I’m missing spring. Everyday I try to find spring molecules in the air. I wait impatiently for sunny days, asparaguses and lilies of the valley.
Although I have to admit, this winter has been quite bearable, so far. No critically low temperatures, no pain in my hands due to freezing cold. I managed to slip on ice only once, straight into the mud. And lying covered with dogs, drinking hot ginger tea with a running nose has become a tradition. Thanks to the winter lethargy, which wouldn’t let me write here, I learnt knitting. Or should I say I still have been learning, because my needlework isn’t really a piece of art. But I decided not to be too harsh on myself. The worst scenario, my scarf-to-be knitting will become a dog’s blanket.
And books. Always ready to help me to survive winter. After ingenious piece by Olga Tokarczuk (Books od Jackob) and Lech Majewski’s Metaphysics, I started to think that there was impossible to find a book which would be good enough. So, I have safely returned into magical world of Salman Rushdie’s stories. Now I enjoy Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, surrounded by Dunia and jinns, alon with knitting, cooking sweet potato gnocchi, covering my kitchen with flour. Feeding my dogs with sweet potatoes. Everyday spring becomes more and more present.
Sweet potato gnocchi
with almond sauce
500g sweet potatoes
1¼ cup all-purpose flour (140g)
¼ cup chickpea flour(30g)
½ tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg
½ cup silvered almonds(55g)
1 tbsp olive oil
2ybsp chopped fresh sage*
2-3 garlic cloves minced
1/3 cup white wine
¾-1 cup soy/rice/oat milk
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
*you can use fresh parsley instead
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Roast sweet potatoes, until soft (30-50 minutes). Set aside to cool down.
2. In a large pot bring slated water to a boil. Reduce the heat and keep it simmering.
3. Purée the sweet potatoes in a food processor. Scrape the purée onto lightly floured counter. Add both flours, salt and nutmeg. Mix all with your hands. Form a dough, until it is soft, but not so sticky that you cannot handle it.
4. Pinch off a small blob and roll it in flour. Drop it into the simmering water. Wait for it to bob to the surface. When it floats, cook it for 30 seconds, and then fish it out with a slotted spoon. Drop it on a colander and let it cool slightly. Test the gnocco. If it fell apart in the pot or is falling apart or melting after its had been cooked, knead more flour into the remainder dough. Add the smallest amount of flour possible to get gnocchi that stay together. Keep testing as you add flour. I usually don’t have to add any more flour using this proportion, but I always do the test.
5. When you achieve the perfect dough, divide it into four portions and roll each out into a snake 2 cm thick. Remember to flour the counter. Using knife, cut the snakes into 2cm bits. If you want you can shape each gnocco across the back of the tines ot a fork to make traditional grooves. Flour a baking tray and place gnocchi on it. Remember to leave room between each piece. Leave it for 1 hour to dry up. You can also cover them tightly ad refrigerate up to one week.
6. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Chop onion. In a pot heat the olive oil. Add onion and sauté until golden and soft (about 10 minutes). Add the sage and garlic, cook until fragrant. Pour the wine and bring to a boil, cook a while after.
7. Blend all the ingredients form the pot with silvered almonds. Add milk gradually (usually something between 3/4 to 1 cup). Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce back into the pot and keep warm until gnocchi are ready.
8. Set up a colander to drain cooked gnocchi. Drop about 12 gnocchi at a time into the simmering water. Sweep a slotted spoon across the bottom of a the pot after 1 minute, in case some are sticking. When gnocchi float, let them bob for 30 seconds and then scoop them out and put in the colander. Drizzle the gnocchi with olive oil, gently shaking the colander back and forth to coat them. Repeat with every batch of gnocchi, tossing each batch with olive oil.
9. Pour warm sauce on cook gnocchi. Serve immediately along with kale chips (perfect companion). Always serve gnocchi warm.