Updated: Jan 29, 2021
I know what you are thinking: No, I did not use purple food coloring in this recipe. Yes, purple sweet potatoes are a thing.
I had already stocked up on regular sweet potatoes when these purple root vegetables stopped me in my tracks at the grocery store. It wasn't the potatoes that caught my eye, but the sign that hung above them that exclaimed, "Purple is the new orange!" I picked up a purple potato and examined it. It looked like a regular sweet potato, yet it had a very dark exterior. The sign further said that it had the same taste as a sweet potato, but it was "less stringy that it's brother". I wanted to break it open right then and there to see the mystery for myself, yet I probably realized I should purchase them first. So I quickly replaced orange with purple and found myself giddy to get back to the kitchen and cook with my new purple friends.
I was already planning on making gnocchi that night. One of my favorite things in the world is gnocchi. I love these potato morsels because they are open to experimentation and creativity. Gnocchi is also incredibly satisfying to make... and eat. I thought this would be a perfect dish for my purple sweet potatoes. All the ingredients I chose for this dish are in season for fall. The warm and savory notes of each ingredient pair together in complete harmony. The goat cheese gives this pasta dish a slight sweetness throughout every bite. The sage will remind you of nature, as it tastes of a smokey bonfire in the middle of the woods.
Enjoy this dish on a cool fall night in front of a warm fire.
Duration: 45 minutes
For The Gnocchi:
1 1/2 lb. Purple sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
1 cup All-purpose flour
1/2 cup Crumbled goat cheese
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Tsp. Black pepper
Fresh sage for Garnish
For the Sauce:
4 Sage leaves
1/2 cup Unsalted butter
1/4 cup All-purpose flour
Pinch of Salt
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once water boils, add potatoes and boil on high until they are soft and tender, about 15 minutes(should be able to stab a fork through the potato with no problem). Save the water in the pot for your pasta (the water will be a blue/green color). Strain and rice/mash potatoes while they are still hot. Make sure not to mash the potatoes too much. Too much activation to the hot potatoes will make them gummy. Set aside potatoes to cool completely. Once potatoes are cooled, Add in the goat cheese, flour, egg, salt, and pepper and mix until a loose dough forms. On a floured surface, kneed the dough for about 2 minutes or until you reach a smooth dough. Add sprinkles of flour every 30 seconds to your dough so it doesn't stick to the surface. Shape dough into a large ball and cut it evenly into 4 quarters. Make sure the dough you aren't using is resting under a damp towel. Take 1 quarter of dough and roll it into a long "snake". Cut the snake into 1 inch chunks. Roll each chunk into a cylinder shape and place on a baking sheet lined with a paper towel. Repeat these steps with the other 3/4 of dough. Once the reserved water comes back up to a boil, drop a handful of gnocchi into the pot (if you put all the gnocchi in at once they will stick together). Once the gnocchi rises to the top, they are ready to come out. Repeat this process until all the gnocchi has been in the pot. Set the gnocchi aside.
Melt butter in a small pot. Once butter is melted, add in the sage and simmer until butter turns a golden brown. Make sure to stir mixture consistently so the butter doesn't burn. Gently whisk in flour and salt until they are evenly combined in the sauce.
In a bowl, combine gnocchi and sauce and gently stir until gnocchi is evenly coated. Serve warm garnished with fresh sage. Enjoy!