Winter is almost over here in the D.C. area so it’s one of the last times we have something super heavy and decadent. Therefore, I decided to make some sweet potato gnocchi, which I supplemented with some Yukon gold potatoes. I was initially very nervous about the reviews on this recipe. I don’t know if Husband has ever had gnocchi and he generally doesn’t like cream sauces. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Here are some comment gems: “I love the texture. It’s like a mashed potato packet, but better” and “I like it because it’s like eating Play-Doh.”
Gnocchi (I borrowed this recipe)
1 pound sweet potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes
6 ounces fresh ricotta cheese (I used non-fat)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups (about) all-purpose flour
Sauce Ingredients (makes 2 cups):
2 cups milk (I used skim)
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp nutmeg
3 Tbs unsalted butter
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
3 spicy Italian turkey sausages, casings removed
1 cup frozen spinach, defrosted
1 tsp garlic powder
For the gnocchi:
- Rinse and scrub potatoes and pat dry. Pierce holes into potatoes with fork in a few places. Place on plate and microwave on high until tender, about 5-6 minutes per side. Cut in half and cool.
- Scrape out potato into medium size bowl and mash.
- Transfer to large bowl. Add ricotta cheese and stir until combined. Add Parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon salt and stir until combined.
- Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms.
- After the dough comes together, turn it out onto floured surface and divide into 4 equal pieces.
- Roll between palms and floured work surface. Form each piece into 18-inch-long rope that are about 1 inch in diameter (think making snakes with Play-Doh), sprinkling with flour as needed if sticky.
- Cut each rope into pieces (about 1 inch long). Roll each piece over tines of fork to indent.
- In a large pot, boil the gnocchi in batches until they start to float (5-6 minutes). I basically did one “rope” at a time.
- Once the gnocchi are done, use a slotted spoon to remove. Run them under cold water to stop the cooking process.
For the sauce:
- In a large skillet, brown up the Italian sausage. When the sausage is almost done, throw in the spinach and season with garlic powder. Set aside.
- In a large pot, melt the butter and add in the minced garlic. Sautee for a few seconds and whisk in the flour to make a roux.
- Gradually add in the milk, whisking constantly until sauce begins to thicken. Add in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and continue stirring.
- Once sauce gets to the desired thickness, remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted.
- Mix in the spinach and sausage mixture and pour over pasta.