Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi

Oy vey. When I first made gluten-free gnocchi a few years ago, it seemed like such a breeze. This time, I was apparently a little too ambitious (but keep reading because it actually turned out alright!). I decided to try a new twist for a family dinner tomorrow (err, today. This is the problem with writing posts around midnight).

My original gnocchi recipe that I've used with success is equal parts rice flour and mashed potatoes, plus an egg or two. Sorry for the vague/non-existent measurements. I am notoriously bad at keeping track of actual measurements and usual prefer to do things by touch/texture.

For the new recipe, I started with this recipe as a basis.  Below is listed the ingredient list that I started with (please note: "started with").

3 smallish sweet potatoes (in the middle of the recipe, it says that you need three cups)
1 12-ounce container fresh ricotta cheese
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/2 c. rice flour
1 1/4 c. tapioca flour

So, first I cut the sweet potatoes in half and boiled them for about 50 minutes. Then, I went through the really annoying process of ricing the sweet potatoes without a ricer. I used a strainer instead and it really reinforced the self-impression that I am lazy. OK, so sweet potatoes are riced and I've got my three cups.

{I think this is where I started to go wrong (or maybe not wrong, but took a detour). Because I started this a bit too late in the evening, I was impatient and didn't let the ricotta drain as long as I should've. If I'd been thinking, I probably would've started the ricotta a lot earlier in the day.}

I combined the sweet potato, ricotta, nutmeg, and Parmesan in a large bowl, then added the flour mixture little by little. This is where I really started to see a problem because the dough really wasn't coming together like I wanted.  So, I added a 1/2 cup more of each flour. And then again. And again. All in all, I estimate that I used about three cups of rice flour and two cups of tapioca flour. I ended up putting in more rice than tapioca flour just because I'm more familiar with the texture.

In the end, I just kept adding and adding until I got to the texture I needed and then divided it, rolled it out, and then started cutting the individual gnocchi. I didn't end up adding the ridges because a) I'm tired, and b) I'm really tired. (Hey, honesty is the best policy, right?).

Pillows of (hopefully) sweet potato goodness
My preferred method of cooking the gnocchi is to add into a pot of salted water at a boil, wait for them to rise and then pull them out and add to sauce. I've also had reasonable success with freezing them and keeping them for a couple months that way.

Two and a half pans of gnocchi in the freezer waiting for bagging
The actual dish will be finished in the morning and I'll try to grab a 'final' picture after I get some sleep.

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