Ravioli? Tortellini? Manicotti? Cannoli? Tiramisu?
The French may have their delicate sauces, but the Italian have their fair share of intimidating, time consuming items.
So what the hell would possess me to try to make gnocchi? It's literally a two hour process, people.
1. A few near-death sweet potatoes
2. A deep love for all things gnocchi
3. Spare time
I definitely recommend that you make gnocchi from scratch just so that you appreciate it even more the next time your order it at a fancy Italian restaurant. I do not, however, recommend making it for a group of people. You would be rolling and cutting and forming for HOURS.
So here goes.
Recipes inspired by The Noshery and All Recipes
Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Gnocchi
3 large sweet potatoes
1/4 tsp dried sage (or 1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage if ya got it)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2+ cups whole wheat flour*
1 large egg
*extra flour for rolling
Wash sweet potatoes, pierce 3-4 times with fork or knife. Nuke for 5 minutes on each side.
Remove from microwave, slice in half, and let cool for 5 minutes. Peel off skins.
Mash sweet potato flesh. You could use a ricer if you like doing extra dishes.
The goal is "no chunks". Apply this goal to your entire life.
And nutmeg. Oh, and salt! Mix well so flavors are well distributed.
Add flour and egg.
Mix er up! You're going to have to mess up a hand.
Turn out onto a clean, floured surface. Knead a few times. This makes sure that all ingredients are well distributed. (i.e. that egg)
Working in small batches, roll out dough in tubes the thickness of a finger. Cut into 1 inch pieces.
Here's the tricky part. This it totally optional, but makes gnocchi look restaurant-quality. Dust the back of fork tines in flour. Place the back of the fork on top of the gnocchi pieces. Drag the fork towards you, applying light pressure.
Once the gnocchi reaches the tip of the fork tines, it will be slightly cylindrical.
Repeat 1234378776 times. Place rolled gnocchi on a baking sheet lined with parchment so they can await cooking.
Boil a large pot of water - salt it! Once rolling, lower gnocchi into pot.
Once they float, they are done! About 2-3 minutes.
Remove gnocchi and place on a paper towel so they may drain. Look at these suckers! omg
Now you have some options on how to dress these little treasures.
1. brown butter and sage
2. with some other items for heartiness, like browned hot italian sausage and spinach
3. cheese sauce
Guess which one I chose?
Romano Cheese Sauce
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp flour (I used whole wheat, but I would recommend AP flour unless you have a thing for whole wheat like me)
2 cups low fat milk
1/4 white onion
1/4 tsp dried or fresh sage
1/8 tsp white pepper
4 oz. grated romano
Add 1/4 onion and sage to milk. Warm slightly in the microwave (1-2 minutes).
Meanwhile, make a roux! Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Once it starts to foam, add flour. WHISK WHISK WHISK. You will whisk for about a minute. This time is critical to cook out the flour-y taste.
Once roux starts to turn a little darker shade of brown, slowly add all of the milk. WHISK WHISK WHISK. This step is critical for lump prevention.
Once all lumps are out and milk is all incorporated, switch to wooden spoon. Sauce will be thick! Add cheeeeessseeee. Stir well.
Oh hi there, cheese sauce.
Lovingly spoon cheese sauce over pillows of sweet potato gnocchi.
Totally worth it.