Sweet Potato Nutmeg Gnocchi
Once you have the basics down for making gnocchi, it's time to experiment with flavor and color. This is by far my favorite concoction to date. Using sweet potatoes instead of the starchy white variety gives the dough a gorgeous, rich fall color. The sweet potatoes are also much stickier in texture, as opposed to flaky, making them easier to work with. You can flavor these little nuggets anyway you see fit! I focused on the PSL vibe, and filled these morsels with cinnamon, nutmeg and a hint of truffle oil. When you pack the dough full of spices, it's important to keep the sauce mild; hence choosing to serve them with an oil based sauce and a bit of grated cheese. If you only take the time to hand-craft a single pasta this season, THIS IS IT!
RULE NUMBER 1 OF MAKING GNOCCHI!.... After you're done rolling and forming your first "snake" of gnocchi, boil a small pot of water up, and boil about 5 of your little dumpling pillows. My Nona enforced this, because if your recipe is off, and you've made all the gnocchi up, your table is set, you're ready to serve your guests.... and you boil your gnocchi, and they hit that boiling water... and they dissolve. Potato soup for your guests! Don't fall victim to this tale, test your batch, yo!
Place 1 - 2 large sweet potatoes in a microwave safe dish. Puncture each side with a knife. Microwave on high until fully cooked through, and a knife easily slides in. Cut in half to cool, and set aside. Once cooled, peel and place into food processor or high powered blender. Blend until smooth.
Sweet Potato Nutmeg Gnocchi
1 1/2 cups cooked sweet potatoes, processed smooth
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting board and dough
Place 1 1/2 cups processed sweet potato into large mixing bowl. Add in ricotta, parmesan cheese and salt. Mix well with hands. Add remaining ingredients aside from flour, and mix well with hands. Add in flour 1/2 of a cup at a time. Mix well with hand. The dough will start to stiffen between 1-2 cups, add slowly at this point to avoid overworking the dough. You need the texture to be firm enough to roll on the board, but still tender. Take a small piece of dough and work it with flour and roll it on the board until you get the desired texture. Once you've achieved this texture, add the appropriate amount of flour to the rest of the batch and work through well with hands.
Take a small amount of dough, about the size of a plum, and roll it onto a floured counter into a snake, about 3/4 inch in diameter. Cut the snake into 1" pieces with floured knife. Flour your gnocchi board, or you can use a fork if you don't have a gnocchi board/paddle. Using medium pressure, roll the 1" section of dough down the board until it rolls inside out, leaving the dough patterned with the grooves of the board. It takes a few tries to get the technique down, if your first few don't look great, that's ok, you can toss them out, or call them rustic and enjoy them as is! The most important factor is that the gnocchi are the same size (not the same shape), so they cook evenly.
APPLY RULE #1 NOW! Boil a small pot of water, turn it down to a low rolling boil and place you gnocchi into the water gently. Boil for about 4 - 6 minutes, or until they float. Did they stick together? Do they taste firm but tender? Perfect! Let's keep rolling them up!
Repeat the above steps until all of your dough is formed into dumplings. Flour cookies sheets heavily, and freeze gnocchi spread out on pan. Don't allow them to touch. Once they are frozen, scrape off of sheet and store in tightly sealed freezer bag or container.
To serve, do not thaw, but cook frozen. Just boil slightly longer, until they float. It's always best to test a few before cooking the batch from frozen.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, crushed garlic, salt, crushed black pepper and fresh grated parmesan cheese.