Serves 6 - 8
Thanksgiving is over. You don’t want to look at sweet potato casserole again. So what do you do with all the leftover sweet potatoes lying around? Toss those taters in the oven, mash ‘em and make some homemade gnocchi! We promise it’s easier to make than you might think. This sweet potato gnocchi is so delicious on its own that sometimes we’ve just eaten it out of the pan, sans sauce. However a rich, nutty herbed brown butter is the perfect sauce accompaniment.
For the Gnocchi:
2 pounds sweet potatoes (yams)
2/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 ½ cups flour, plus more for the work surface
For the Herbed Brown Butter Sauce:
½ cup (1 stick) good quality unsalted butter
¼ cup roughly chopped sage leaves, plus an additional ¼ cup finely chopped mixed herbs (like oregano, rosemary, thyme, or chives)
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and place on a foil-lined sheet tray. Bake until tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 50 minutes. Short on time? No problem! You can microwave the potatoes. Pierce them all over with a fork, wrap each potato in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for about 11-12 minutes.
Set the potatoes aside until they are cool enough to handle. Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh into a large bowl and mash well with a potato masher or the back of a fork. For a smoother consistency, press the mashed sweet potatoes through a potato ricer. To the mashed sweet potatoes, add the ricotta cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly. Sprinkle in the flour a little at a time and mix between each addition until a soft dough forms. Do not overwork the dough – it should be shaggy and damp, but not stick to your hands.
Sprinkle about 2 Tablespoons of flour on a clean work surface and place the dough on top. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll out each ball into a 1-inch wide rope, then using a pastry cutter or knife, cut each rope into 1-inch pieces. If the dough seems to wet, add more flour, one Tablespoon at a time. If you wanna make it look pretty, you can roll each gnocchi over the tines of a fork. Transfer the formed gnocchi to a large baking sheet while you continue cutting the remaining dough. Place gnocchi in the fridge for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the gnocchi in 3-4 batches and cook until they begin to float to the top, 3-5 minutes. The gnocchi should be tender but still firm to the bite. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Tent with foil to keep warm and continue with the remaining gnocchi.
In a light colored saucepan or skillet (this helps you keep track of the color), melt butter with herbs over medium heat. Swirl the pan a bit to ensure butter is cooking and melting evenly. The butter will begin to foam… keep swirling or stirring. After about a minute, the color of the butter begin to turn golden-tan and finally to a toasty-brown color with a nutty aroma. This only takes about 2-3 minutes max, so keep an eye out! Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the drained gnocchi to the brown butter sauce and gently stir to coat. Distribute evenly among bowls and garnish with parmesan cheese.