I´m sure most of you are familiar with the traditional potato gnocchi, covered in creamy sauces and cheeses. But what if you used yucca instead of potatoes? That is exactly what I did today, and I knew beforehand that they were going to be delicious, because I often replace potatoes with yucca, or combine these two ingredients to improve the texture of my potato preparations. Such is the case with the classic papa rellena, for example.
Yucca is neutral in flavor and has an amazing texture, perfect for gnocchi. Follow the instructions in the recipe, and when you add the flour start with half a cup, and check if that amount is enough to keep the dough together. If it’s not, add more, little by little. You don´t want your gnocchi to be heavy, and that will happen if you add too much flour to the yucca.
I served these gnocchi with a parsley cream sauce because I had a bunch of parsley in the fridge and wanted to use it. I could have used cilantro instead, or basil, to make a more typical pesto cream sauce. Sometimes, when I don’t feel like making a pasta sauce, I use the leftover sauce of some stew, which almost always go very well with these gnocchi.
This parsley cream sauce is pale green and has a very intense parsley flavor. If you don´t want to process the parsley in the blender, chop it finely and add it to the boiling cream. This will give cover the sauce with pretty green speckles.
Whenever I make gnocchi I love to make more than I need. Then I put them in a floured tray and freeze them. Once they’re frozen, I transfer them to plastic bags or containers, and leave them in the freezer for up to a month. This way I can have impromptu dinners ready in no time at all (just however long it takes to cook them and make a light sauce). What could be better than having homemade gnocchi ready in minutes?
- • 1 lb yucca
- • 6 garlic cloves
- • Salt and pepper
- • 1 egg
- • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- • 1 cup heavy cream
- • ½ cup butter
- • 1 cup parsley leaves, processed in the blender with ¼ cup water
- • 4 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
- Peel and cook the yucca and garlic cloves in boiling water. When the yucca is almost tender, season with salt to taste. Turn off the heat when the yucca is completely cooked. Drain and transfer to a bowl.
- Puree the yucca and garlic.
- Taste for seasoning, adding salt, grated nutmeg, and pepper to taste. Add the egg, stirring with a wooden spoon, and then add ½ cup flour and knead lightly with your hands. If the dough sticks to your fingers, add the remaining flour, little by little, until it doesn't stick anymore.
- Transfer the dough to a floured table, and working with a small portion at a time, roll to form a log. Cut in ½ inch pieces and press each one lightly with the tines of a fork.
- Bring a pan with salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and simmer until they float on the surface.
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, add the cream and the processed parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the cooked gnocchi to the sauce and heat. Taste for seasoning.
- Serve immediately with grated Parmesan.