Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Sage And Spinach Brown Butter Sauce
This recipe makes three servings.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi:
2 medium sized sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups flour of choice ( I used 1 cup semolina flour and 1/2 cup chickpea flour)
1 tsp salt
Sage and Spinach Brown Butter Sauce:
1/2 cup of plant based butter
1/2 cup of fresh sage
2 large cloves of garlic minced
2-3 handfuls spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
Making the Sweet Potato Gnocchi:
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, take two large sweet potatoes and prick with a fork. You can use any type of sweet potato you want for this recipe, a purple sweet potato would add a beautiful pop of color. Bake for about 35-40 until soft when you press a fork into it. Once the potatoes are baked you must allow them to completely cool. This process can be sped up by placing them into the fridge or freezer just don't forget about them. Once cooled grab a large bowl, remove the skins, and add the flesh of the potato to the bowl. Smash with fork or potato masher until they have minimal lumps. Next, start to slowly incorporate your flour a little bit at a time. Stir with a spatula. When all of the flour has been added you can begin to knead the dough with your hands for 1-2 minutes. Form dough mixture into a ball and cut into four even pieces. After this, flour your work surface and begin to roll each piece of dough into a long rope about 1/2 inch thick. Once the dough has been rolled out into the rope, cut 1 inch pieces from it. Set gnocchi aside until you are ready to cook it.
Cooking The Sweet Potato Gnocchi:
Add water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Make sure you salt the pasta water with 1-3 PALMFULS of salt. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ADD A LOT OF SALT TO THE WATER. Skipping this step will be detrimental to the dish. Once the water has come to a steady boil add the gnocchi and cook for 2-3 minutes. Save 1- 1 1/2 cups of the starchy pasta water. I find lifting the gnocchi out of the pasta water with a spider strainer is much more beneficial than draining the water completely.
Making The Sage and Spinach Brown Butter Sauce:
In a sauce pan on medium heat add 1/2 cup of plant based butter. Next, mince two cloves of garlic and chop 1/2 cup of fresh sage. Add all ingredients to the pan and stir for 4-8 minutes until butter begins to brown. Do not season the sauce with any salt until the end. Once the butter had browned shut off the heat. This is a good time to add 2-3 handfuls of spinach. Stir greens until they are wilted. Next, add the cooked gnocchi to the sauce.
Adding the gnocchi directly to the sauce gives it time to continue cooking and absorb flavors it would not usually have if the sauce had been poured directly on top. Stir until completely coated. You will notice the sauce may be loose and runny or it may not seem like there is much sauce at all. This is where the starchy pasta water does its magic. Add 2-3 TBSP of pasta water at a time and continue to stir the mixture. The sauce will start to thicken and will coat the gnocchi much more evenly. Continue to add more of this water a little bit at a time until the sauce is not too thick but not too thin.
Sauce after starchy pasta water has been added
It is now time to taste your sauce to check for seasoning. You may have wondered why I told you not to season it until the very end when you started reading this, well, this is why. Since the pasta water has so much salt, seasoning with salt at the beginning could completely ruin the dish. You have take into account how much flavor is going to be added to the sauce from the water. If you taste the sauce and it does not have enough salt you can add more once the pasta water has been incorporated. Season with pepper at the end as well because adding pepper at the beginning of cooking can add an unpleasant bitterness. Once you have tasted your sauce and have done the final seasoning the dish is ready to be served.
Optional Garnish Fried Sage Leaves:
To a pan on medium heat add 2-3 TBSP of olive oil. Next, add fresh sage leaves and season with salt and pepper. Cook until sage becomes crispy. Set aside until you are ready to serve.
Serving The Dish:
Add gnocchi that has been cooking in the brown butter sauce to your favorite dish right away so that it is served hot. Garnish with fried sage leaves, freshly cracked pepper, and a drizzle of good olive oil. This would also be delicious topped with red pepper flakes and nutritional yeast. Enjoy!