Sunday, March 16, 2014

Little pumpkin parcels of delight

Light, fluffy sweet potato gnocchi is heaven on a plate

Little pumpkin parcels of delight

Emperor D has been on a bit of a carb war lately. Several months ago, he went off refined white pasta and rice, switching - at first - to brown pasta and rice, and now he's gone a step further and cut rice out completely. Because I flatly refuse to give up pasta, he's stuck with the wholemeal stuff, at least. I haven't followed his lead, however - being too much of a lover of white pasta and disliking brown rice - so occasionally it causes a bit of tension at dinner, especially now there's always an extra pot to wash up (or try to fit in the dishwasher). 

Little parcels of  light pumpkin deliciousness
After making the ravioli with the pasta maker a few weeks ago, I decided not long after it was time to give gnocchi another shot. Usually, Emperor D is the one who makes gnocchi, seeming to have a natural gift for it. But having received a gnocchi board from my mum for Christmas (along with the ravioli cutters I'd used the week before), and having brought my potato ricer from home two years earlier but yet to use it, I decided it was time I gave it a try again.

With Emperor D reluctant to have a white potato gnocchi, I decided to try a lower carb version in a sweet potato gnocchi. I found a few good recipes through a google search, but ultimately went with the recipe found on American chef and food blogger Kelly Senyei's website, Just a Taste.

The recipe looked simple and easy to make, but I usually have an aversion to ricotta. I figured the sweetness of the sweet potato would balance it out, so decided to go with the recipe as it was listed. 

I'm glad I did. Not having a microwave - an occasional lament that I soon get over - I decided to steam the sweet potato using my rice cooker. They were a little underdone, meaning the middle of each was still quite hard, so I had to leave a little bit of each out. After passing the potato through the ricer, and mixing with the ricotta, I added as little flour as I could get away with, in order not to make them too dense and heavy. 

One word: yum!
Being left with a ball of soft, and just a little sticky, dough, it's simply a matter of rolling them out into long sausages and cutting them up into little parcels of gnocchi. Finally, I give my gnocchi board a go, and gently roll each one down it, leaving slight indentations on the outside and a small dent to finish, to make sure the shape can catch as much of the sauce as possible. 

After quickly boiling the gnocchi and making the burnt butter with sage leaves and balsamic sauce, it's time to plate up and eat. I had invited a couple of friends who are also on a low-carb kick, given there was plenty of gnocchi for four people. It went down a treat. Little pumpkin parcels of delight. The light, slightly sweet gnocchi was perfectly matched with the nutty flavour of the burnt butter and the tang of the balsamic in the sauce they were tossed through. It was easy to go back for seconds, yet as it's lighter than traditional gnocchi, it left me feeling satisfied, but not uncomfortably heavy or over-full. 

This is a easily a recipe that will go into my repertoire for those weekends spent cooking in. Can't wait to make it again!