Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Pecans and Brown Butter
This is a beautiful side dish to serve at the holidays. Wonderful sweet potato gnocchi with toasted pecans and brown butter will fill your kitchen with a heavenly aroma. Russet potatoes are added to the recipe for their starch to hold the gnocchi together.
Reprinted with permission fromSouthern Comfort by Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing (Ten Speed Press,
3/4 cup kosher salt3/4 pound russet potatoes (about 3)1/2 pound sweet potato (about 1 large)11/2 teaspoons fine sea salt1 large egg yolk3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting11/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil3 tablespoons unsalted butter1/2 cup pecan halves, choppedPrep Time: 20 minutesCook Time: 90 minutesTotal Time: 110 minutesYield: Serves 4
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread the kosher salt on a baking sheet. Set all of the potatoes (russet and sweet potato) on the salt and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool and discard the salt.To make the dough, peel the baked potatoes. Work them through a potato ricer, or press through a flour sifter, into a large bowl. Mix in 1 teaspoon of the sea salt, the egg yolks, and the flour. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it gently 3 or 4 times, adding more flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Cut the dough into six equal pieces and cover with a clean, barely damp kitchen towel. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Fill a bowl with ice water and have ready.Lightly flour a baking sheet and also flour a dinner fork. To form the gnocchi, working with one piece at a time, roll the gnocchi dough on a lightly floured work surface into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut the rope into 1/2-inch pieces. To form each gnocchi, using your thumb, roll each piece along the back of the tines of the fork to make indentations, then gently roll the dough off the fork. Transfer the gnocchi to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the gnocchi are formed.To cook the gnocchi, salt the boiling water. Once it reaches a boil, decrease the heat to a strong simmer. Add half of the gnocchi and stir gently until they begin to rise to the surface, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the ice water to cool down, then drain well on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi. To finish the dish, in a large bowl, toss the gnocchi with the olive oil, and spread them out on a large baking sheet.In a very large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cook the butter over moderate heat until it begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add one-third of the pecans and cook, stirring, until the nuts are toasted, about 2 minutes. Add half of the gnocchi and cook until they are golden brown and warmed through, about 2 minutes. Season with one-third of the remaining sea salt and transfer the gnocchi to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining butter, pecans, and gnocchi. Serve immediately.