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Sweet Potato Ravioli

My kids eat pasta so much, I was driven to learn to make it homemade even though I was intimidated by it. When I finally started making it from scratch myself, I kicked myself for not having started doing so sooner. But, I understand that time is precious and these ravioli are just as wonderful when made with store-bought wonton wrappers.


A little thyme flavors the sweet potato (or pumpkin) and ricotta filling in these homemade ravioli, and the brown butter and pecan sauce makes them extra-special.  

Ingredients:

For the Pasta:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

For the Filling:

  • 2/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme (dried is fine too but use only a teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, whisked with about 2 teaspoons water for sealing the ravioli

For the Brown Butter Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or about 1/4 teaspoon dried leaf thyme)
  • Dash salt
  • Dash pepper

Instructions:

  1. On a clean flat surface, mound the flour. Make a deep well in the center of the flour and add the eggs, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  2. With a fork, begin mixing the eggs, incorporating flour a little at a time. Try to keep the mound as you mix so the egg mixture won't escape. Soon you'll have a kneadable dough.
  3. Knead the dough, adding a little more flour, as needed. Dampen your hands with water as you knead if your dough is too dry and stiff. It will be firmer than bread dough, so it takes a little more muscle.
  4. After about 10 minutes of kneading, you should have a smooth dough. It should also be elastic with indents bouncing back pretty quickly. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 8.

Prepare the Filling

  1. Combine the ricotta, sweet potato, Parmesan cheese, egg yolk, 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped thyme or 1 teaspoon dried, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cover and chill.

Assemble and Cook the Ravioli

  1. Using a rolling pin or pasta roller if you have one, roll dough out to ⅛ inch thickness. Be sure to keep dusting the pasta and the work surface with that reserved flour as you work. You’ll need to roll out two sheets, one for the top and one for the bottom of the ravioli.
  2. On the bottom sheet of pasta, mound about 1 to 2 teaspoons of filling about two to four inches apart, depending on the size of the pasta sheet.
  3. Dab a little of the egg-water mixture along the edges of the dough for each ravioli before you place the second dough sheet over the filled sheet.
  4. Using a pasta cutter, or ravioli stamp, cut out your ravioli.
  5. If using right away, cook in lightly salted boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain well and serve drizzled with brown butter pecan sauce. Sprinkle with a little grated or shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  6. If not cooking right away, spread the uncooked ravioli on a flour-dusted baking sheet and freeze in a single layer. Put into freezer bags and keep frozen until you're ready to cook.

*If you are using wonton wrappers, simply mound your filling in the center of a wrapper, brush the edges with the egg wash before adding the top wonton wrapper to help seal. Secure the edges by crimping together with a fork, gently.


Prepare the Brown Butter Sauce

  1. In a saucepan or saucier over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter is foaming, add the coarsely chopped pecans. Cook, stirring constantly until the butter is browned and aromatic. Don't let it go past a light to medium brown or it could burn.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried.
  3. Pour into a cooler dish to stop the cooking process. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Makes about 3 to 4 dozen ravioli, depending on size.