It rained here for the last 3 days. Not drizzle, none of that weather like in the Pacific Northwest where it's like standing in the produce section of the grocery store with a lovely light mist. Oh no. This was a torrential downpour that resulted in flood warnings, cancelled after school activities, and worse than that: colder temperatures.
It felt like October. Or rather, it felt like I remember October feeling when I was a little kid. October now is usually hotter than July, but this was disgusting, unseasonable, dark, dank, gray weather. It took all of my willpower to not break out the stew meat, carrots, and potatoes to make a beef stew because I know that eventually, maybe soon, it will get warmer. I needed to make something that was bright, cheerful, and Spring-like because, to be honest, I needed the reminder.
My fridge was stocked with ingredients for various Spring dinners thanks to a trip to the produce market on Monday. I had asparagus, the paramount Spring vegetable (besides fiddleheads and ramps of course) that needed cooking ASAP. I also had some beautiful "Asian yams", and much to my surprise, they were yellow on the inside!
Ok, I'm rambling. I'll get to what I made...
Yam Chevre Gnocchi with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Makes 4 dinner-sized servings or 6 side-dish size servings
For the gnocchi
- 2 c. cooked, cooled, & mashed yams (or sweet potatoes)
- 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
- 1/4 c. semolina
- 1 egg
- 2 oz. soft goat cheese (I used Chavrie)
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- S&P to taste
For the sauce
- 1 jar (about 8 oz) roasted red peppers, drained well (I used Mezzetta)
- 3 oz. soft goat cheese (again, Chavrie)
Place the mashed yams in a large bowl (or in a mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook) and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add the egg and goat cheese, and mix well. Slowly add the whole wheat flour until incorporated, then add the semolina. Knead until a soft dough forms, about 10 minutes. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and, adding more flour as needed, roll into 1/2" logs. Cut the logs into pieces, then press with a fork. Cook in salted boiling water until they float. Cook 1 additional minute after floating, then remove with a slotted spoon to a separate dish. Meanwhile, place the red peppers and additional goat cheese in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain if desired.
What an amazing combination! I'm glad I added the goat cheese to the gnocchi, as it made the flavors a bit more complex. Most gnocchi recipes call for ricotta, and I thought the goat cheese would be good...and I was right! The difference in sweetness between the yams and the roasted peppers was delightful, and the tang of the goat cheese was just enough contrast. The only thing I wish I'd had was some fresh sage, but I do have to say: I enjoyed NOT grocery shopping today!
Enjoy your Friday!