Recipes

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Cinnamon-Sage Brown Butter

My mom and I made this recipe to celebrate Little Christmas last weekend. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, our family celebrates Little Christmas, or Ephiphany — commemorating the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem — with small gifts every January 6. It’s a nice way to end the holiday season each year and we always wait to take down our Christmas Tree and holiday decorations until after this day.

We bought gnocchi at an indoor farmer’s market near my mother’s house, but you could easily make your own.

Ingredients

  • 1 package of fresh sweet potato gnocchi
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 20 fresh sage leaves, stems removed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Assorted root vegetables for roasting (optional)

Directions

First, if you are going to serve this with roasted vegetables like we did, preheat your oven to 400 and toss your sliced veggies (no need to peel if they’re organic and/or from the farmer’s market like ours were) in a dollop of olive oil on the cooking sheet. These will go in for about 20 minutes or until brown but not burnt, and in the meantime you can whip up the brown butter sauce and quickly cook the gnocchi in a pot of boiling water.

If you aren’t making the veggies, just start by putting a small pot of water on to boil. Gnocchi cook notoriously fast, so I’d get the bulk of your brown butter made before you throw the gnocchi in the boiling water. If you cook and drain them and set them aside for even 5 minutes, gnocchi will stubbornly stick together and turn into a huge block of glue. So don’t do that!

Start the sauce by melting the stick of butter of medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the 20 sage leaves.

Continue cooking, swirling here and there, until the foam subsides and the mixture begins to brown. Turn heat to low.

Stir in the maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Stir gently. (The mixture will bubble up, so be careful!)

Once the bubbles simmer down, stir the cooked gnocchi into the brown butter. Transfer to a serving dish and VOILA!

We served this with a roast pork loin for the carnivores (read: everyone but me) and some roasted root vegetables. It made for a satisfying meal to fill meat-eaters and veggies alike! Sweet potatoes and sage are a can’t-miss pairing, and this dish was no exception.

Looking for even more gnocchi recipes? Check out my last post about these delectable Italian dumplings!

This recipe was inspired by Food Network Favorite Giada De Laurteniis.

CSA 2011 · Recipes

Caramelized Cauliflower (With BONUS creamy soup!)

Have you ever seen cauliflower that looks like this??

I was baffled when I first saw them, but a sniff/taste test confirmed that they ARE in fact cauliflower as my CSA promised, so I treated them as such — chopping, coating & roasting them at high heat to caramelize ’em up good!

All I did was toss the pieces in olive oil and kosher salt, and roasted them at high heat, 400 F, for about 25 to 35 minutes, stirring them occasionally. Cooking them this way enhances their flavor and makes them nice and tender. You won’t have any of that gross smell you may remember from boiling cauliflower.

When they come out of the oven, cool and taste for seasoning. If they need a little more salt or even pepper, go ahead and add it to your taste!

These were delicious, but I only used some of them as a side dish with pasta one night. So, a few days later, I decided to throw the rest of them into a can of Campbell’s potato soup, heated over low with two cups of almond milk and some oven-roasted parsnips thrown in. I added a bay leaf for flavor, and then I felt like I could use up a few of my CSA red potatoes too, so I cut those up small and threw them in to simmer. It came out REALLY well and used up a ton of my leftovers — and I got three extra meals out of it!

CSA 2011 · Recipes

Harvest vegetable pasta

I created this after roasting a bunch of root vegetables together with nuts and raisins in a (failed) attempt to make something compelling. Luckily, even though they bored me as a standalone dish, these harvest veggies tasted excellent once I tossed them with rotini pasta and a nutmeg-infused sauce. Easy as pie….kind of tastes like pie too, actually.

INGREDIENTS

  • Red potato, sliced into quarters (unpeeled)
  • Turnips, sliced in half
  • Pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • Squash, peeled and cubed (or buy this way)
  • Raisins (I used about one small box)
  • Carrots/parsnips, sliced (unpeeled)
  • Almonds (handful)
  • Vegetable broth (enough so an inch or two coats the pan)
  • Cinnamon to taste (be liberal with it!)
  • Nutmeg (generous spoonful)
  • Ginger (to taste)
  • Honey (about a half cup)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375. Prep all the chopped ingredients (or do this a day ahead). Toss with olive oil, nuts and raisins on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger and drizzle with honey. Season with salt and pepper. Add an inch or two of vegetable stock to the bottom of the pan. Roast in the oven, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, boil your pasta — I used rotini because it can “grip” chunky sauces like what you’re making.

You can use premade white sauce (I bought a great nutmeg sauce at Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Davis Square that I used as a base); or, you can make a simple white sauce by whisking butter, flour and then cream together over low heat, and then add the nutmeg in. Here’s a great example. I also added some leftover cream cheese into the pan to thicken the sauce even more (I never claimed this was health food). Combine the veggies, pasta and sauce in a large pot with a dash of pasta cooking water to help it all stick together! You can loosen it up with some more milk (I like almond milk) if it looks too thick or sticky.

This reheats well, but I’d recommend pouring a dash of  almond milk (or whatever kind you use) into the tupperware container and also putting a pad of butter on the top of the pasta when heating up leftovers to re-moisten things in the microwave and to keep it all from turning sticky.