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Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Meatballs&MilkshakesThis may be the last pasta post for a little while, as I’m going to try to be a little healthier for as long as I can stand it. Sweet potatoes are a favorite around the apartment, and they make light and fluffy gnocchi with more depth of flavor than regular gnocchi. Combine them with some crisp sage and pecorino, and they become truly delicious little clouds.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

1 1/2 pound sweet potato (1 large sweet potato), pricked with a fork

8 ounce container of fresh ricotta, preferably local

3 ounces grated parmesan

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups flour

Roast the sweet potato in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or microwave on high for 4 minutes a side until soft. Let cool. Meanwhile, let the ricotta drain in a sieve or coffee filter for two hours to remove some of the extra liquid.

Scrape the flesh from the potato skin and mash, it should be about 2 cups. Add the ricotta and combine. Add the salt, brown sugar, nutmeg, and half the flour. Combine well. Add the rest of the flour in parts until the dough becomes a ball. You may not need it all.

Dump it onto a board and form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour up to a couple days.

Cut pieces off the ball and roll into ropes about a half inch thick with plenty of extra flour. Slice into inch long pieces. They can be kept in a single layer and frozen, store in some flour.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Meatballs&Milkshakes

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage and Pecorino

2 cups gnocchi, made as above (1 cup per person)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves

6-8 sage leaves

1/2 cup grated parmesan

Cook the gnocchi in heavily salted water for 2-3 minutes, until they aggressively float. Meanwhile, Saute the garlic in the olive oil on medium heat until it starts to brown. Remove the garlic and add the sage. Be careful, because they will pop a little at first due to the water content. Add the gnocchi along with a little pasta water and swirl to combine. Allow to cook for a minute together, and then off the heat, add the parmesan. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the top.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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Well, it’s been a challenging couple of weeks on the M&M front; first the hurricane and then my computer decided to die on me. Consequently, I feel like Thanksgiving has snuck up on me. I don’t think I will be making a full Thanksgiving meal this year, however I will do a Thanksgiving-inspired menu. I might include this Angel Hair with Butternut Squash and Sage as a side dish, because there really should a pasta to make it a holiday.

This Farinata would make a great gluten-free appetizer to snack on while the rest of the meal cooks. You can change the toppings to suit your mood, but I liked the olive and cheese combination.

Eggplant Caponata is always a good appetizer as well, and this version is a little Thanksgiving-inspired, with the use of cinnamon.

We usually make a vegetarian option which tends to be a Lasagna or some Stuffed Mushrooms. I always make extra though, because invariably the meat-eaters want them too.

Butternut Squash Soup flavored with apples and sage is a fantastic way to start the meal. I can’t get enough butternut squash in the fall.

Thanksgiving requires a mashed vegetable of some sort,  so I either go with these Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Prosciutto or some Parsnip Puree.

And of course, we can’t forget the cranberry sauce. I ALWAYS make this Brandied Cranberry Sauce so I have plenty leftover. Stay tuned for some Turkey Pot Pie!

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Sweet potatoes are one of the most healthy things to eat, and luckily, they are really yummy. I love them roasted or pan fried so they become crispy, and I rarely do anything else with them. Occasionally, I’ll make a sweet potato gratin. But then I remembered that you can bake them like a regular baked potato. So I tried roasting a couple, the first I ate just like a baked potato, slit open with a little butter and salt. The second, I mashed and fancied it up a bit. I had some leftover crispy prosciutto from my pizza the other day, so I sprinkled that on top with some chopped scallions and threw in some maple syrup for good measure. It turned out to be just delicious. Healthy comfort food? Is there such a thing?

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Prosciutto

1 very large sweet potato or two regular sized

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 scallion, white and green parts sliced

1-2 slices of prosciutto, baked on a baking sheet at 375 degrees for 15 minutes until crisp

Bake the sweet potato at 400 degrees on a baking sheet for 40-45 minutes, or until soft. A knife should come out easily. Let cool a little and mash in a bowl with the butter and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with scallion and crumbled prosciutto sprinkled over the top.

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