Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gnocchi Fever! -- Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Maple Brown Butter Sauce

So, remember when I made Roasted Beet Gnocchi? The ones that looked like chunks of raw meat but tasted delicious? Well, here's a secret: that night, I actually made TWO batches of gnocchi! It was a busy, pasta-rolling night. I also made a batch of chocolate coconut rum cupcakes that I'll post about some other time. 

Totally had the gnocchi scheduled for tonight's post--as I've found it's much easier to do a few recipes over the weekend and spread out blog posts during the week, also this works better for natural light for the pictures--and I believe Gnocchi Fever had somehow struck over the weekend. Sweet Potato Gnocchi Fever, to be precise. All over Twitter and my Google Reader (am I a dinosaur for using that? heh...) people were making gnocchi! At least three other blogs!

I hesitated to compose this entry, lest I appear to be a copycat.
But my other potential posts were dessert-themed, or all from Can You Stay For Dinner? and I need to space those out a bit. I just did two desserts in one week's time, we need some meals!

I only wish We Are Not Martha had posted their recipe sooner, then I would have known that the secret to less-fleshy gnocchi is to pan-sear them. Notes for next time!

So I decided to go with the flow and post the gnocchi recipe I used. Again, they did come out rather fleshy and bloaty, but they were delicious nonetheless. I doubled the Maple Brown Butter sauce since I felt the portion was too small for the amount of gnocchi produced. I forgot to double the maple when I did it though, but that's fine, I just poured extra over the gnocchi itself. Mmm...

Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Maple Brown Butter Sauce
(Very subtly adapted from's recipe)

For the Gnocchi:
2 pounds sweet potatoes (about three potatoes)
2/3 cup fat free 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 more for the work surface
Dash of nutmeg
For the Maple Sage Brown Butter:
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
5 fresh sage leaves
A Dash of cinnamon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

-Pierce potatoes and cook via your method of choice (I used microwave) until done: a fork should go through them with little to no resistance. Let cool.

-Cut potatoes in half and scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Mash the sweet potatoes and make sure that you have at least two cups of mashed potato. Add the ricotta cheese, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper and blend until well mixed. Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time until a soft dough forms (you may need a little more for it not to be so sticky). 

-Lightly flour a work surface and place the dough in a ball on the work surface. Roll out dough into about five 1-inch wide ropes. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces. Roll the gnocchi over the tines of a fork if you want to be super fancy. Continue until all dough is used.

-Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the gnocchi in 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.

For the Brown Butter sauce

-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 butter is caramel in color and fragrant (will smell sweet and nutty). Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the cinnamon, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined and serve over gnocchi.

Scallions make everything look classier, amiright?


  1. The sweet potato gnocchi look so great especially with the maple brown butter, yum!

  2. The maple brown butter sauce sounds so decadent. I think your gnocchi look gorgeous!

  3. Maple brown butter just made my heart sing. SING. This is fantastic :)