Tag Archives: Brown Butter

Garnet Yam Gnocchi in Brown Butter & Sage with Pink Lady Apples

29 Nov

Alright lets get the awkward part out of the way. Where have I been?


I won’t get into a lot of details, but I’m going to blame Apple for my absence. My Macbook has been pressing me to upgrade my iPhoto (where pics get stored) for a while. I finally did and now I hate iPhoto. Hate it.


Well played Steve Jobs (or whoever is in charge  these days). I know how much you guys count on my incredible photo skills, so I wasn’t going to do a post sans my stunning photography. Good enough?

Great, lets get to the food.

This recipe was inspired by left over garnet yams and a recent trip that I made to my new favorite restaurant in San Francisco – Rich Table. The recipe is seasonal, rich, simple, but decadent all in the spirit of Fall. I love gnocchi, but I never make it with russet potatoes, always garnet yams (the orange ones) because I prefer the flavor. The dish at Rich Table was a pork tagliatelle with apples and almonds. I loved the apples so much that in the spirit of culinary inspiration, I came straight home and added thinly sliced apples to my gnocchi. See how that works, inspiration is everywhere! Or anywhere there are incredible cooks behind  the stove, like at Rich Table.

Pork Tagliatelle with Apples and Almonds from Rich Table. Beautiful, right?

Why you should eat this?

Garnet Yams are full of fiber, anti oxidants, and anti inflammatory goodness. Beta carotenes, vitamin A & C, and magnesium. Of course with the added butter and cheese in this recipe the benefits will be compromised, just don’t eat this every day. Or try your best… because it’s really stinking good. The flavors are right on for Fall, sweetness from the cinnamon in the gnocchi paired with the tartness of the raw apples, and the richness of REAL butter (use it) and sage. This dish will warm up the cold nights ahead, for sure.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi in Brown Butter & Sage with Pink Lady Apples 

(Servings: 6-8)

For the Gnocchi

  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/3 cup for the work surface

For the Sage Brown Butter:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 20 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small Pink Lady apple, sliced paper thin

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Pierce the sweet potato with a fork. Bake the yams on a parchment lined sheet tray until tender and fully cooked, between 40 to 55 minutes depending on size.

Cool slightly.

Cut in half and scoop the flesh into a large bowl or peel the skins off with your fingers, depending on how much hot your hands can take. I don’t really have any feeling left in my fingers, so I went with the peel technique.

Using a potato ricer or a masher, mash the yams and transfer to a large measuring cup to make sure the yams measure about 2 cups.

Transfer the mashed yams back to the large bowl. Add the ricotta cheese, salt, cinnamon, and pepper and mix well.

Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time until a soft dough forms.

Lightly flour a work surface and place the dough in a ball on the work surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal balls.

Roll out each ball into a 1-inch wide rope.

Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces.

Roll the gnocchi over the tines of a fork to form each piece.

Transfer the formed gnocchi to a large parchment lined baking sheet. Continue with the remaining gnocchi. You have some work to do here.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

Add the gnocchi in 3 batches and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Drain the gnocchi using a slotted spoon onto a baking sheet. Tent with foil to keep warm and continue with the remaining gnocchi.

For the brown butter and sage sauce: While the gnocchi are cooking melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.

When the butter has melted add the sage leaves. Continue to cook, swirling the butter occasionally, until the foam subsides and the milk solids begin to brown. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the salt, and pepper. Careful, the mixture will get bubbly. Gently stir the sauce.

When the bubbles subside, quickly toss the cooked gnocchi in the brown butter and sage.

Slice the apple super thin.

Transfer the gnocchi to a serving dish, add apple slices raw,  and serve immediately.

Trust me.

So good,