On Christmas morning, my brother and I each have a piece of living room furniture that is “our present spot.” I get the white couch. He gets the green chair. My mother always moves our stockings from the mantel to “our present spot.” The first thing I saw when I came downstairs this year was a beautiful, gleaming ricer sticking out of my stocking. I joyfully exclaimed, “this is all I really wanted for Christmas!” which I’m sure garnered a few weird looks from my family. I didn’t notice because multitudes of happy little gnocchi were dancing through my head, as I dreamily planned what food I could now make.
I wanted to make sweet potato gnocchi first. I think it’s something about their weird shape that makes me love sweet potatoes. They have to lie there in the store next to the normal shaped potatoes and wait for someone to embrace their oh, so odd lumps and know there is something delicious inside. (If I ever have a daughter going through the awkward middle school years, I will probably use that same philosophy. But replace delicious with beautiful or another more apt adjective.) Also, sweet potato dishes can be so simple. Their subtle sweetness and thick texture make them the perfect gnocchi for a simple sauce.
But is it too soon to talk about sweet potatoes again? Maybe my timing is bad. I know we’ve just weathered the two most (only?) sweet potato-filled holidays of the year, but I’m still not tired of them. They just have so much potential. So bear with me and know that these little guys are nothing like your ole marshmallow covered spuds of the past few weeks.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Rosemary Brown Butter
Adapted from Naturally Ella
Serves 4 as a side Dish
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp cinnamon
½ cup butter
2 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
4 tsp honey
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425°. Pierce potatoes all over and roast for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Remove potato skins and discard. Place insides in ricer and push through into a bowl. If potatoes aren’t fluffy, run them through the ricer a second time. If you don’t have a ricer, simply mash the potatoes. Stir in salt, pepper, cinnamon, and ¼ cup flour. Continue to add more flour, stirring, until a dough has formed. You may not need to add all of the flour. Divide dough into 3 balls. Roll a ball out into a 1-inch thick rope and cut into 3/4-inch thick gnocchi. Reserve cut gnocchi on a floured pan. Repeat with remaining balls of dough.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add gnocchi and cook. When the gnocchi rise to the top, allow them to boil for about 3 more minutes. This should take about 5 minutes total.
While the gnocchi cook, melt butter in a skillet. Add rosemary. Butter will begin to foam; this is fine. Once it stops foaming, the butter will begin to brown. Remove from heat and whisk in honey, salt and pepper. Toss gnocchi and sauce in a bowl and serve.
Picnic tip: An insulated cooler makes sure the butter won’t spoil at a hot picnic.