At Rock Creek restaurant, this main-course dish is served with wild mushrooms, a vegetarian demi-glace and crumbled feta cheese. White or yellow sweet potatoes may be used, but the latter look nicer in the red-wine glaze.
Servings: 6 - 8
- 2 cups (24 ounces) sweet potatoes, cooked and cooled
- 1/4 teaspoon mace
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 cups flour, plus more for the work surface
- 10 ounces pearl onions, peeled and blanched*
- 1 sprig thyme, leaves-only
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 2 cups (2 ounces) packed arugula, leaves-only, washed and dried
- Freshly cracked black pepper
Fill a large stockpot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled sweet potatoes, mace and salt, mashing until no lumps remain. Slowly add the flour by hand, kneading to form the mixture into a ball of dough; it should be slightly dry. (You might have to add flour to make the dough come together; try to avoid adding too much, because it will make the gnocchi dense and heavy.) On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough in half and roll each half into a rope about 3/4 inch in diameter and about 8 inches long. Cut or pinch into 3/4- inch segments to form the gnocchi. You can test a piece of the dough once the water has boiled; it will hold together and float to the top when done. Working in batches, cook the gnocchi in the boiling water; this should take about 3 minutes per batch. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large bowl and cover to keep warm.
When all the gnocchi are done, heat the oil in a large pan or skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Add the pearl onions, thyme and garlic, stirring to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are heated through and shiny and the garlic is fragrant. Add the red wine, which will deglaze the skillet. Add the gnocchi and arugula and mix well; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among individual plates and serve immediately.
*NOTE: To blanch and peel pearl onions, first cut a small X in the root end of each one. Cook in a large pot of boiling water for about 3 minutes, then drain and peel.
Adapted from chef Frederic Przyborowski of Rock Creek restaurant.
Tested by Larry Nista.
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