Sweet Potato Gnocchetti with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Sweet Potato Gnocchetti with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Warning #1: this is not a thirty minute dish.

Warning #2: you will regret not spending the time to try it.

When I have dear friends over and a little time on my hands, I love to make this dish for them. In Italy, cooking is a medium for conveying love and affection, and hand-crafted gnocchi are certainly a labor of love.

Thankfully, the sauce is incredibly quick and easy, balancing out the demanding task of making the gnocchi dough.

Serves: 8
Prep time: 60-90 minutes (depending on dough making proficiency)
Adapted from
Things we ate for dinner

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (not yams)
  • 2-3 cups all-purpose flour (I have made these with whole wheat flour before, and it is certainly doable, but creates a very different type of gnocchi that really require a different sauce. All-purpose flour creates fantastically light, pillow-fluffy gnocchi)
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sage leaves
  • 1 egg
  • ground nutmeg
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

NOTE: many sweet potato gnocchi call for ricotta, but I make these without so that if you have any guests with milk tolerance issues, you can serve them gnocchi with olive oil instead of the butter sauce.

Method

  1. Pierce each potato several times with a knife and microwave for five minutes. (In the interests of time, I microwave the potatoes instead of boiling them. If you prefer, you can bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the potatoes for ~40-60 minutes until soft when poked with a fork.)
  2. Turn the potatoes over (i.e. other side touching the plate), and microwave for another five minutes.
  3. You should now find the potatoes soft to the touch and easily piercable with a fork. If this is not the case, microwave them for another two to five minutes.
  4. Slice each potato in half lengthwise and allow the potatoes to cool.
  5. Roughly chop the sage leaves.
  6. Scoop out the potato flesh and place it in a large mixing bowl.
  7. Set a large pot of water on the stove over high heat.
  8. Mash the potatoes until smooth.
  9. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and nutmeg and 1 egg to the potatoes and mix thoroughly.
  10. Add flour, one 1/2 cup at time until the dough is no longer sticky to the touch.
  11. Dust flour onto a smooth kitchen surface or cutting board.
  12. Break off a roughly 1 1/2 – 2 inch diameter ball of dough and roll into a long snake on the floured surface. The snake should only be about 1/2-3/4 on and inch in diameter.
  13. Repeat with 2 more balls of dough.
  14. Put the two sticks of butter in a large heavy botttomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Swirl pan occasionally.
  15. Using the blunter edge of a butter knife make quick cuts at 3/4 inch intervals in your dough snakes.
  16. Add the gnocchetti to the boiling water with a dash of salt and olive oil.
  17. When gnocchi float to the top of the water, remove them with a slotted spoon.
  18. Continue with remainder of dough, keeping an eye on the butter.
  19. When butter sends off a toasted aroma and has turned a brown color, remove from heat and add the sage. The mixture will bubble.
  20. Add 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper to the brown butter.
  21. As gnocchi finish cooking, add them to the brown butter and mix to coat.
  22. Once the final batch of gnocchi have finished cooking, give everything a final mix and serve immediately.
  23. Enjoy!

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