage and rich sauce, they got even better. The combination of flavors and textures made me one happy lady and led me to sit back breathe a sigh of relief.

sweet potato gnocchi with fried sage
from gourmet, october 2009
Serves 6 (main course) to 8 (first course)

Active time:1 1/4 hr Start to finish:2 1/4 hr

1 1/4 lb russet (baking potatoes)
1 (3/4-lb) sweet potato
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus more for serving
1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup sage leaves (from 1 bunch)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Make gnocchi:
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.

1
Pierce russet and sweet potatoes in several places with a fork, then bake in a 4-sided sheet pan until just tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
2
Cool potatoes slightly, then peel and force through ricer into sheet pan, spreading in an even layer. Cool potatoes completely.
3
Lightly flour 2 or 3 large baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
4
Beat together egg, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a small bowl.
5
Gather potatoes into a mound in sheet pan, using a pastry scraper if you have one, and form a well in center.
6
Pour egg mixture into well, then knead into potatoes. Knead in cheese and 11/2 cups flour, then knead, adding more flour as necessary, until mixture forms a smooth but slightly sticky dough. Dust top lightly with some of flour.
7
Cut dough into 6 pieces. Form 1 piece of dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rope on a lightly floured surface. Cut rope into 1/2-inch pieces. Gently roll each piece into a ball and lightly dust with flour.
Repeat with remaining 5 pieces of dough.

8
Turn a fork over and hold at a 45-degree angle, with tips of tines touching work surface. Working with 1 at a time, roll gnocchi down fork tines, pressing with your thumb, to make ridges on 1 side. Transfer gnocchi as formed to baking sheets.

Fry sage leaves:

1
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers.
2
Fry sage leaves in 3 batches, stirring, until they turn just a shade lighter and crisp (they will continue to crisp as they cool), about 30 seconds per batch.
3
Transfer to paper towels to drain. Season lightly with salt.

Make sauce:

Add butter to oil in skillet with 1/2 tsp salt and cook until golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Cook gnocchi:

1
Add half of gnocchi to a pasta pot of well-salted boiling water and stir. Cook until they float to surface, about 3 minutes.
2
Transfer with a slotted spoon to skillet with butter sauce. Cook remaining gnocchi in same manner, transferring to skillet as cooked.
3
Heat gnocchi in skillet over medium heat, stirring to coat.
4

Serve sprinkled with fried sage and chestnuts and grated cheese.

cooks’ notes:
-Uncooked gnocchi can be frozen (first in 1 layer on a baking sheet, then transferred to a sealable bag) up to 1 month. Do not thaw before cooking.

-Sauce and topping can be halved; make full recipe of gnocchi and freeze half of it.

Comments: 9 Total

  1. Amanda Nicole

    September 22, 2009 at 10:20 am

    I love homemade gnocchi! Never made it with sweet potato before though, so I must try this :)

  2. caroline

    September 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    omg. this looks so good, thankfully fall is here!!! sage and sweet potatoes!!

  3. Dana

    September 22, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Good for you! I tried gnocchi once myself long ago and resolved never again. But then I see something like this and think maybe. I have 5 HUGE sage bushes in our yard and haven’t fried any of it yet this summer. Bad Dana.

  4. Elizabeth

    September 23, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Oh, if only i had a ricer….

    Those are gorgeous, and look delicious to boot.

  5. Jayme

    September 23, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I love gnocchi but I’ve never made it. The sweet potato factor in this recipe has lured me in! This sounds like a great early fall meal that I need to try. Hey, and an excuse to finally buy a ricer!

  6. Kelly

    September 23, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Do you think you can use a food mill and not a ricer (since I don’t have one)?

  7. Kelly

    September 23, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    kelly-
    i do think you could use a food mill. i think you could even use a fine grater to do this, although i haven’t tested this method.

  8. links london

    April 6, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    i haven’t tested this method.

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