Starchy Sweetness

It has been almost a year since last Thanksgiving and I've been meaning to blog a recipe I made for last Thanksgiving. I am not sure why I hadn't blogged it yet but was reminded of the dish at a recent get together with Joseph's family. See, we go to Joseph's parents house each Thanksgiving for dinner and I felt like I wanted to participate and bring more than just the salad last year so I found a great recipe on Food Network for sweet potato gnocchi. I was sitting around thinking about the upcoming holidays and realized that I needed to find a recipe to top the one I made last year... so I am starting my brainstorming now. Any ideas... just post them on this entry!

Getting back to the gnocchi... this was the first time I had cooked with sweet potatos and was actually the first time I had eaten sweet potatoes. Yup... I was a sweet potato virgin. Now I cook many dishes with sweet potatoes as an ingredient and love the flavor and sweetness.

Source: Giada De Laurentis
Photo courtesy of Food Network until I can find mine on the other desktop

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maple Cinnamon Sage Brown Butter

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

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.

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