I’m a big fan of sweet potatoes in any form with their delicious sweetness, and in gnocchi I think they make the ultimate comfort food! The blue cheese and crispy sage leaves add rich autumnal flavours which finish the dish perfectly and add a little bit of decadence! You can of course serve with (dairy free) pesto or tomato sauce to make an even healthier, and plant based version of this dish instead.
Makes 2 generous portions
400g sweet potatoes
200g plain flour
¼ tsp sea salt
50g blue cheese
10 medium chestnut/ closed cup mushrooms (circa 150g)
Handful of fresh sage leaves
1 tblsp butter
1 tblsp plain flour
To make the gnocchi, peel the potatoes and boil or steam until really soft. Drain off excess water and leave until cool enough to handle. Mash finely with the salt.
Start to stir in the flour. Use a fork to mix to start with, then work with your hands once the dough less sticky. Add the flour bit by bit and stop when you have a smooth dough that doesn’t stick to you.
Use your hands to roll into sausage shapes about 2cm thick. Cut into pieces. If you want a traditional gnocchi look, press a fork gently into the top of each.
Fill the mushrooms with half of the cheese (just a very small amount in each one) and put under a low to medium grill on a baking tray while you make the sauce and cook the gnocchi. You can also brush a couple of sage leaves with a little oil and put them under the grill to crisp up at the same time.
Finely chop two sage leaves and cut the remaining blue cheese into small pieces.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour to form a roux. Slowly and over a very low heat, add the milk, stirring all the time so no lumps form. Once combined, turn up the heat and bring to a gentle simmer, still stirring often. Add the remaining cheese and chopped sage, season, mix well and take off the heat.
To cook the gnocchi, bring a pan of water to the boil and drop in a handful of gnocchi – don’t overcrowd the pan. They will sink then rise to the top when ready. It usually takes 2-3 mins but will depend how large your pieces are. Remove from the water and place in a warm bowl, covered with a damp tea towel while you cook the rest. Repeat in batches until all of it is cooked.
Serve the gnocchi topped with the mushrooms and the sauce over the top.