Light, pillowy golden-orange dumplings, bathed in a buttery sage sauce. Need I say more? This recipe is pure joy, comforting and much easier to make than you might think. The dough takes a little time, but is worth every bit of effort and it is a lovely way to spend an evening at home.
The egg helps the mixture to bind but also gives the puffy pillow lightness, and swapping half of the usual potato for sweet potato adds both colour and (natural) sweetness. Be creative if you like with the shapes, just make sure to cut the gnocchi as evenly sized as possible, so they take the same time to cook.
400g sweet potato
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
200g plain flour (gluten free if needed), plus extra for rolling
sea salt and black pepper
glug of extra virgin olive oil
small bunch of sage leaves
cheese to serve
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Peel your potatoes, add them to the water and cook until tender, about 20 minutes or so. Remove the potatoes, leaving the water in the pan.
Allow the potatoes to cool slightly, then grate them into a bowl (watch your fingers!). Whisk the egg, then add it into the bowl along with the nutmeg, ¾ of the flour and a good amount of seasoning.
Mix together roughly with a fork before getting in there with your hands – you’re aiming for a delicate ball of dough. Carefully divide the dough into four, then roll each quarter into a sausage shape, about 2.5cm wide. Cut into roughly 2cm pieces, press the edges slightly to soften the shape and make an indent with a fork on top of each one. Bring the water in the pan back to a boil and add the gnocchi (you might need to cook in two batches). Cook the gnocchi for two minutes, or until they start floating to the surface.
Put the butter and oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sage leaves and cook for a couple of minutes until crisp – keep an eye so they don’t burn. Remove from the pan and put to one side. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the gnocchi and transfer to the frying pan – if some of the water comes too, that’s OK. Toss in the butter and cook for a further few minutes, until the edges get crispy and the butter turns glossy (again you can do this bit in stages if you need to).
Divide the gnocchi between four bowls and pour over any remaining butter. Top with the sage leaves, a good grating of cheese and a final sprinkle of flaky salt.