Cinnamon, spice and everything nice

Who doesn’t love Italian food?

We tackled sweet potato gnocchi with brown butter rosemary sauce at my Italian cooking class last week. Now, I am not a great sweet potato fan. Neither was my cooking partner. However, our gnocchi was actually really good. I think it was the cinnamon. Cinnamon makes everything better.

Cinnamon apparently makes everything a breakfast dish, as my daughter had gnocchi for breakfast Thursday.

SWEET POTATO GNOCCHI WITH BROWN BUTTER ROSEMARY SAUCE

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes
  • 6 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 2/3 cup for the work surface
  • Recipe for Brown Butter Rosemary Sauce below

Pierce the sweet potato with a fork. Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven at 425 degrees until tender and fully cooked, between 40 to 55 minutes depending on size. Cool slightly. Cut in half and scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Rice the sweet potatoes and transfer to a large measuring cup to make sure the sweet potatoes measure about 1 cup.

Transfer the sweet potatoes back to the large bowl. Add the ricotta cheese, salt, cinnamon, and pepper and blend until well mixed. Add the flour, a little at a time until a soft dough forms. Lightly flour a work surface and place the dough in a ball on the work surface. Divide the dough into two equal balls. Roll out each ball into a 1-inch wide rope. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces. Roll the gnocchi over the tines of a fork. Transfer the formed gnocchi to a large baking sheet. Continue with the remaining gnocchi.

In a large pot of slated water to a boil over high heat. Add the gnocchi in three batches and cook until tender, but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the gnocchi using a slotted spoon onto a baking sheet. Tent with foil to keep warm and continue with the remaining gnocchi. 

BROWN BUTTER ROSEMARY SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

While the gnocchi is cooking, melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the rosemary leaves when the butter has melted. Continue to cook, swirling the butter occasionally, until the foam subsides and the milk solids begin to brown. Remove the pan from the heat.

Stir in the cinnamon, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Careful, the mixture will bubble up. Gent;ly stir the mixture. When the bubbles subside, toss the cooked gnocchi in the brown butter.

Transfer the gnocchi to a serving dish and serve immediately.

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