How To Make Making Gnocchi Fun

My word. This was the best meal I’ve had … since Turkish last week. But definitely in the top ten of meals… dare I say, ever? Serious business, folks.

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

Inspired by this recipe

Ingredients

2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), rinsed, patted dry, pierced all over with fork
12-ounces tofu-ricotta (recipe to follow)
2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
6 tablespoons chopped fresh sage plus whole leaves for garnish

Directions

Place sweet potatoes on plate; microwave on high until tender, about 5 minutes per side. Cut in half and cool. Scrape sweet potato flesh into medium bowl and mash; transfer 3 cups to large bowl. Add ricotta cheese; blend well. Add Parmesan cheese, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg; mash to blend. Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto floured surface; divide into 6 equal pieces. Rolling between palms and floured work surface, form each piece into 20-inch-long rope (about 1 inch in diameter), sprinkling with flour as needed if sticky. Cut each rope into 20 pieces. Roll each piece over tines of fork to indent. Transfer to baking sheet.

Bring large pot of water to boil; add 2 tablespoons salt and return to boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer gnocchi to clean rimmed baking sheet. Cool completely. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Preheat oven to 300°F. 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 (mixture will bubble up). 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. Empty skillet onto rimmed baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining sage butter and gnocchi.

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

So let’s get with it, shall we?

2 lbs of sweet potatoes – 2 massive ones, and a baby.

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Scrubbed.

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Dried.

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Pierced.

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Plated.

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Microwaved.

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Flipped.

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Microwaved.

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Halved.

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Scooped.

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Mashed.

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Tofu-ricotta.

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Mixed.

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1 cup parmesan…

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Sugar, salt, nutmeg…

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Mix!

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Yummy!

Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time.

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Enlist the help of a boy for some MAN power with mixing!

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Sometimes you just gotta get your hands dirty though.

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Brute strength!

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Voila!

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On a floured surface, divide dough into six sections.

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Roll each section into 20 inch long rolls.

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Cut rolls into one-inch segments.

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Press with a fork.

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Place pieces on a cookie sheet.

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Repeat for the remaining 5 balls of dough!

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Whew! That was a lot of work!

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Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

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While the water is boiling, make yourself a mocktail.

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Once boiling, drop dumplings into the boiling water and boil for 5-6 minutes. dough balls should be floating on the top of the water.

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Watch intently the first time around, just to make sure it’s going all right!

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Do a little dance to kill the 5 minutes! Yes, this is mandatory.

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After 5 minutes, with a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi from the boiling water.

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Yay! Looks like gnocchi!

Does it taste like gnocchi?

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Yep!

Place gnocchi on a cookie sheet.

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REPEAT!

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In between the 5-minute cooking segments, here are some ideas of things to do to keep you entertained.

1) Play with the dog.

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(Don’t pretend like you don’t cook in your pajamas!)

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2) Play with your Blackberry. Facebook, Twitter, texting. That should definitely occupy one of those 5 minute slots.

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3) Play on the Internet. Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader.

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4) Eat gnocchi.

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Just about all ready!

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Time to work on the brown butter sauce! It was ridiculously quick and easy.

Heat butter in heavy skillet until solids turn brown, swirl occasionally.

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Sage –> chopped.

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And into the butter it goes!

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Divide butter between 2 sauce pans, add gnocchi and brown slightly.

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Once warmed through, remove from butter and set aside (in 300* pre-heated oven to keep warm if you feel like it).

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Repeat until all gnocchi is browned.

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Serve, drizzled with brown butter. Garnish with sage.

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Words. Can not describe. How fantastic this was.

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Confession time: I’ve never made gnocchi before.

Another confession: I’ve never even eaten gnocchi before.

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Oh. My. Word.

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The f-bomb was dropped while eating and noting the dish. It may have also been compared to sex. Just so you know. I happen to think that is useful information.

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My, oh, my!

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Go. Make this now! It’ll take a couple of hours. But it is oh-so-worth-it and relatively easy, actually!

And as promised, my tofu-ricotta recipe:

1 block of firm tofu, pressed
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Throw it all in the food processor and voila! Ricotta! Well, not exactly but the consistency is perfect and a great alternative for dairy-sensitive tummies!

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One Response

  1. Wow that looks soooo good. You can make it for me sometime 🙂

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