pillowy, sweet potato-y heaven

I wish I a) took better pictures of food and b) had thought to take a photo of our plates last week as we served up our sweet potato gnocchi.  It was incredible.


Sweet Potato Gnocchi with autumn fruit compote, crispy leek rings and cheese

(gnocchi adapted from epicurious.  This is going to make you a helluva lot of gnocchi dough; we made half and froze the other half of the dough.)

  • 2 pounds rinsed, patted dry sweet potatoes, pierced all over with fork
  • 1 15-ounce container fresh ricotta cheese, drained in cheesecloth
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan or unsmoked aged gouda
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 3/4 cups (about) all purpose flour

Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place sweet potatoes on plate; microwave on high until tender, about 5 minutes per side. Cut in half and cool. Scrape sweet potato flesh into medium bowl and mash; transfer 3 cups to large bowl. Add ricotta cheese; blend well. Add Parmesan cheese, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg; mash to blend. Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto floured surface; divide into 6 equal pieces. Rolling between palms and floured work surface, form each piece into 20-inch-long rope (about 1 inch in diameter), sprinkling with flour as needed if sticky. Cut each rope into 20 pieces. Roll each piece over tines of fork to indent. Transfer to baking sheet.

Bring large pot of water to boil; add 2 tablespoons salt and return to boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer gnocchi to clean rimmed baking sheet. Cool completely. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Crispy Leek Rings

  • 2 medium leeks, sliced thin (1/4″ max)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil/grapeseed oil mix (anything heat tolerant will work here — butter, canola oil, whatever you have on hand)

Heat oil til glistening in a large saucepan.  Add flour, salt and leek slices to a plastic zip-top bag; shake to coat.  Without crowding pan, toss in individual leek rings.  Sautee for about a minute or until browning begins; remove before they get too brown and drain on a paper towel.  Repeat til all leeks are crisped.  Set aside.


Autumn Fruit Compote

  • 3 tablespoons oil (we mix half and half olive and grapeseed here, but use what you have) — or, you can use the oil leftover from the leeks
  • 1 large honeycrisp, cortland, or other sweet tart apple, diced (peel if desired)
  • 2/3 cup craisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Coleman’s mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1-2 tablespoons flour

On medium low, cook all ingredient but flour together until fruit is soft.  Add flour to thicken sauce.


To assemble:

Place gnocchi on plates.  Top with fruit compote; sprinkle shredded cheese (whatever you have left over from the gnocchi is fine) if desired.  Garnish liberally with crispy leek rings.  Devour.


A full day after this meal, Dave leans over and says, “duck”.  Which we’ll be adding to the fruit compote next time…


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