Make Your Own Vanilla-Infused Pasta

Trust us, it’s easier than you’d think.

Who doesn’t love cooking or baking with vanilla? This month, we’re partnering with Sara Forte of Sprouted Kitchen to share tips, insights and recipes featuring vanilla.

Making your own pasta at home might sound daunting if you’ve never done it, but consider this: Making gnocchi is much closer to making cookies than it is to making spaghetti, in terms of technique. And by making your own gnocchi, you’re able to play with flavor combinations like sweet potato and vanilla.

Serving as the perfect complement to the sweet potato and brown butter sauce in this recipe, a vanilla-infused sauce will do a masterful job of adding its flavor, scent and warmth throughout this comforting dish.

To get started, let’s be honest: An easier job is made of this in a food processor. This recipe provides the “by hand” option, in case you don’t have one handy, or if you feel like tackling a manual project.

This will make a generous amount of gnocchi for four, so feel free to freeze some of them before boiling to cook at another time. To freeze, lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet or sheet pan, freeze and then transfer them to a zip-sealed bag to store. These would go great with some savory sausage.

Live.Love.Lux Tip: Simmer to perfection with your Electrolux Gas Range — learn how the precise heat control yields delicious results.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a Smoky Brown Buttered Vanilla Sauce

When rolling these by hand, use enough flour to keep them from completely sticking to your hands, while still being delicate." - Sara

Servings: 4

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Ingredients

1 lb. sweet potato (about 1 large sweet potato)

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1/4 cup ricotta

1 medium egg

1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and pepper

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour, plus more for shaping

4 tablespoon unsalted butter
quarter of a vanilla bean

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

Fresh parsley, toasted walnut pieces and parmesan for garnish

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick the potato and bake for 45-60 minutes until tender. Let it cool to the touch. Into a bowl, scoop out the potato flesh and mash well. Add the parmesan, ricotta, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix well until smooth. Sprinkle in the flour and mix to combine. The dough will dry out as it rests but should not be sticky, add more flour if needed, one tablespoon at a time until it is not gummy to your fingers. Chill the dough for an hour or up to overnight.

Prepare a floured work surface and a floured sheet pan. Divide the dough in half and roll it into two long snakes. Cut the dough into 1” pieces. Roll each piece along the back of a fork to give it grooves and place them on the floured baking sheet. Chill or freeze the gnocchi until ready to use.

Prepare a large pot of salted, boiling water. Drop in the gnocchi and cook until they rise to the top. About 3 minutes. Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.

In a large saucepan, warm the butter. Cook over medium low heat until it begins to brown and smell nutty. Add in the bit of vanilla bean, paprika and salt and stir. Add half the drained gnocchi (this will need to be done in two batches) and crisp on both sides in the butter. When both sides are browned, stir in the balsamic and 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and taste for seasoning.

Serve a small portion with a bit of fresh chopped parsley, chopped walnuts and grated parmesan on top.

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