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Author Notes: Ever since I read David Lebovitz' post on sweet potato gnocchi (http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2009/01/sweet_potato_gnocchi_the_good_th.html), I've been wanting to have a go. But it wasn't until last week that I finally got around to it. As all the recipes that I've read emphasize that it's important to not add too much flour, I thought it would be wise not to use eggs. I also decided to take advantage of parts of Joël Robuchon's method for making potato purée (http://www.themediadrome.com/content/recipes/robouchons_potator_puree.htm), ie. drying out the riced potatoes over a low heat. And voilà! I only ended up using less than 2 ounces of flour for 3 pounds of potatoes. The gnocchi turned out silky, fluffy and light. As I am not a big fan of too much sweetness in savory dishes, I decided to cut through some of it by using smoked paprika, thus giving the gnocchi a Spanish twist. I then followed this up by serving them with kale and manchego. Delicious! —Tonemid
For the gnocchi
- 1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes
- 6 ounces floury potatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- pinches of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
- 1-2 ounces all-purpouse flour
- 12 ounces kale
- generous knob of butter
- freshly ground black pepper
- grated manchego (or peccorino romano)
- Scrub the sweet potatoes, but do not peel them. Boil in salted water until tender, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, and allow to cool.
- Scrub the potatoes, and again, do not peel. Bring the water used for the sweet potatoes back to the boil. Throw in potatoes, and boil until tender, approx. 15-20 minutes. Drain, and allow to cool.
- (The sweet potatoes and potatoes can of course be boiled together to save time. But since they are cooked in their skins in order to prevent them from soaking up too much liquid, and requiring different cooking times, I chose to cook them separately in order to be sure that both were cooked perfectly. If one chooses to cook them together, the potatoes should be added to the pan about 10 minutes after the sweet potatoes.)
- Peel potatoes and sweet potatoes. Put through a ricer into the pan. Stir in garlic, salt and sage. Place over a low heat, stirring continuously, to dry out. After 7-8 minutes, or when the mixture is nearly starting to stick to the bottom, remove from heat, and stir in smoked paprika. Allow to cool a bit.
- Gradually stir in flour until the dough is still sticky, but will hold together. Hopefully 1 ounce will suffice, but add more if necessary.
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface, and roll into 1/2-inch cylinders. If the dough appears too sticky, knead in some more flour.
- Cut the cylinders into 1/2-inch pieces, and roll each of them over a floured fork to create a pattern. Place the gnocchi on flour-dusted parchment paper until ready to cook.
- Remove and discard tough stalks from kale. Tear the leaves into small pieces. Boil in salted water until tender. Transfer to a container with a slotted spoon.
- Bring kale water back up to the boil. Add gnocchi, and cook until tender.
- Meanwhile, in another pan, melt a generous knob of butter over medium heat. Add kale, and stir well to heat through. Grind over some black pepper.
- Drain gnocchi, and add to kale. Toss well. Divide among four warmed plates, and grate some manchego (or peccorino) over the top.