Easy and economical. Two important words that come to mind when planning a family meal. If it can be healthy too, then I think I've hit the jackpot. I'm always on the lookout for budget-friendly meals as well as skillfully assembled foods and this sweet potato gnocchi fits the health, effort and budget bill perfectly.
Something like gnocchi may seem a little daunting at first, but I suggest starting with a basic recipe and build up from there. This one requires nothing more than some baked potatoes, whisked eggs and seasoned flour. I think that's a manageable list of foods comprised of common pantry foods for most home cooks, don't you?
I did a little research on gnocchi and discovered that it has been around since the Roman times. Two thousand years ago it was made up of semolina porridge mixed with eggs and served in each country invaded by the Roman expansion. Today it's eaten in almost all European countries and can can be made up of traditional semolina, wheat flour, potatoes and even bread crumbs. As diverse as the ingredients it's made with, gnocchi can be served with a variety of toppings including tomato sauce, pesto and melted butter.
We went for the last option, serving this gnocchi with some melted butter, sage and parmesan cheese. It was an easy and satisfying meal for all...including my flavour-challenged boy!
What are your simple and economical go-to foods?
Sweet Potato Gnocchi, from Gourmet.com
- 1 1/4 lb russet potatoes
- 3/4 lb sweet potato
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus more for serving
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tbsp dried sagePreheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pierce russet and sweet potatoes in several places with a fork, then bake until just tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool potatoes slightly, remove from skins and place into a large bowl. Mash and set aside.
Beat together egg, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a small bowl. Gather potatoes into a mound in the bowl and form a well in centre. Pour the egg mixture into well, then knead into potatoes. Knead in parmesan cheese and 11/2 cups flour, adding more flour as necessary, until mixture forms a smooth but slightly sticky dough.
Dust top lightly with some of flour. Cut dough into 6 pieces. Form 1 piece of dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rope on a lightly floured surface. Cut rope into 1/2-inch pieces. Gently roll each piece into a ball and lightly dust with flour. Press the tines of a fork into each ball to indent and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining 5 pieces of dough.
Add butter to a skillet, allow to melt and cook until golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in sage and set aside.
Add half of gnocchi to a pasta pot of well-salted boiling water and stir. Cook until they float to surface, about 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the skillet with butter sauce. Cook remaining gnocchi in same manner, transferring to skillet as cooked. Heat gnocchi in the skillet set over medium heat, stirring to coat.