For a gnocchi-lover like me, it was about time to start making my own gnocchi. I like those soft doughy pillows in every form: cooked with a simple tomato sauce, fried as an addictive side dish or served with some brown butter and crispy sage. The convenience of store bought gnocchi used to win it from the urge to make my own, but a recipe in the Dutch Delicious magazine converted me.
It was a recipe from Katie and used both regular and sweet potato. While I really like sweet potato gnocchi, I find it often a little too sweet and that’s why this potato mixture works better. I also like the fact that there’s no egg needed, because this often gives gnocchi a somewhat rubbery texture and because it’s easier to make this gnocchi in smaller quantities (no need to use ½ egg!).
The gnocchi are served with a great roasted red pepper sauce. The deep smokey flavors and creamy taste form a delicious pair with the sweet, velvety gnocchi.
I changed a few things to the original recipe. Instead of cooking the potatoes, I baked them in the oven together with the red pepper. Easier and less cleaning up!
I also used goat cheese instead of the suggested gorgonzola, because that’s what I had on hand (and I use about every excuse to cook with goat cheese).
It’s not difficult to prepare gnocchi and I must say I really enjoyed it. You basically just mix mashed potato with flour, form thin rolls and cut them into little pillows. Just make sure to cover your work place with flour, so the dough won’t stick too much.
These gnocchi were a great success and a truly comforting, yet elegant dish. I’m sure they’ll be a regular menu item from now on.
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Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Sauce
2 large sweet potatoes, unpeeled (1 lb/450 gr.)
2 large starchy potatoes, unpeeled (1 lb/450 gr.)
1 ½ cup (185 gr.) flour, plus extra to dust
to serve: grated Parmesan Cheese
optional: fresh basil
Red Pepper Sauce:
6-8 red peppers, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 small tomatoes, chopped
1/3 – ½ cup (100 ml) cream
0.9 oz (25 gr.) crumbled goat cheese (or gorgonzola, see text above)
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Pierce potatoes with a fork and brush the red pepper halves (placed in a baking tray) with the olive oil. Bake together for approx. 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked and the red peppers are soft and charred. (Note: the original recipe suggests cooking the potatoes for 30 minutes in boiling water)
- Put the red peppers in a plastic bag and leave to cool.
- Peel the potatoes and mash them by pushing them through a ricer (Note: I just mashed the potatoes with a fork and this also worked fine. Make sure there are no lumps and you’re good). Add a generous amount of salt.
- Slowly add the flour, while mixing with your hands. Stop when you’ve got a smooth, velvet-like mixture that’s a little sticky. (Note: I needed a bit more flour, because my dough was too sticky. Just feel and adjust)
- Divide the dough into three pieces and roll each into a 1-inch (2 cm) wide rope.
- Cut 1-inch (2 cm) pieces from each rope and shape these across the back of the tines of a fork to make grooves.
- Cover the gnocchi with a kitchen towel, until you’ll cook them.
- Cook the gnocchi (about 8-10 at a time) for 30 seconds, or until they start to float. Don’t cook them too long; this will make them rubbery.
- Remove from pan and serve with the red pepper sauce (see below), grated cheese and optional basil leaves.
For the sauce:
- Remove the pepper skins and blend the peppers in a food processor or blender until it’s a smooth puree.
- Put the pepper puree, tomatoes and some salt & pepper in a baking pan, keep stirring and let cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Add cream and cheese. Cook on low heat for an additional 5 minutes. Serve.