Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - My Favourite Dinner

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Broccoli Pesto and Tuna Balls!
So last night I was finally able to snag a few photos of my favourite dinner. I've never been able to before because I'm usually so excited to eat that I just sit down and start chomping without taking the time to grab the camera. Well the camera was sitting on the counter last night and I couldn't miss another opportunity to photograph the simple delicious perfection of sweet potato gnocchi pared with broccoli pesto and tuna meatballs.

Gnocchi is tricky to make. Getting the right consistency takes a lot of practice and trial and error. Some people swear by a wet sticky dough, piped through a pastry bag and cut directly over a pot of boiling water. I tried it that way and it just wasn't for me. Some cooks are cutters, some are burners. I'm a burner and placing me over a pot of boiling water for an extended period of time is destined for disaster.

So I tried the more flour, less sticky, roll dough into snakes and cut route, and it works great for me. That's my method. I don't mind the extra flour. I find they taste much more dumpling like and I love dumplings so it works for me. Shawn however hates dumplings, perogies or anything like it. Apparently my gnocchi falls into this category. That's fine...more for me! ;-)

This recipe makes A LOT of gnocchi! I'd say it would easily serve 4-5 as a main dish. Since I am the lone consumer I freeze the extras. Defrosted in the microwave they taste just as fresh as the day I made them. So on days I'm feeding Shawn pasta I pull out a bag of frozen gnocchi for me. Compromise is one of the secrets to marital bliss right?

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups of flour (plus a whole lot more for dusting and rolling out)

Directions:
  1. Now gnocchi seems simple (and it is when you make it a lot) but it can quickly turn into a disaster. You need to trust your culinary instincts when you make it. My instructions are for a more floury, heavier gnocchi that you roll out into snakes and cut up into 1/2 inch pieces.
  2. Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave on your potato setting. When cooked, slice them in half to cool. Once cooled peel off the skin mash up and place on a well floured counter/table. 
  3. Make a well in the mashed potatoes and crack the egg into it and pour in flour. Mix with your well floured hands. It will be a sticky mess! Depending on the size of your potatoes you may need to add more flour in order to turn the galoop into a workable dough.  Always add a little at a time. This dough is supposed to be sticky, it should never be workable like bread dough, nor should it be soupy like quick bread batter. I try to aim for wet and sticky oatmeal cookie batter.
  4. Once the mixture can form a ball break it up into 4 equal pieces. Flour your work surface again and each piece of dough. Roll out into a snake about an inch thick and using a butter knife cut up into bite sized pieces. 
  5. Boil a large pot of lightly salted water. Add the gnocchi pieces to the boiling water in bunches, stirring to make sure they don't stick to each other or the bottom of the pot. When they float to the top of the pot they are cooked! 
  6. Serve with tuna meatballs (recipe here) and broccoli pesto (recipe coming soon)!