bits and pieces

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Crisped Sage, Walnuts, and Bleu Cheese

topped with gorgonzola? yz plz. 
Is there really anything better than a sweet potato? Yummy, warm, sweet, savoury, starchy and oh so good for you. If I had to pick it might be my single stand alone favourite food. Other than bleu cheese. SO WHY NOT COMBINE THEM?!

Now some people make their homemade gnocchi perfectly. I simply do not have the patience. You can press them with a fork. You can work extra hard and roll them symmetrically. As I said, I lack the patience. Now if I were having people over for a fancy dinner I would likely put more effort into the appearance of these little pillows of sweet potato goodness, however, eh. It all tastes the same.

Now make gnocchi may seem a little extravagant but this really takes about 20 minutes of hands on time. The browned butter is really mostly olive oil, and while eating 1/4 cup of olive oil on the regular isn't necessarily something I would do - the sweet potato and the option of olive oil over butter means this dish is actually a lot lighter than you'd expect. For a fancy sunday night dinner or a yummy treat night supper, sweet potato gnocchi with the savoury earthiness of sage and the tartness of bleu cheese..... perfecto.

1.5 cups baked sweet potato. I can only find GIANT sweet potatoes here, so I bake a whole sweet potato at 425 for about an hour and scoop out 1.5 cups worth
1 large egg, beaten
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp butter
a dash of nutmeg
1/8 cup of walnuts
2 tbsp sage, minced

1/4 cup of bleu cheese crumbled

other things you will need: 
a cutting board, knife
potato masher
baking tray
a slotted spoon
a pot of boiling, salted water
a small sauce pan

  1. Once your sweet potato is cool enough to work with - mash it! Mash it real good! Combine with your beaten egg, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Slowly incorporate flour until you have a sticky dough. If it's too sticky - add a bit more flour. 
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a light boil. 
  3. Separate your dough. I freeze half and use half. This is obviously optional. 
  4. Roll your dough out into a few long 'snakes' and chop into 1 inch pieces. 
  5. Add your gnocchi to the boiling water carefully, stirring gently to ensure they don't stick together. They'll cook for about 3 minutes or until they've started to float. Once they float, allow them to cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute more depending on how thick they are. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat until you've cooked all your gnocchi. 
  6. While your sweet potato packages are cooking, in your small sauce pan, heat olive oil and butter and nutmeg over medium high heat. As the butter melts, add your sage. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add walnuts. Remove from heat. 
  7. Top your gnocchi with your sauce, ensuring to scoop lots of yummy bits of crispy sage and walnuts out. Top with a generous sprinkle of bleu cheese and fresh ground black pepper. 

Eat it ALL. Especially good with Gorgonzola. 

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