Sweet potato gnocchi with radicchio, parsley and ricotta
Enjoy a wonderful combination of textures and flavours in this fluffy sweet potato gnocchi served with crisp, grilled radicchio.
For the gnocchi
- 400g/14oz rock salt
- 3 large sweet potatoes (or approximately 600g/1lb 5oz mash or purée), scrubbed
- 320g/11½oz 00 flour, plus extra if needed and extra for dusting
- 60g/2¼oz Grana Padano or other hard Italian-style cheese, finely grated, plus extra to serve
- 20g/¾oz butter
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish
- 20g/¾oz smoked ricotta (or salted ricotta), to serve
- 50g/1¾oz semolina
For the radicchio
To make the gnocchi, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and fill a roasting tin with the rock salt. Place the potatoes in the roasting tin, nestling the potatoes into the salt. Bake for about 1 hour, until they are soft and cooked through.
Leave to cool down slightly, then peel off the skin and mash thoroughly. Pass the mash through a fine sieve or potato ricer to obtain a smooth purée. If too watery, leave the purée to drain in a fine sieve for a few hours (or even overnight). Leave to cool completely.
Knead the potato with the flour and a pinch of salt and the cheese, until it forms a smooth dough. Add a little extra flour if it is still too wet. Sprinkle some flour on a clean work surface and roll out the dough into long sausage shapes. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into dumpling shapes of about 2cm/1in. Put the gnocchi on a baking tray, dust with semolina and set aside.
To make the radicchio, whisk the vinegar, olive oil, sugar and garlic in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Wash the radicchio under cold running water and shake off any excess water. Remove a few leaves to use as a garnish, finely slice and set aside. Cut each radicchio in half lengthways and brush generously with the vinegar marinade. Set aside for 20 minutes to marinate.
Preheat a grill to hot and arrange the radicchio halves cut-side up on the grill tray. Cook for 5 minutes on each side until the stalks are just tender (but still with a bit of crunch). Leave to cool and then roughly chop.
Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan with a pinch of salt and fry the shallot. Cook until the shallot is caramelised and then add the chopped radicchio.
Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi in a large saucepan of salted, boiling water for about 2–3 minutes, or until they start to float on the surface of the water. Remove with a slotted spoon and then transfer to a plate to drain.
Add the gnocchi to the pan with the radicchio. Add a ladle of cooking water to the pan, add the butter and stir on high heat until creamy. Remove from the heat and add the Grana Padano.
Serve the gnocchi in pasta bowls, garnish with the sliced radicchio leaves and parsley and finish with the ricotta and some Grana Padano to serve.