Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Hazelnut Pesto. Gnocchi zo sladkých zemiakov s pestom z lieskovcov.

There are some secrets to a great Italian cooking – quality and seasonal ingredients, proper olive oil and pasta.

When we used to live with my mum´s Italian partner, our every meal started out with  beautifuly prepared pasta dish. And I am telling you, it was really easy to get used to it. And now, proper paste is my thing. I mostly made my own these days and this paste is no exception.

My favourite way how to make gnocchi is to make them with roasted sweet potato, add some freshly ground nutmeg to the dough and ssrve these beautifully shapen gnocchi with homemade hazelnut pesto made out of fragrant basil leaves and lightly toasted hazelnuts. This perfect combination will take you to Italy right away.

In the past week, we have tried with my boy many recipes for the perfect gnocchi, but I believe this is the best version possible. I have to call them ´The best gnocchi I have ever eaten´. I hope you will like them as much as we do.

Sweet potatoes are the superstars! Their beautiful red colour is the indication of beta-carotene thats presented in the plant. The amount of vitamine A that´s in on serving of sweet potato make 70% of your recommended dose of this vitamin. They are a great source of fibre, especially when eaten with their skin on. They also contain other nutrients such as potassium, zinc and vitamin B6. They are naturally sweet and great enjoyed for breakfast as well.

Arrowroot powder is a powder derived from a South American plant. It is used as a natural thickener where you would normally used cornstarch. Cornstarch is made by pulling away corn kernels from the cob, soaking it in warm water with chemicals like sulfur dioxide, which is a big no-no to our body. And because corn tends to be genetically modified, I would really advice you to buy organic stuff. I know this might be quite expensive, but you don´t want to be supporting many cancer cells in your body to grow, do you? Also, because the corn undergoes such a heavy process until we see it in our shops as a corn starch, it puts a heavy load on our bodies when digesting this starch. Arrowroot powder comes from washed and peeled plant which is being soaked in sea water. The starch that gets to the bottom is collected and gathered into a ball, which is then dried out naturally.This simple process is being done exactly like in traditional societies in Southern America. It is worth trying out this new powder, in respect to your body. It has got some health benefits like aiding digestion, it is beneficial for weigh loss(it is fat free) and it also can be used as a baby powder.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

1 medium sweet potato
1/4 cup (50g) arrowroot powder or corn starch
1/4-1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 egg
pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 200°C. Pierce your potato with fork, put it on a baking sheet and bake until soft. This should take about 45 minutes.

Take the potato out of the oven and when cool enough to handle, peel the potato and let the flesh cool completely. Mash up potato flesh.

Mix the potato flesh (I worked with about 150 g of potato flesh) with an egg, salt and nutmeg. Mix well. Gradually add arrowroot powder and 1/4 cup of brown rice flour, being carefull not to overmix your dough. You want your dough to be moist, but not sticky. You could use more brown rice flour, but be careful. The drier the dough, the taugher your chnocchi will be once cooked.

Transfer your dough into a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a log shape. cut out about 1/4 of the dough, roll into a long ´snake´ shape and cut it into hazelnut size pieces. Roll each piece between tha palms of your hands. Continue with the rest of the dough.And if you want your gnocchi to have a fancy look, using back of a fork, simply roll each ball down the fork to create the traditional lines. Or lightly stamp the gnocchi with fork to create rather a flat shape. Feel free to experiment!

When ready, cook them in boiling water for about 2-4 minutes, until they start to flow on the water. Because this is fresh pasta, you don´t need to cook for a super long time. Simply taste them after a couple of minutes. They should be soft, but not chewy and they should hold their shape beautifully rather then being mushy or taugh.

If you don´t want to cook them immediately, you can store them in a fridge for about 3 days, or put them to the freezer and eat within 3 months.

Serve your gorgeous gnocchi with hazelnut pesto, some pecorino cheese, fresh basil leaves and drizzled with a bit more olive oil.

Hazelnut Pesto

big bunch of fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove (start with 1/2 of the clove and adjust to your liking)
sea salt
frshly ground black pepper

Toast your hazelnuts in a pan until their skin starts to crack. Transfer them on a plate and let cool for a while. Using your hands, rub most of their skin off. Transfer them to a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and blend until a lovely smooth paste forms. Taste and balance the flavours with more lemon juice, salt, pepper or garlic. Store in the fridge for up to a week or pour a layer of olive oil on top and store in the freezer.

——–

Zakladom talianskych jedal su kvalitne a sezonne ingrediencie, uzasny poctivy olivovy olej a cestoviny. Ked sme byvali s mamininym talianskym partnerom, zvykli sme kazde hlavne jedlo zacat porciou krasnej a neodolatenej cestoviny. Naozaj som si na taky chutny zivot lahko zvykla a teraz na cestoviny nedam dopustit. Vacsinou tie cestoviny vyrabam sama, tak necudo, ze aj pri dnesom recepte tomu nie je inak.

Moj najoblubenejsi sposob ako pripravovat gnocchi, je pripravit ich z peceneho sladkeho zemiaku, pridat do cesta stipku cerstvo postruhaneho muskatoveho oriesku a podavat tieto krasne gnocchi s domacim pestom z vonavej bazalky a jemne opecenych lieskovcov. Dokonala kombinacia, ktora vas prenesie do Talianska lusknutim prsta.

Za posledny tyzden sme s mojim chlapcom vyskusali naozaj vela variant gnocchi cestovin, no tymto receptom si ma uplne ziskali-tymto receptom som ich dotiahla na najlepsie gnocchi ake som kedy mala. Verim, ze vam budu chutit tak sialene ako nam.

Sladke zemiaky su superstar medzi zeleninou! Ich krasna cervena farba je znakom pritomnosti beta-karotenu. Mnozstvo vitaminu A, ktore je v jednej porcii sladkeho zemiaku, tvori az 70% vasej dennej odporucanej davku tohto vitaminu. Sladky zemiak je skvelym zdrojom vlakniny (najlepsie ak zjete ten vas batát aj so supkou!). Taktiez obsahuje dalsie mineraly ako potassium, zinok a vitamin B6. Su uzasne sladke od prirody, dokonca si ich mozete vychutnatat ako sladke ranajky :)

Arrowroot prasok je prasok, ktory pochadza z rastliny z Juznej Ameriky. Pouziva sa ako prirodzeny zahustovac pri vareni a peceni, kde by ste normalne pouzili kukuricnu mucku. Kukuricna mucka je vyrabana z kukuricnej obilniny, ktora sa namaca vo vode spolu s chemikaliami (ako napriklad oxid siricity-ktory je naozaj velkym NIE, ked pride ku zdraviu). A pretoze kukurica byva geneticky modifikovana, radila by som vam vyhnut sa takymto produktom. Alebo ked uz, tak zainvestovat do organickej verzie, co niekedy moze byt naozaj drahsie. Pri vsetkych tych procesom, ktorymi prejde kukurica az dokym sa nam dostane do ruk ako kukuricna muka, je pre telo velmi tazko stravitelna. Arrowroot prasok sa vyraba presne tak isto ako to robili stare civilizacie v Juznej Amerike uz od pradavna. Tento prasok pochadza z rastliny, ktora je umyta, osupana, nastruhana na velmi jemnucke kusocky a nasledne namocena v morskej vode. V morskej vode sa rozdeli a skrobova cast padne ku dnu. Tento skrob je potom pozbierany dokopy a nehava sa vysusit po dobu niekolkych dni na podobu prasku. Tymto neznym procesom sa nam nase telo podakuje-arrowroot prasok je lahsie stravitelny. Co poviete, nestoji to za vyskusanie? A taktiez, tento prasok ma aj zopar zdravotnych benefitov ako napriklad, ze pomaha traveniu a pri chudnuti (nema v sebe ziaden tuk) a taktiez sa moze pouzit ako detsky puder. :)

Gnocchi zo sladkých zemiakov

I stredne velky sladky zemiak
1/4 salky (50g) arrowroot alebo kukuricnej muky
1/4-1/2 salky ryzovej muky
1 vajicko, najlepsie organicke – take prave domace
stipka morskej soli
1/4 lyzicky cerstvo nastruhaneho muskatoveho orieska

Predhrejte si ruru na 200°C. Sladky zemiak poprepichujte vidlickou, polozte na pekac a pecte dokym zemiak nie je makky, asi tak 45 minut.

Po upeceni vytiahnite zemiak z rury a nechajte chvilku vychladnut. Ked bude zeamik chladny na tolko, aby ste s nim mohli narabat, osupte ho, popucte a nechajte uplne vychladnut.
Zmiesajte si spolu vas popuceny zemiak (asi tak 150g) s vajickom, solou a postruhanym muskatovym orieskom. Pomaly do cesta vmiesajte arrowroot alebo kukuricnu muku a nasledne do cesta vmiesajte 1/4 salky ryzovej muky. Pamatajte, vase cesto miesajte jemne a ak si to cesto nevyzaduje, viacej muky nepridavajte. Cesto ma byt vlhke, no nie lepkave. Cim suchsie budete mat cesto, tym tvrdsie budu vysledne gnocchi.

Hotove cesto preneste na jemne pomucenu pracovnu dosku (pomucte ryzovou mukou) a vytvarujte do hrubeho sulca. Odkrojte asi 1/4 cesta a to nasledne jemne vyvalkajte rukami na ´hada´. Z tohto hadika poodrezavajte kusky velke asi ako lieskovy oriesok. Kazdy kusok vyvalkajte medzi rukami a pokracujte az dokym pouzijete vsetko cesto. Ak chcete dodat vasim gnocchi spravny a tradicny vzhlad, vezmite si do ruky vidlicku, otocte si ju a kazdy kusok cesta pootlacajte po spodku vidlicky-vznikne vam krasny vzor. Alebo jednoducho pootlacajte vidlicku po gulickach cesta. Experimentujte! :)

Ked budete mat gnocchi hotove, varte ich v horucej vode asitak 2-4 minuty alebo az dokym nevyplavaju napovrch. Pretoze je to cerstvo pripravena pasta, varenie netrva dlho. Ak si nebudete isty casom, jednoducho gnocchi ochutnajte-maju byt makkucke, no nie rozvarene a mali by si krasne drzat svoj tvar.

Ak ich nechcete varit hned, mozete ich dat do chladnicky na 2-3 dni alebo do mraziakaa tam ich mat odlozene po dobu 3 mesiacov.

Hotove uvarene gnocchi podavajte s lieskovo-orieskovym pestom, zopar zvitkami pecorino syra, cerstvymi bazalkovymi listkami a pokvapkane olivovym olejom.

Pesto s lieskovcami

velky zvazok bazalky (len listky)
1/4 salky lieskovych orieskov
1/2 salky kvalitneho olivoveho oleja
cerstva stava z 1/2 citrona
1 strucik cesnaku (zacnite s 1/2 strucika a az potom pridajte viac:)
morska sol
cerstvo zomlete cierne korenie

Opecte si na sucho vase oriesky az dokym krasne nevonaju a az dokym im nezacne praskat supka. Prelozte na tanier a nechajte ich nachvilu vychladnut. Odstrante z nich supku tak, ze ich budete suchat medzi dlanami. Vlozte do mixera so zvysnymi ingredienciami a vymixujte. Mixujte az dokym vam nevznikne krasne jemny zeleny krem. Ochutnajte a dochutte podla potreby solou, korenim, citronovou stavou alebo pridanim cesnaku. Skladujte v uzatvaratelnej flaske v chladnicke po dobu 1 tyzdna alebo navrch pesta nalejte vrstvu olivoveho oleja a dajte zamrazit.

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