Gnocchi are delicious poached dumpling-like preparations. They are typically North Italian, although Roman gnocchi (made with potatoes) are a regional specialty rarely found in Northern home kitchens. A light hand is the watchword for these delicacies, otherwise they will be soggy and leaden.
The sweet potato give these gnocchi an attractive color and sweet taste. These are my first gnocchi, they are probably not the best looking, but they are sure very tasty!
- 1 lb. sweet potato
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- smoked paprika to taste
- about 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 5 Tbsp. butter
- fresh sage leaves
- cheese for serving
Preheat the oven to 350F. Poke a few holes in sweet potato to let steam escape, then place it on a baking sheet. Bake until the potato is tender, about 45 minutes. Let it cool, then peel, and pass it through a ricer, or a food mill with a fine grate.
In a large bowl combine the sweet potato with the egg yolk, Parmesan cheese, chopped sage, salt, and paprika. Gently, using only your fingertips mix the flour into the sweet potato mixture to make a fairly firm mass that doesn't stick to your fingers.
Work until just combined, as if you were making a pastry dough. The goal here is to use the minimum amount of flour and develop its gluten only enough to stick the whole thing together.
Throw a little flour onto your work surface and gently knead the dough. Using a knife with a flat blade, divide the dough into 2 portions. Start rolling one portion at a time into a thin sausage shape, starting from the center. Cut the dough into pillow-shaped pieces. Using a fork lightly press to make a marks.
Bring salted water to a boil in a wide, sallow pot. Add the gnocchi, reduce heat and cook them until they float to the top. Cook one minute longer, until the gnocchi are cooked through but still firm. Using a slotted spoon skim the from the water.
In a meantime, place a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and add the butter. Once the butter has browned, add a fresh sage leaves, and toss gently the gnocchi. Cook the gnocchi until they are holder brown, about 5-6 minute.
Serve immediately with grated Parmesan cheese.