Roasted sweet potato gnocchi with blue cheese & tomato jam

16 Nov

Man Woman has had mixed experience of homemade gnocchi. The first time Woman had a go, she forgot to add any binding agent, ending up dropping carefully rolled gnocchi dollop after carefully rolled gnocchi dollop into a pot of what, with time, became just soup.

The second time Woman took far more care, and cooked her spinach ricotta gnocchi on the fry pan and then baked in the oven. This was two years ago.

This time, we went traditional in method, freakin’ krazy in ingredient (not quite). And I think you’ll find the marriage of sweet potato, the bite of blue cheese and the gentle heat of the tomato jam work fairly well. I think you will.

Sweet potato gnocchi (serves four)

  • 600g sweet potato (orange flesh kind)
  • 250 – 300g pasta (plain) white flour
  • 1 large egg
  • Lots of ground black pepper
  • Salt

Tomato jam (serves 2)

  • 1 can chopped tomato
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 -2 garlic cloves
  • Dash balsamic vinegar
  • Few shakes nanami togarashi (what, you don’t have nanami togarashi? Geez. Any chili flakes will do)
  • 120g Stilton or other blue cheese
  • 1 giant leaf of rainbow swiss chard (or other leafy green)

Making the gnocci

Roast sweet potato in thick chunks in an oven at 180C for 30 minutes or until soft. (Alternately you can boil, but we’ve read that roasting them dries them out making for better gnocchi). Remove skin and mash. Mix in part of flour and the egg (beaten until yolk loosened). Add salt and pepper. Keep adding flour until dough is firm enough to be rolled into long sausages, but still springy and slightly wet.

Roll into long sausages and cut into 2 cm chunks. Press with fork and flour with semolina to prevent sticking. These can be frozen, boiled straight away (about 5 minutes – until they float) or left in the fridge overnight. It’s best to let them dry out for a while before doing any of the above.

The rest

Make tomato jam by sweating down onions and garlic, then adding tomatoes. Add salt and chili to taste (if you buy Napolina tinned tomatoes, you won’t be needing any sugar). Cook for at least 20 minutes over medium heat until the sauce is thick.

Steam chard over gnocchi as you boil it. Serve all with Stilton crumbled over top.

Estimated cost:£3.80

Musical accompaniment: The Rosie Taylor Project

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