It is Autumn, though most of the days don't feel like it yet, the evenings and early mornings do. In Japan, there are many veggies in season right now, mainly satsumaimo (sweet potato) and kinoko (mushrooms). There are all types of mushrooms in the stores. The ones I have here are shimeji (on the left--tricoloma/tricholome) and maitake (on the right--hen of woods/grifola frondosa).
I found a recipe that showcases these ingredients of Autumn....Satsumaimo no gnocchi kinoko sauce (Sweet potato gnocchi with mushroom sauce).
The recipe doesn't take many ingredients, just making the gnocchi will take some time.
First steam your potatoes, the ones I steamed came out bright yellow.
Then you need to urakosu (strain) them. This part takes the longest.
Here's the recipe adapted from a local newspaper.
Serves 4 (about 50 gnocchi)
300g satsumaimo (sweet potato)
1 small egg
35g grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
100g diced onion
50g bacon, thinly sliced
100g assorted mushrooms
100cc cream (about 1/2 cup)
20g grated parmesan cheese
salt to taste
1. Steam sweet potato (about 30 minutes). Peel while still hot. Strain to get sweet potato smooth.
2. Add the rest of the gnocchi ingredients to the sweet potato and mix well. Make into little balls and use the back of a fork to make ridges.
3. Boil some water and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Cook gnocchi for about 4-5 minutes.
4. In a pan, put the onion, bacon and butter and cook until onions and bacon are slightly brown. Lower heat then add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms start to wilt, add the cream and bring to a bubble.
5. Put gnocchi into plate and top with sauce, cheese and parsley.
NOTES: the hardest part of this recipe was straining the potatoes, but it was totally worth it, all the fibers that are in the potato will be taken out when you are straining it and the result is smooth gnocchi. It was my first time making gnocchi, plus, I didn't read the recipe fully and ended up with larger and lesser gnocchi than the 50. When you put the gnocchi into the boiling water it will sink to the bottom, but after a couple of minutes it will come up to the top. Use a slotted spoon or net like spoon to scoop them out of the water. After the gnocchi came out of the water, I started the sauce. I didn't have bacon but had pancetta so I used that instead.
Not something to make during a busy weekday, but if you make it ahead of time, I think you could probably re-heat it during the week. I think this sauce would go nicely with regular pastas too.
I hope you will try some of the Autumn ingredients where you are. Enjoy the season.