A little food and math equation for the day:
Monday night at our house = Late dinner night for the adults
As I am the adult at home with the kids on Monday evenings, I am the planner of these late night dinners. Quite frequently I make a dinner of smaller dishes or tapas. This past Monday I felt inclined to create an Italian style dinner that consisted of bite-sized food.
So that there would be a decent amount of variety without too much food for only two people, I created three dishes. For one dish I chose to make a simple pan of Italian sausage bites with peppers and onions. The second dish was Italian style stuffed mushrooms. Sadly, I have tried making stuffed mushrooms twice, and neither has been a “Wow!” dish to my mind. (When it does achieve that status I will post the recipe!) The last dish was the hit of the evening, sweet potato gnocchi.
The gnocchi did take a bit of time to make, but they were well worth the effort. Tender to the bite, they had a nice contrast in flavors, with a mix of cheese and sweet potato in the gnocchi and a blend of maple syrup and sage in the sauce.
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 6 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 Tb. light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. & 2 Tb. salt
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1-1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 10 fresh sage leaves, minced
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 Tb. maple syrup
- salt & pepper to taste
- Wash, dry, and pierce sweet potatoes, and cook in microwave until tender. Allow to cool.
- Scoop flesh out of sweet potatoes, and mash. (You need to have 1-1/2 cups of sweet potato.)
- Add ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, brown sugar, 1 tsp. salt, and nutmeg.
- Stir well. Mix in flour, 1/3 cup at a time.
- Place dough on a floured surface, and divide into 3 sections.
- Roll each section into a 2 foot rope, adding flour if the dough becomes sticky.
- Cut each rope into 24 1-inch pieces.
- Fill a large pot 2/3 full with water, add 2 tablespoons salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, add batches of gnocchi (not so many that they are crowded in the pot).
- Boil for 5 – 6 minutes, or until the gnocchi float.
- Remove gnocchi, and place on a waxed or parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
- Allow to cool, flipping once so that the gnocchi are not too moist.
- Once the gnocchi are almost cool, melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat.
- Add sage leaves to the melted butter, and allow to cook for a minute or two.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and add cinnamon, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
- Stir gently, and add gnocchi.
- Toss gnocchi to coat fully with sauce. Serve immediately.
- *If desired, you can roll each gnocchi over the tines of a fork to create indentations. However, to save time (as I did) this step can be skipped.