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Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Pecans and Brown Butter

Southerners love dumplings with chicken. Here, the Rushings pair another bird--turkey--with sweet potato gnocchi sauteed in brown butter and sprinkled with crunchy pecans. Slade says, "It's a Southern boy's trip to Italy."


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10

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  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 baking potatoes (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (1 pound)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup pecan halves, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the salt on a baking sheet. Set all the potatoes on the salt and bake for 1 hour, or until tender. Let cool.
  2. Peel all of the baked potatoes. Work them through a ricer into a large bowl. Mix in the remaining 2 tablespoons of salt, the egg yolks and 1 1/2 cups of the flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it gently 3 or 4 times; add more flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Cut the dough into 6 pieces and cover with a barely damp kitchen towel.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll the gnocchi dough on a lightly floured work surface into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut the rope into 1/2-inch lengths. Using your thumb, roll each piece along the back of the tines of a fork to make indentations. Transfer the gnocchi to a lightly floured baking sheet.
  4. Salt the boiling water. Add one-third of the gnocchi and stir gently until they begin to rise to the surface, then cook until just tender, about 1 minute longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the ice water, then drain well on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi. In a large bowl, toss the gnocchi with the olive oil. Spread on 2 baking sheets.
  5. In a very large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cook the butter over moderate heat until it begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add one-third of the pecans and cook, stirring, until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add one-third of the gnocchi and cook until golden brown and warmed through; transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining butter, pecans and gnocchi in 2 more batches. Serve immediately.

Make Ahead

The gnocchi can be prepared through Step 4. Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Contributed By Published November 2005

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