Friday, November 21, 2008

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maple Cinnamon Sage Brown Butter

This is definitely a treat for dinner. It was a bit involved and took time, but it is totally worth it!!! This week I am making meals that are a bit more involved and fancy for my Husband to celebrate Thanksgiving. He absolutely loves food and misses his families cooking around the Holiday's. Hopefully I can bring a bit of home to him. Gnocchi is an Italian dish that I usually only like when his Grandfather makes it. Although, this recipe was pretty good. Not as good as his, but still very delicious.

For the Gnocchi:
2 pounds sweet potatoes
2/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/3 cup for the work surface

For the Maple Cinnamon Sage Brown Butter:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
20 fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Gnocchi: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Pierce the sweet potato with a fork. Bake the sweet potatoes until tender and fully cooked, between 40 to 55 minutes depending on size. Cool slightly. Cut in half and scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Mash the sweet potatoes and transfer to a large measuring cup to make sure the sweet potatoes measure about 2 cups. Transfer the mashed sweet potatoes back to the large bowl. Add the ricotta cheese, salt, cinnamon, and pepper and blend until well mixed. Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time until a soft dough forms. Lightly flour a work surface and place the dough in a ball on the work surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal balls. Roll out each ball into a 1-inch wide rope. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces. Roll the gnocchi over the tines of a fork. Transfer the formed gnocchi to a large baking sheet. Continue with the remaining gnocchi.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the gnocchi in 3 batches and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the gnocchi using a slotted spoon onto a baking sheet. Tent with foil to keep warm and continue with the remaining gnocchi.

For the Brown Butter sauce: While the gnocchi are cooking melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted add the sage leaves. Continue to cook, swirling the butter occasionally, until the foam subsides and the milk solids begin to brown. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the cinnamon, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Careful, the mixture will bubble up. Gently stir the mixture. When the bubbles subside, toss the cooked gnocchi in the brown butter. Transfer the gnocchi to a serving dish and serve immediately.

I didn't cook all the Gnocchi since I  knew it was filling and we wouldn't eat all of it.  I cooked half of the batch and froze the rest.  They should last in the freezer for a couple months.  I put them on a cook sheet and froze them and then after they were individually frozen I put them into a ziplock bag.  This way they won't stick and you can take out a few and cook up a quick meal.

Recipe by: Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network.
Posted by: Tracy Lytle

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