Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Pasta of the month

I'm just a pasta making machine and loving every moment!  This ambitious endeavor has always been on my "bucket list" of things to do. If you're a cook like I profess to be, a trip to Italy will launch your cooking skills.  Inspiration is everywhere.  The fresh pasta and ingredients are in every trattoria, bistro or restaurant.  They even have amazing food at the auto strata eateries which look like a large 7-eleven from the outside but far, far from it as you enter.  So how do you savor the flavors of those places?  You make pasta!

My "pasta of the month" is sweet potato gnocchi from scratch.  To me, it's the starting point for pasta making.  If you can play with play dough, you can make gnocchi.  And there is nothing better than fresh pasta. This recipe makes over 100 little pillows of goodness.   I needed to use my new toy, a gnocchi board.  I'm still working on technique but with the right amount of pressure I'll have these babies looking machine made, perfetto (perfect).


1 1/2 cups sweet potato 

2 cups flour + more for rolling and shaping

1 egg

1/2 tbsp salt for cooking water

Microwave the potato, skin and scoop out to measure.   Place chunks in a large bowl, mash with a fork or masher and cool a bit before mixing with flour.

Stir in the flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough forms.  You may not need all the flour.  The dough should be soft. 

Now stir in the egg and mix well.  If it's on the wet sticky side, add more flour (1/2 cup or so).  Divide the dough into 4-6 pieces. On a surface sprinkled with flour,  roll each piece like you're making a long snake about 1 inch in diameter and as long as the dough will take you.  Then cut into 1/2 inch "pillows" (pieces).   If you happen to have a gnocchi board lying around use it to make the ridges.  A fork can do the same thing or you can leave them without the ridges (more rustic)  As you make each piece place them on a pieces of parchment paper on a baking sheet or surface.  Repeat the gnocchi making until the dough is gone.  I estimate that you'll have well over 100, possibly around 120!!

roll and cut

form with board

ready to freeze or cook

You now have the option of freezing them for a later time.  Just place the gnocchi filled baking sheet directly into the freezer for about an hour or two.  When frozen you can put them in freezer bags.  It will take slightly longer to cook the gnocchi in a frozen state and no need to defrost.

To cook that day:  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Put the gnocchi in but don't crowd them.  When they rise to the top (usually in 1 minute or less), they're done.  You can do this in batches.  Have the melted butter or browned sage sauce waiting in another pan or pop into a warm oven as you make more.

When it comes to how many per hungry are you?  Between 15 and 20 is a sizable portion!  I guarantee that these will melt in your mouth!

1 comment:

  1. I bet these are amazing. Thanks for sharing the photos and recipe. I would like to try this one.