1. Place dasheen and sweet potato in salted water to cover. Bring to a boil, and simmer until fork tender, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add basil and garlic, and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, and add white wine and tomatoes. Simmer about 1 minute. Stir in Marinara Sauce; season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
2. Bring another large pot of salted water to a boil. Drain dasheen and sweet potato, and pass through a ricer into a large bowl. Add eggs and nutmeg; season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Slowly add flour, stirring until fully incorporated.
3. Using two wet teaspoons, dip out a rounded spoonful of the gnocchi mixture. Transfer the spoon to your left hand with the gnocchi mixture; place the other spoon on top of the gnocchi mixture, and smooth with the bottom of the other wet spoon. Then slide the second spoon under the gnocchi to release it into the boiling water. Cook until the gnocchi rise to the top and float, about 5 minutes. Drain, and add to skillet with Marinara Sauce, tossing to coat. Serve with grated Parmesan.
Marinara Sauce Makes 3 cups
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and basil. Cook until onions are translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and add white wine. Return to heat, and add tomatoes and brown sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until thick, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Palmer takes an innovative approach to the island's native ingredients to create what he fondly calls "new Jamaican cuisine." He reinterprets gnocchi, Italian potato dumplings, by making them with dasheen and pale-yellow sweet potatoes. He serves dasheen gnocchi with a fresh marinara sauce. Dasheen is a root vegetable grown in the wetlands of Jamaica and elsewhere in the eastern Caribbean. More commonly known as taro root, this knobby brown tuber has white fibrous flesh that develops a nutty flavor when cooked. The Jamaican sweet potato's pale-yellow flesh has a subtle flavor. Dasheen and pale sweet potatoes can be found at West Indian markets. Nestled in the Blue Mountains, Strawberry Hill sits majestically on a hilltop outside Kingston, Jamaica, at a lofty altitude of 3, 100 feet.