Adapted from Just a Taste

This FoodPrints recipe is both homey and sophisticated and a fun project for a group (or family)! Serve with a tossed green salad  for a delicious (meatless!) dinner.

Serves 4 to 6 as a main course

INGREDIENTS 

For the gnocchi: 
2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 2 medium) 
1 12-oz. container fresh ricotta
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, more for serving
2 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for dusting

For the brown butter sauce:
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 handful of loosely packed fresh sage leaves 
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

METHOD
Preheat oven to 400°F.  Scrub and dry the sweet potatoes, then prick them all over with a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a foil-lined cookie sheet and roast until fork-tender (about 1 hour). Cool, then peel and mash potatoes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust it with flour. You'll want this near your work surface when you start making the gnocchi.

Transfer 3 cups of the mashed sweet potatoes to a large bowl. Add the ricotta, stirring until thoroughly combined, then stir in 1 cup Parmesan cheese and 2 tsp salt.

Start adding the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing with your hands until a soft dough forms. Shape the dough into a large ball.

Lightly flour your work surface and divide the dough into six equal portions. Take one portion and gently roll and stretch it on your work surface or between your hands until it's about 20 inches in length (about the length of a standard cookie sheet).

Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces to form each gnocchi (each "rope" should yield about 20 gnocchi). Using the back of a fork, press each gnocchi into the tines to form indentations (which will soak up the delicious sauce you're about to make), then transfer them to the floured baking sheet. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining five pieces of dough.

Prior to boiling the gnocchi, make the brown butter sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook the butter until the foam subsides and it begins to turn a golden brown color, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the sage leaves, allowing them to cook for 1 minute. Remove the brown butter from the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

When you're ready to cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add a portion of the gnocchi to the boiling water, stir, and then let the gnocchi cook until they float back up to the top, about 1 minute.

Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and transfer to a serving bowl. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining gnocchi and toss your delicious little orange morsels with the prepared brown butter sauce. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Note: uncooked gnocchi will keep in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer for a few months. If you can resist eating them all that first meal, that is.
 
 
Adapted from Fine Cooking

We took this super easy one-pot brownie recipe and enhanced it with duck eggs (prized for their richness) and cultured market butter. Regular chicken eggs work well too, just use five instead of four. Twin Post Farm has duck eggs (Dupont); Clear Spring Creamery (Downtown Silver Spring and Dupont) and Blue Ridge Dairy (Dupont) both have amazing butter. 

Makes 24 brownies

INGREDIENTS 
  • 12 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unsalted best quality butter, cut into 9 pieces; more softened to grease the pan
  • 1-1/4 cups unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2-3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 4 duck eggs or 5 large chicken eggs 
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) roughly chopped high quality chocolate, milk or dark

METHOD

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch straight-sided metal baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, leaving about a 2-inch overhang on the short sides. Lightly butter the foil.

Put the butter in a large (4-quart) saucepan over medium-low heat and stir occasionally until melted, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth, 1 minute. Switching to a wooden spoon, add the sugar and salt, and stir until blended. Test check the temperature of the batter—it should be warm, not hot. If it’s hot, wait a few minutes before proceeding. 

Stir in the eggs, two at a time, until just blended. Stir in the vanilla until the batter is well blended. Sprinkle the flour over the batter and stir until just blended.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Scatter the chocolate on top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with small bits of brownie sticking to it, about 35 minutes, perhaps a few minutes longer. The key to fudgy brownies is to under-cook them ever so slightly. Cool the brownies completely in the pan on a rack, about 3 hours.

When the brownies are cool, use the foil overhang to lift them from the pan. Invert onto a cutting board and carefully peel away the foil. Flip again and cut into 24 squares. Wiping your knife frequently with a damp cloth helps with slicing.