Cooking with Aloha

  • Sous Chef Rio Miceli, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. (COURTESY PHOTO)

A flavorful pasta recipe with a twist shared by Rio Miceli, the sous chef at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, utilizes local sweet potatoes.

Purple Gnocchi in Chevre Sauce

Serves 4

For gnocchi:

1 pound purple sweet potato

½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

4 egg yolks

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling

For sauce:

1 quart heavy cream

2 Tbls. butter

4 Tbls. minced garlic

8 oz. chevre goat cheese

2 Tbls. thinly sliced chives or scallion

Steam sweet potatoes with skin on for 30 to 40 minutes or until a paring knife can be inserted and removed without sticking. Allow to cool before removing skin by hand. Discard the skin. Puree potato in food processor with egg yolks and Parmesan until smooth and fully incorporated.

Transfer mixture to a medium mixing bowl. Add flour and mix with a wooden spoon until a ball can be formed. Knead dough with hands until uniform in color, smooth and slightly sticky to touch. Divide dough into four equal portions.

Lightly sprinkle flour onto work space. Taking one portion at a time, roll dough into long ropes of uniform ¾-inch thickness. Cut each rope going down the length into ¾” pillow shaped pieces. Take each piece and press lightly with thumb onto a dinner fork that has been dipped in flour. Remove from fork and place gnocchi on a sheet pan or cookie sheet dusted with flour. Set aside, covered with plastic or a kitchen towel, at room temperature. Heat a large pot of water over flame to boil.

Meanwhile, heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add butter and saute the garlic for 30 seconds before adding cream. Allow cream to reduce at medium-low heat until it thickly coats a metal spoon when dipped in cream. Add ¾ of goat cheese and whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove sauce from heat.

Add gnocchi to boiling water. When gnocchi floats, continue to boil for about two minutes and drain in colander. Add cooked gnocchi to the pan with sauce and heat over medium flame until sauce completely coats gnocchi, about two minutes. Divide gnocchi into four servings or place in a large serving bowl for family style. Garnish with remaining goat cheese crumbled over top, chives or scallions and a little drizzle of some nice extra virgin olive oil (optional).

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