Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Pumpkin Brown Butter is an inspired and savory fall entrée.
Sometimes I can’t believe that I have a partner who makes gnocchi from scratch. I spent many years pouring over cookbooks and fumbling around in the kitchen, attempting to teach myself the skills I needed to get by. The point is that it was always an effort. With Keith, it seems instinctual. He can cook the way I aspire to design: with purpose, gut and passion. Perhaps this is why I value cooking as an art form.
Keith’s potato gnocchi recipe is one of my favorites. He learned to make it from an Italian “Nona” he worked with years ago, and he can create it from memory. So when our friends at Wagner Family of Wine asked us to come up with a pairing for their Mer Soleil Chardonnay Reserve Santa Barbara County, we knew that a savory, sweet potato gnocchi would be the perfect entrée to compliment the full-bodied, subtle fruit flavor of this incredible wine. The sweet potato gnocchi that Keith created has just a hint of natural sweetness, which made it noticeably different from his usual recipe. He balanced this with a delicious pumpkin brown butter sauce and topped it off with crispy sage. This is my kind of meal. It is savory, comforting and earthy: all the things I love about fall. On a crisp autumn evening like this one, I feel grateful for the many blessings I have in life. I count among them the ability to share an inspired meal and a bottle of good wine with my beloved, the guy who can make gnocchi from scratch.
An inspired fall entrée, incorporating the taste of pumpkin with pillowy-soft sweet potato gnocchi.
- For the Gnocchi
- 3 sweet potatoes
- 2 C flour plus extra for kneading
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 Egg and 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
- 1/4 C parmesan cheese
- For the sauce
- 6 Tbsp salted butter
- 1/2 C canned pumpkin
- 1/2 C milk or cream
- 5–6 Sage leaves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut potatoes in half and place cut side down on baking sheet brushed with oil and bake for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are tender.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to be able to handle and scoop potato from skin and place in large mixing bowl.
- Smash potatoes using a potato masher.
- Add garlic, parm cheese, 1 tsp salt and egg and yolk and combine.
- Add flour to mix a little at a time and mix until mixture forms a workable dough.
- Take a large meatball-sized piece of dough and roll on floured surface into a large rope about 1/4 in diameter. Cut rope into 1/2 inch pieces and form into crescents with your fingers ( this step of the shape is optional)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop pasta into water and cook until gnocchi floats.
- Remove from water and place in bowl.
- To make sauce:
- In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat until melted, being careful to adjust heat as needed to brown butter, not burn.
- Rough chop sage leaves. Place in butter and cook for 2-3 minutes over low heat.
- Add gnocchi and cook until slightly browned about 3 minutes.
- Add pumpkin and mix, then add milk and mix until well combined, add salt to taste. approx 1 tsp.