You know when you fall into a rut in the kitchen, and you end up making the same things over and over again and then you wonder why you’re so bored with cooking and constantly wanting to eat out? Well – that was happening for me, so I decided to make a change.
I’ve been collecting cook books for years, and rarely ever opening them. I finally said enough was enough and started planning ahead. Every Sunday, I scour the books and good old interwebs and come up with a few recipes I want to cook for Mike and I for the week. Then I out together my shopping list and hit the grocery store. Grocery shopping by myself is one of my new favourite things to do! I take my time in the aisles, without having Mike nagging me to hurry up because he’s bored. LOL
Anyways, I’m going to start sharing some of the recipes I come up with because almost always, I make some changes to what I read in the books on the web, and tweak it to make it my own. I recently did this with a sweet potato gnocchi recipe and holy smokes – it’s a new fave in our house!
I could go one and on about how magical sweet potatoes are or how I have a sweet memory from my childhood regarding gnocchi…but, let’s face it – I hate going to a website for a recipe and I have to scroll through 18 paragraphs of mumble-jumble content before I can finally get to what I was there for in the first place!
Just tell me the ingredients and what to do and be done with it! Am I right?!
Sweet Potato Gnocchi And Rapini In A Browned Garlic And Sage Butter Sauce With Reggiano Parmigiano
So here’s what you’ll need for the gnocchi:
1 sweet potato (get a big boy, say – about a pound, maybe a little more)
1/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (don’t skimp and get the low-fat kind – live a little!)
1 cup all purpose flour (you’ll need more for dusting the surface you’ll be making the gnocchi on, as well as maybe adding more to the mixture if it’s needed)
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
And for the sauce and whatnot:
2/3 a bunch of rapini (use the stems, leaves, and florets – the whole kit and caboodle!)
8-9 tablespoons unsalted butter (make sure it’s unsalted!)
3 cloves of garlic, minced (your kitchen is going to smell ahhhhmazing while you’re cooking all of this!)
8-9 torn up fresh sage leaves (gosh, they smell great, eh?)
1/2 cup freshly grated reggiano parmigiano cheese (you can use just plain old grated parm, but reggiano parmigiano is sooooo much better and has a deeper taste, so #treatyoself)
Let’s make some gnocchi! Don’t be overwhelmed – it’s easier than it sounds…it’s just quite sticky. LOL
1. Take out any frustrations you make have on the poor lil sweet potato. Get stabby! Pierce it all over, then smother it – I mean wrap it in a damp paper towel. Throw that bad boy into the microwave until it become very, very soft. Depending on your microwave, this could take 12-13 minutes. Ours sucks so it took about 14-15 minutes. Ugh. If you have more time, you could bake the sweet potato in the oven for like an hour, but who has time for all that!?
2. Once the sweet potato has cooled down and you can comfortably handle it without burning off your fingertips, peel the skin off and put the soft flesh in a bowl (toss the skin in the garbage/compost). Work those arm muscles by mixing and mixing until it’s smooth. (I used a potato masher thingymabob that I got at the dollar store)
3. Add in the ricotta cheese, black pepper and a teaspoon of the salt. Slowly add the flour to the mixture, kneading along the way. You want it to form a doughy consistency, that’ll be sticky…but not stick to the sides of the bowl. Trust me – it sounds confusing, but once you see it, you’ll be all like, “Oh, ok Jenn – I get it now!” If you need to, add more flour bit by bit. And by bit, I mean – a tablespoon at a time, guys!
TIP: Do not over mix. This will make the gnocchi tough…and who wants tough gnocchi!? Not me.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt bae the water.
5. Dust your work surface with flour. My work surface of choice was a clean countertop. With flour on your hands, whip the dough mixture onto the surface. Gently knead it by folding in half, then flipping it around and folding it again. Keep going until you have a loaf-like shape and the dough is no longer sticky-icky. You can add a bit more flour when necessary.
6. Divide the dough into three parts, and roll out to be about 12 inches long (ayoo!) and about an inch wide (yikes!). Then, cut one-inch pieces. In total you should have 30-40 pieces of gnocchi.
7. When the water has come to a boil, carefully drop the gnocchi in. Give it a minute, then a gentle stir so that gnocchi doesn’t stick. After 4-6 minutes, the gnocchi will float to the top. That means they’re done! They should be tender…but firm – just like me! LOL
8. Drain immediately, and toss gently with a little EVOO to prevent them from sticking to each other.
Now, time to make the sauce and rapini!
1. Bring another large pot of salted water to a boil, and prep a large bowl with ice water. Once the pot of water comes to a boil, add the rapini and let it cook for only a minute, then drain and add it to the ice water to stop the cooking process. Let them chill (see what I did there?!) for a couple of minutes, then drain again.
2. Heat the butter in a large skillet until it’s a little bubbly (again, just like me!). Add in your amazing gnocchi and fry those bad boys until they’re a little brown on the outside. If they don’t all fit in your skillet, work in batches.
3. Once the gnocchi is nicely browned, add in the rapini, sage, garlic, and salt and fry for a few more minutes. You want to mix everything together, obviously – to coat the gnocchi evenly and disperse the flavours evenly.
4. Turn off the heat and give it a minute to thicken, then add the reggiano parmigiano and toss gently to coat the gnocchi and rapini.
5. Pour yourself a glass of wine because YOU JUST MADE SWEET POTATO GNOCCHI AND RAPINI IN A BROWNED GARLIC AND SAGE BUTTER SAUCE WITH REGGIANO PARMIGIANO YOU FANCY LIL MINX YOU!
You can serve this deliciousness in a bowl or on a plate – or heck, just eat it out of the pan if you want. I won’t judge. You do you!