Sweet potato gnocchi

September 30, 2010 § 6 Comments

I have had a fabulous week.  I got hit with a million things to do, but somehow I’ve managed to get it all done and perform really well in classes and lab meetings.  We also found out today that one of our exams has been postponed.  So while we’ll still have to take it at some point, I don’t have to worry about it next week, which is great because in precisely a week, I will be flying back to New England for a five-day visit!!  I cannot wait.  Also, I talked with my advisor today and he gave a tentative thumbs-up for my Master’s idea, so even though I have ages to figure that out, it is still super exciting.  Yay!

So, to top off everything else, I made a fantastic sweet potato gnocchi today, stolen from Macheesmo (recipe here).  It was absolutely delicious, and even though it took almost three hours start to finish, it wasn’t actually difficult, and it was so worth it.  This is also, I think, the cutest thing I have ever made.  The little gnocchi poufs are so adorable and soft!

Okay, enough preamble.  Let’s get going…

You need literally four ingredients for this:
2 medium-ish sweet potatoes
1-1.5 c flour
1 egg
Salt

First, peel your sweet potatoes, and chop them up into midsized chunks.  Don’t worry about making them similar sizes or anything; they’ll just be getting smooshed up anyway.

peeled & chopped!

Get some water boiling, toss in some salt, and put in the potatoes.  You want them to be really tender, which will probably take 15-20 minutes.  When they’re done, take them out of the pot and put them in a bowl lined with paper towels so that the towels can absorb a lot of the moisture out of them.  Let them sit for a couple minutes to give the towels a chance to do their job.

mm, tender

Put them in a large bowl and start mushing them up!  When they’re fully reduced to a pulp, let them cool down to room temperature.  Feel free to toss them in the fridge for a while to speed this up.

When they’re cool, take them out of the fridge, add your egg, and mix it in thoroughly.  Here comes the most difficult part, because it requires some judgment.  You’ll start adding in your flour, and to be safe, do it about 1/4 cup at a time.  You want your dough to be, as Nick over at Macheesmo says, like “loose Play-doh.”  I ended up using just under a cup of flour to get the appropriate consistency.  I’m not sure how else to describe how to tell when you’re at the right amount of flour, but I was unsure at first, and then I added a little more flour and once I mixed that in, it just sort of felt/looked right.

play-doh, but tastier

Scoop out about 1/6 of your dough, and plop it on a well-floured surface.  Coat it in flour (you don’t need to overdo this).  Roll it out into a snake, maybe a little under an inch wide, and chop it up into your little gnocchi bites.  They’ll probably be about an inch square.

so cute!

Now, you want to decorate your pretty little pillows with the characteristic ridges of gnocchi.  Nick suggested “rolling them” over a fork, but I found that gently pressing the tines of a fork into the tops of them worked better for me.  They flattened a little but were still really adorable.

ridges

You will have a lot of pretty little gnocchis.  Really, a lot — this made 88 bite-sized chunks of awesome.

so many

Now comes the fun part!  Put them in a pot of simmering, NOT BOILING, water.  If the water is at a full rolling boil, your gnocchis (yes, I know that’s not a word, but I like saying it) will die!  And that will be sad.  So, you put them into a pot of water, and then magic!  They will start popping up to the surface of the water.  When this happens, they are done.  Go ahead and fish them out.

oh oh it's magic, you know

Nick suggests a brown butter sauce.  I was super hungry at this point and didn’t have the concentration to brown butter (I know, it’s not hard, shush), so I drizzled a little olive oil over them and grated some Pecorino Romano cheese on top.  Divine.

pretty gnocchi

Enjoy!

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