Monday, September 19, 2011

Sweet Potato Ravioli

As I was going through the freezer to see what food is available, I noticed there was about a half a roasted sweet potato languishing in some tupperware. Now, I say "languishing" because it'd been more than a month since I'd last eaten sweet potato. Or at least since I last remember eating sweet potato.

But there it was, chillin' out, "looking" at me like it was saying, "Hey lady. You used to love sweet potatoes. What'd I do wrong to make you break things off with me so suddenly?" And I was ashamed to admit that it had, in fact, done nothing wrong. I'm just inattentive (tell you something you didn't already know, right?) and absent-minded and sometimes in the pursuit of new adventures, I just forget my old faithfuls. I also found most of a container of ricotta in there from when I last made lasagna.

It seemed to me that while the sweet potato lends itself graciously to myriad uses, I might like to elevate it beyond its humble beginnings and let this one sweet potato enjoy a place of honour amongst fresh pasta. What better way to celebrate the diversity of the sweet potato? So here we are, with some freshly made sweet potato ravioli. I hope you enjoy it!

1 batch pasta dough, enough to make three trays of ravioli)*
1/2 roasted (or boiled?) sweet potato
1 1/2 cups ricotta
1 tablespoon each: sage, salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons dried, pulverised black trumpet mushrooms (optional)
1/2 cup or so pesto

 Using a potato masher, combine sweet potato, ricotta, sage, salt, pepper and mushroom bits. Line a ravioli press (the trays with the little sections for those lovely tiny square raviolis) with a thin sheet of pasta (alternately, you can make these individually, by taking your sheet of pasta, rolling it out thin, then either dropping spoonfuls of filling onto it before cutting, or cutting out your shapes then filling). Fill each divet with the filling, then brush the sheet (away from the filling) with egg wash or water (I just use water). Top with another thin sheet of pasta and press (since I use the ravioli tray, I just use a rolling pin to seal them all at once). Remove from tray and let sit for 10-20 minutes on a plate to dry. Cook in salted, boiling water roughly 7 minutes. Drain, then toss with pesto. Serves 2 people who hadn't eaten all day.

*For pasta, I did approximately a pound of flour with 3 eggs. I usually do this by feel and not by measuring, so this is a rough idea. I pile however much flour I want onto the counter, add some salt, make a well and whisk in, using a fork, some eggs. Then I knead it a bit, wrap in saran wrap and toss it in the fridge for an hour before I roll it. Sometimes my egg:flour ratio is off, and I just kind of adjust it on the fly. But for those of you who want a proper recipe and not my "a little of this, a little of that" nonsense, here's one. I also use a rolling pin to roll out my pasta, instead of a pasta machine, so you might not want to emulate that because it's quite a lot of work (work I find relaxing, but still).

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