Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Turkey + Broccoli Rabe Pesto

A little while ago I wrote a post on on making homemade gnocchi. I love gnocchi. Something about rolling out little mounds of soft dough, shaping and squishing, is a tactile delight. Justin loves sweet potatoes so I wanted to develop a recipe combining the two.

Sweet potatoes are super good for you, but they also carry a lot more moisture than regular potatoes and are starchier. They create much firmer, denser gnocchi than regular taters, but they also hold up to a heartier sauce and have more flavor.

Broccoli rabe is sort of a mix between broccoli and collard greens. It's super delicious just blanched and sauteed with garlic, oil and anchovies. It has a ton of flavor and is the perfect foil for the sweetness of the potatoes.

I made a broccoli rabe - basil pesto inspired sauce. I threw in some ground turkey just for a little protein and meatiness, though you can leave it out if you want to make this is a vegetarian dish.

Note: The dough for sweet potato gnocchi is super sticky and tacky, seemingly no matter how much flour you put in. No worries. I made the gnocchi by pinching off little pieces of dough and rolling them around with flour.


Don't you just love how anything sort of misshapen and ugly can be called "rustic"?

{Tossed in pesto}

These gnocchi are really filling. No seconds this time.


Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Broccoli Rabe Pesto
For the gnocchi:
2 large sweet potatoes, about 1.75 lbs
1 egg
2 cups flour
Cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper

For the sauce:
1 head broccoli rabe, stems removed
1/2 cup basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb ground turkey thigh
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 whole milk
Parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper

  1. First, to make the gnocchi, boil or bake the potatoes until done. Pass them through a food mill or mash with a fork until smooth. Let this cool for a while before adding the egg. Mix in the egg, a pinch of salt, pepper, and cayenne, and flour until a dough forms in the bowl.
  2. Pinch off about half a tablespoon's worth of dough, roll in a bit of flour to keep it from sticking to your hands, and form into little balls. They won't be perfect! That's OK though.
  3. Boil the gnocchi in water for 2-3 minutes or until they float to the top. Toss in the sauce.
  4. For the sauce: Blanch the broccoli rabe in boiling water for 7-8 minutes. Transfer to an ice water bath for 5 minutes. Squeeze out as much of the water in the rabe as you can using a kitchen towel. 
  5. In a food processor, blitz together the broccoli rabe, basil, olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes. 
  6. On medium heat in a saucepan, brown the turkey thigh until cooked. Add the pesto, chicken broth, white wine, and more salt + pepper to taste (if needed). Let this reduce for 10 minutes or so until the sauce has reduced by half. Add the milk and Parmesan. It won't be a really creamy sauce. 
  7. Toss the gnocchi with the sauce for 5 minutes or so until the gnocchi has absorbed some of the liquid. I had to cook the gnocchi in batches, so I just threw the dumplings into the sauce as I went. 

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