Image credit to: Chris McIntosh for Boston Organics
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Roast the sweet potato halves face down for about an hour. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, begin scooping out the roasted potato with a fork or spoon. Use a ricer or a mesh colander to mash the potato finely. Spread out on a baking sheet to cool.
2. In a small cast iron pan, pour olive oil over the garlic cloves. Put in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the garlic has browned. Set the garlic and oil aside to cool.
3. Mix and knead the dough either by hand or a stand mixer. Add the potato, egg yolk, ricotta, parmesan, brown sugar, seasonings and 1/4 of the flour to the mixing bowl and start it up on low speed. Incorporate the remaining flour in batches until a soft, smooth dough forms.
4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into three roughly equal pieces. Roll the pieces of dough between the work surface and your palms until they form little tubes. Carefully stretch that tube into long ropes about 1/4 inch thick. Use a bench knife to cut 1/2 inch little pillows and pile them on a floured baking pan.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop in the gnocchi. Stir to prevent sticking, and cook for 5- 6 minutes. Meanwhile, pour a bit of the garlic oil into a heavy pan with the butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter has stopped fizzing add the sage leaves in batches to the hot pan. They should crackle right away and within a minute turn bright green (or purple) and crispy. Carefully flip, and remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and onto a piece of paper towel.
6. Add the chopped shallots, mushrooms and chopped garlic to the hot garlicky-sage butter and sauté on medium heat for two minutes. Drain the gnocchi and add to the hot pan with the mushrooms. Keep it cooking on medium heat until the gnocchi browns. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, black pepper and crispy sage leaves.