Sweet Potato Gnocchi in a Brown Butter Gorgonzola Sauce with Crispy Sage and Chestnuts

I grew up on my grandparent’s homemade potato gnocchi. They were made with russet potatoes and flour, that’s it. They always served them with the tomato sauce they made famous, “Trio’s Sauce” A big handful of Pecorino Romano was put on top of each serving.

If I had put a plate of these sweet potato gnocchi in front of my grandfather he would have snubbed his nose, made a “yuuuuukkk” sound and given me a look of disgust. My grandmother would have tasted them, and probably loved them, but would have called them “nouveau” which she mocked.
I was making a batch of gorgonzola sauce out of the Cremaldi Cookbook and I noticed three sweet potatoes sitting on my counter.
I cut off a piece and dipped it into the sauce. Mmmmmm was it good! I started thinking…gorgonzola sauce over sweet potato fettucini…gorgonzola sauce and potato…GNOCCHI!
Gnocchi have a bad rap for being difficult to master. The addition of egg in this recipe helps hold them together during cooking and makes them very light.

It is a great first course or main course during the holidays.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
1 lb sweet potatoes or yams
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 egg
½ teaspoon nutmeg

1. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a knife and place in a 350° oven for 30-40 mins until tender. Cool and peel.

2. Squeeze sweet potatoes through a ricer.

3. In a small bowl combined egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Wisk.

4. Make a well in the mound of sweet potatoes and add the egg mixture (I used a fork for the whole process) incorporate well.

5. Add the flour and knead until a dough forms. It will be very soft and slightly sticky.

6. Flour your work surface and cut dough into 4-5 pieces. Roll into ropes ¾ inch thick.

7. Cut the ropes into ½ inch pieces. Lay out on well floured sheet pan in a single layer. Freeze. Once the gnocchi are hard put in ZipLoc© bag and store in freezer for up to two months.

To Cook Gnocchi:

1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add half the gnocchi and stir carefully. When water comes back to a boil and gnocchi begin to float (3 mins) strain and add directly to sauce.

Now at this point you have a choice. You can go ahead and make the Brown Butter Gorgonzola Sauce or you can just make a Brown Butter Sauce without the gorgonzola. I am going to give you both recipes.

Brown Butter Gorgonzola Sauce with Chopped Chestnuts
2 tablespoons of butter
½ cup imported Gorgonzola Dolce
1 heaping tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
Jarred Cooked Chestnuts

1. In a small sauce pan melt the butter until it is bubbling and starts to turn brown.

2. Add the sage and fry until crispy (30 seconds)

3. Add the gorgonzola and melt. Remove from heat and wisk to incorporate.

4. Add gnocchi and coat well. Plate and garnish with chopped chestnuts (I used cooked chestnuts out of a jar. You can buy at any specialty shop. Some are packed in water and that is fine)

Brown Butter Sauce with Crispy Sage Leaves and Sliced Chestnuts
2 tablespoon Butter
Fresh ground pepper
Whole sage leaves, enough to garnish all of your plates (2 per plate)
Jarred Cooked Chestnuts
Pecorino Romano, shaved

1. Melt butter in small sauce pan over medium flame until bubbling. Add sage leaves and fry for 30 seconds. Remove and set aside.

2. Let the butter slowly brown. Add gnocchi to pan and coat. Plate and garnish with shaved Pecorino Romano, Crispy Sage Leaves and thinly sliced Chestnuts.

Enjoy!

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