Sweet potato and walnut ravioli in sage butter
It is so rainy here these days. And what is the perfect rainy-Sunday-activity? For me, it was making homemade pasta and tiramisu while drinking red wine, and pretending to be in sunny Italy instead of in rainy Denmark. And I can tell you something: it worked. I was happy as a clam (and maybe a little woozy) despite the rain.
I have to say right away though, that my ravioli wouldn’t win any beauty pageants, but they were super delicious and fun to make, despite some obstacles. When I tried to roll out the pasta dough, my pasta maker broke, and Andy and I had to do it all by hand. That is why my raviolis are somewhat thicker and chunkier than I would have liked.
I started out making a pile out of 3 cups/7dl Tipo 00 flour. I made a hole in the middle and filled it up with 4 large organic eggs and a pinch of salt. Then I started mixing it up until it was all combined, and finally I kneaded it for about 10 minutes, until the dough had a very silky texture. Then I put it in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag (it needs to be air tight) until I needed it. I left it there for a couple hours, but it is important to let it rest for at least half an hour.
Then I made the filling out of 2 sweet potatoes that I cooked whole in the oven at 200C/350F for about 45 minutes. After the 45 minutes, the insides of the potatoes were completely soft and mushy and easy to scoop out. Then I sautéed half an onion and a clove of garlic in butter until soft, and mixed it with the mushy sweet potato. Then I roasted a little less than a cup/2 dl of walnuts on a dry pan, chopped them, and mixed them with the rest of the goodness. I salted and peppered the mixture and then grated some pecorino into it as well.
And then came the hard part: the rolling. As you can see, it didn’t work out for me with the rolling pin and I decided to use my hands instead. That worked quite well, and I just tried to work with it, until it was almost see through. Then I placed it on the table, and cut out little squares, and filled half of them with the sweet potato mixture.
I know, I know, they look like really strange ravioli, but despite their alienish looks, they were really tasty. The deal is that you put a square with no filling on top of a filled one, and try to get them to become one. I think the most important thing is to not get too much air stuck in the filling-pocket. That is why you have to press it down hard all around the filling (as you can see, that is what Andy’s hand is about to do), and go over it with a fork or something similar. Dust them lightly with flour so they don’t stick together, and boil them in salted water, until they rise to the surface.
I served mine with with a simple sauce of butter and sage. I just dumped the two ingredients in a pan, and let it stay there until the butter was lightly browned. It was delicious. Today we had the left overs with a creamy blue cheese and sage sauce, and that was equally good, but heavier.
Make your own pasta sometime. It isn’t very hard, and really fun, especially if it is accompagnied by wine and your favourite people. And if you think I did a terrible job of explaining the process, I found this page that does a good job of it (I didn’t use the recipe, but it should be useful anyhow).