Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Rosemary Parmesan Cream Sauce

When we're brainstorming ideas for the holiday blogs I always try to be cognizant of what we've made in the past. This year Dave and I thought a pasta recipe of some sort would be fun since we had never included something like that for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It just felt wrong to post a recipe with pre-made pasta for such an elegantly themed post. This sweet potato gnocchi had just the right amount of effort and winter ingredients to make it a perfect fit.

Once you roll out the dough to create the gnocchi, you can choose to keep them in the fridge for one day prior to cooking. This can save some of the prep work on the day of the actual event. Find the * in the instructions down below and that is the point at which you can stop working and save the recipe to be completed the next day. You can also freeze the gnocchi by laying the fresh pieces of dough out in a single layer on a baking pan until the pieces are frozen solid. The gnocchi can then be stored in freezer bags for 4-6 weeks.

I love making homemade gnocchi, I've have had a recipe that didn't turn out great, this one is full of flavor and a beautiful color from the roasted sweet potatoes. The parmesan cream sauce is rich and the rosemary adds a Christmas touch to the dish. Dave thought this gnocchi recipe took to the sauce really well and that both the sauce and gnocchi were a good consistency.

-2 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 cups once mashed)
-1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
-1 large egg
-2-3 cups all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
Rosemary Cream Sauce
-4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter
-1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
-1 cup heavy cream
-1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan, plus more for serving
-pinch fresh grated nutmeg
-pinch cayenne pepper
-kosher salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and slice the sweet potato in a few places to vent them. Bake both sweet potatoes for approximately 45 minutes or until they are tender. Once cooked, allow them to cool to the touch and then remove the sweet potato from the peel and finely mash or puree. I used my KitchenAid to tackle the mashing.

Once the sweet potatoes have been mashed, mix together the sweet potatoes, ricotta, egg, salt, and flour. Stir the mixture until just combined. If the dough seems wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it can be formed into a ball. The dough should be sticky, but not wet.

Generously flour a clean counter (or a large cutting board which is what you'll see us using) and place the dough onto the work space Cut the dough into four equal pieces.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into a rope about 1 inch thick and cut into bite size pieces. Repeat this process with the other pieces of dough and place the gnocchi on a baking sheet that has been dusted with flour.*

Now that the gnocchi are formed, you'll need to make the sauce before cooking the gnocchi since they cook very quickly. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until it begins to brown. Stir in the rosemary and then slowly pour in the cream. Whisk in the remaining ingredients -- parmesan, nutmeg, cayenne, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce for 3-5 minutes, while whisking until the sauce is smooth. Keep warm over low heat. 

While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When you're ready boil the gnocchi until they float to the top and are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the gnocchi using a slotted spoon drop into the sauce, gently tossing to combine. If the sauce thickens up, add a splash of the gnocchi cooking water to thin the sauce a bit.

Serve immediately! 


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