Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Gouda (Failed Experiment)

  Ok, so full disclosure, I sort of suspect that I didn’t like this recipe because, well, I kinda think maybe I don’t like gnocchi?  I’ve only made it a few times, and it always seems to turn out like funky little dough wads.  My Mr. swears I like it when he has made it though, so, I dunno.  Either way, this is what we’re making:

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Gouda Cheese Sauce
1 lb sweet potato
6 oz ricotta cheese
½ c parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp Salt
¼ tsp nutmeg
1-¾ c flour
2 c milk
¼ onion
2 cloves garlic
3 sage leaves
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 c gouda cheese, shredded
  Start by stabbing your sweet potato(es) a few times with a fork, placing them on a plate and microwaving them for around 5 or 6 minutes, until tender.  Cut in half and let cool enough that you won’t be working with potato-lava before scraping 1.5 cups of the flesh into a large-ish bowl.  Mash together with your ricotta before adding your parm, brown sugar, salt and nutmeg.  Mix together and then add flour, about a half cup at a time, until a soft dough forms.
  Spread some flour on your counter or a silpat mat and divide your dough into 3 pieces on it.  Roll the pieces into long skinny tubes around 20″ long and an inch in diameter.  Cut each tube into around 20 pieces.  Roll each piece across the back of a fork to indent it.  As far as I can tell, this is just for appearances, but it looks nice and is kind of fun to do.
  Start a large pot of water boiling and add a tablespoon of salt.  Working in batches, boil gnocchi pieces for around 5-6 minutes.  Transfer to a baking sheet to cool when done cooking.  Allow to cool completely, these can be made up to 4 hours ahead of time and left to stand at room temperature.
  For your sauce, combine your milk, onion and sage in a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat for around 5 minutes.  Small bubbles should gather around the pan edge, but your milk should not boil!  Take your pan off the heat and set aside for 10 minutes before removing your solids.  Cover it to keep warm.
  In a separate saucepan, melt your butter over medium heat and stir in 3 Tbsp flour until it’s well blended.  Slowly add the milk from your first sauce pan, stirring constantly.  Reduce everything to low heat and whisk until the sauce is smooth and thick (about 5 minutes).  Stir in the shredded Gouda and stir continuously until melted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve over gnocchi.
  Well, I already told you guys this was a fail.  It’s just one of those recipes that is so rich you feel a little sick eating it.  The gnocchi seemed really sticky and heavy to me.  Maybe I’m doing it wrong?  There was a strange sweetness to it that played against the richness of the cheese in a really cloying way.  Both G and I liked the first bite, but by the 3rd bite kind of went “Uhm, I don’t want to eat any more of this”.  The Mr. was out of town when I made this, so he wasn’t subjected to it.
  …at least the baby enjoyed the tiny bits of gnocchi I fed to him without sauce on them right after they cooled.

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