{Dining in: Brown butter sage sweet potato gnocchi w/ elk and fire-roasted tomato sauce}

Gnocchi.. definitely on my top ten list of favourite things to eat. When we go out, I almost always choose a dish over another because it has gnocchi in it. Little bundles of goodness that are crispy on the outside, pillowy and creamy on the inside. I love it sautéed in a pan with butter and fresh herbs or in a thick creamy mushroom sauce with truffle oil. Tonight I thought, why not make it at home? So I gave it a whirl and discovered it’s surprisingly simple 🙂 I was inspired by this recipe here.

It starts with 4  lovely organic sweet potatoes (these were smaller than ones you normally see in the grocery store, about 3″ long). Pierce each one with a fork a few times on each side and put them on a plate and microwave them for about 5 min each side. After they’ve cooled a bit, peel off the skin and mash them in a bowl till smooth..

Next came these beauties..

I added in about 3/4 of a container of ricotta into the sweet potatoes, give it a stir..

In goes about  1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan, 2 tsp of cinnamon and about 2/3 tsp of freshly ground nutmeg..grated on my microplane..

Add in 1 tbsp of organic cane sugar (or brown sugar) and 1 tbsp of maple syrup..

Next comes the unbleached flour about 1/2 cup at a time till it comes together into a soft dough (mine took about 1 1/2 cups). Divide the dough into 6 sections and roll each out in a long log that is about 3/4 inch in diameter. (So fun! It reminded me of my younger days when I’d mould play doh)

With a knife, cut the log into 3/4″ pillows.. I attempted to do the fork rolling method, but got impatient and let them be in their “mini wheat-like” form. Cook these in a pot of boiling salted water for about 4 min (until the gnocchi float to the surface). Drain and set aside..

Next I started on my sauce. I browned up about 3/4 cup of ground elk (from the Calgary Farmers Market) along with 1/2 chopped sweet onion..

I then added a can of this.. fire roasted diced tomatoes

All the flavour, none of the time.. great when I’m hungry and eager to eat..

Into the browned meat it goes, I added a 1 tbsp of salted herbs, pepper and a pinch of paprika, simmer while you prepare to cook the gnocchi..

Into a pan goes about 3 T of butter.. heat on med heat till it browns and your kitchen is filled with the rich nutty smell and the butter turns a nice golden colour..

Be patient.. don’t burn it..give it a swirl and don’t walk away..

When its browned, add in your freshly chopped sage (from mom’s garden)..

I poured half of this into a small ramekin and started cooking my gnocchi..

Cook in the pan till the outside gets nice and golden and crispy. When this batch was done, I put it onto a plate into a 300F oven to keep warm while I cooked my second batch with the remaining sage brown butter..

I won’t lie, I sampled a few from the pan.. you know.. for quality control 🙂

Onto a plate and topped with a generous ladle of the elk tomato sauce and a spoonful of ricotta and freshly ground pepper.

The boy took one bite and declared “This is probably the best dish you have ever made”. I have to say I have to agree. This turned out AMAZING!! The gnocchi came out perfect 🙂 The sweet potatoes really bring a nice sweet fall flavour combined with the aromatic spices. The fire roasted tomatoes made such a difference to the sauce compared to using my usual whole canned tomatoes. The creamy ricotta mixed into each bite added a lovely creaminess to contrast with the tart flavours of the sauce. All in all, this whole process took me just under an hour, not too shabby.

This recipe yielded quite a lot of gnocchi, I have a whole container full I just popped into the freezer to enjoy on another day 🙂

I think this one might become a signature dish…

4 Responses to “{Dining in: Brown butter sage sweet potato gnocchi w/ elk and fire-roasted tomato sauce}”
  1. Vincci says:

    Mmm… looks good – thanks for sharing the recipe!

  2. Tatiana says:

    Okay, this looks even better than the potato risotto, and is going on the menu for the weekend. May I ask where you bought the fire roasted tomatoes? Seems like I saw them ages ago, but for the life of me can’t remember where.

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