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2000s Recipes + Menus

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Fried Sage and Shaved Chestnuts

Serves6 (main course) to 8 (first course)
  • Active time:1 1/4 hr
  • Start to finish:2 1/4 hr
October 2009
Frying sage leaves is easy and provides a real wow factor. The sage and chestnuts make an ideal foil for these pillowy gnocchi. View more of our favorite recipes from this issue.
  • 1 1/4 lb russet (baking potatoes)
  • 1 (3/4-lb) sweet potato
  • 1 large egg
  • 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
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sage leaves (from 1 bunch)
  • 1/3 cup bottled roasted chestnuts, very thinly sliced with an adjustable-blade slicer or a sharp vegetable peeler
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Equipment:

    a potato ricer or a food mill fitted with fine disk

Make gnocchi:

  • Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.
  • Pierce russet and sweet potatoes in several places with a fork, then bake in a 4-sided sheet pan until just tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Cool potatoes slightly, then peel and force through ricer into sheet pan, spreading in an even layer. Cool potatoes completely.
  • Lightly flour 2 or 3 large baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
  • Beat together egg, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a small bowl.
  • Gather potatoes into a mound in sheet pan, using a pastry scraper if you have one, and form a well in center.
  • Pour egg mixture into well, then knead into potatoes. Knead in cheese and 11/2 cups flour, then knead, 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.
  • Repeat with remaining 5 pieces of dough.
  • Turn a fork over and hold at a 45-degree angle, with tips of tines touching work surface. Working with 1 at a time, roll gnocchi down fork tines, pressing with your thumb, to make ridges on 1 side. Transfer gnocchi as formed to baking sheets.

Fry sage leaves and chestnuts:

  • Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Fry sage leaves in 3 batches, stirring, until they turn just a shade lighter and crisp (they will continue to crisp as they cool), about 30 seconds per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Season lightly with salt.
  • Fry chestnuts in 3 batches, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 30 seconds per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Season lightly with salt. Reserve oil in skillet.

Make sauce:

  • Add butter to oil in skillet with 1/2 tsp salt and cook until golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Cook gnocchi:

  • 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 skillet with butter sauce. Cook remaining gnocchi in same manner, transferring to skillet as cooked.
  • Heat gnocchi in skillet over medium heat, stirring to coat.
  • Serve sprinkled with fried sage and chestnuts and grated cheese.
cooks’ notes:
    Uncooked gnocchi can be frozen (first in 1 layer on a baking sheet, then transferred to a sealable bag) up to 1 month. Do not thaw before cooking.
  • Chestnuts can be sliced 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container at cool room temperature.
  • Sauce and topping can be halved; make full recipe of gnocchi and freeze half of it.
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