Walter Pisano, chef/owner, Tulio Ristorante, Seattle, www.tulio.com Yield: 4-6 servings 2-2 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes 2 oz. Parmesan, freshly grated 1/8 t. ground nutmeg 1 egg, beaten 2 c. all-purpose flour Butter, as needed, for browning gnocchi Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste Mascarpone cheese, for garnish Fresh sage leaves, for garnish Method (1) Boil sweet potatoes with skin on for approximately 1 hour, or until soft. Drain the potatoes well, and push through a food ricer. Add beaten egg, Parmesan, nutmeg and seasoning. Incorporate these ingredients until just mixed. Slowly fold sifted flour into mixture. (This is imperative in preventing clumps and keeping gnocchi light.) After about half the flour is added, start to feel the mixture for wetness and resistance when pushing in. Keep adding flour until dough is slightly wet, but still is coming away from bowl. Allow to rest 10 minutes. (2) Lightly dust table, then cut about 1/8 of the dough away and roll into a cylinder shape (about 1/2” wide), and cut into 1” pieces. (3) Refrigerate dough for two hours. To cook, drop gnocchi in boiling water for approximately 2 minutes or until they rise to the top. Cook an additional 30 seconds. Drain well. (4) Heat butter in pan until it foams. Place gnocchi in pan; brown them on each side. Season with cracked black pepper and salt. (5) Plate the gnocchi, and finish with mascarpone and fresh sage leaves. Wine pairing: An opulent, aromatic white wine with a zesty lime finish, Northwest Cellars Viognier 2009 (Washington) can stand up to the sumptuous, buttery, sweet potato gnocchi. Chef Pisano says, “I like the hint of sweetness that the sweet potatoes give to the gnocchi. ... Sautéing in the butter adds a crispiness but keeps them light and creamy in the center and adds a nuttiness not found in a more typical gnocchi dish.”
Sweet Potato gnocchi
When toasting rice for risotto, if you put your ear near the pan and it sounds like a bowl of freshly poured crispy rice cereal, the rice is done toasting.
Sugar PumPkin riSotto
Jeffrey Fournier, chef/owner, 51 Lincoln, Newton Highlands, Mass., www.51lincolnnewton.com
Yield: 10 appetizer portions 1 small sugar pumpkin Blended oil, as needed 1 Spanish onion, small dice Salt, to taste 1 lb. arborio rice 1 c. white wine 1/4 lb. Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for garnish 1/4 lb. butter Fried sage leaves, for garnish Method (1) Peel sugar pumpkin, remove seeds and dice into 1” pieces. (2) Preheat medium saucepot to medium low, and add enough blended oil to coat the bottom. Add sugar pumpkin, half the diced onion and a large pinch of salt, stirring every minute, until sugar pumpkin is tender. Remove sugar pumpkin and allow to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes. Purée cooked sugar pumpkin in a food processor until smooth. Reserve purée. (3) Preheat a rondeaux to medium low. Add enough blended oil to coat the bottom, and add the rest of the diced onion. Sweat onion with a pinch of salt until translucent. Add arborio rice, and season with a pinch of salt. Stir the rice frequently on medium low until rice is toasted but has no color. Deglaze the pan with wine, stirring frequently until wine dissolves. Add 1 c. water, and stir until the rice absorbs the liquid. Keep adding water and stirring risotto until the rice is al dente. (4) Add 1 1/2-2 c. of the sugar pumpkin purée to the rice; cook until the rice and purée combine. (5) Turn off the heat, and finish by adding grated Parmesan and butter. Check for proper seasoning. (6) Plate the risotto, and garnish with fried sage and freshly shaved Parmesan.
Wine pairing: Zaca Mesa Roussanne 2007 (California)—a lush white wine with rich apricot, fig and honey flavors—will highlight the creaminess of the risotto and Parmesan cheese.
40 | Chef