sweet potato ravioli with lemon pepper pasta

Sweet Potato Ravioli with Lemon Pepper Pasta

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sweet potato ravioli with lemon pepper pasta
Lightly lemony, lightly sweet!

As with most weeks, we were starting to run low on our fresh produce this past Tuesday. Now, we know we’ll be getting an infusion of produce Tuesday evening, which we might be able to use for our dinner. But, this time, we had plans for most of the afternoon, so we wanted to have something mostly ready for our dinner. Then we could come home, put away our CSA produce, make a quick dinner, and relax for the evening. But, with so little in the house, fresh produce-wise (several onions, some garlic, a lemon, a potato, and two sweet potatoes), what could we make?

In just a few minutes, we came up with the idea of making cannelloni, but we switched to ravioli after picking up a ravioli stamp at a thrift store. It was brand-new, as far as we could tell, and only $1.50, so we thought, why not? And ravioli for dinner was in our destiny.

Sweet Potato Ravioli with Lemon Pepper Pasta

Yield: 40 ravioli

Sweet Potato Ravioli with Lemon Pepper Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 batch lemon pepper pasta dough, ready to roll
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese

Abbreviated Instructions

Scrub potatoes. Pierce in multiple places with a sharp knife. Microwave for about 5 minutes, then let rest for 5 minutes. If needed, microwave another 5 minutes, or until very soft. Let cool.

Peel off potato skins and discard. In a medium bowl, mash potatoes with the back of a spoon.

Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Add Parmesan cheese and mix thoroughly.

Roll out pasta dough into very thin sheets, and place teaspoons of sweet potato mixture over half of the sheet, about an inch and a half apart.

Fold over sheet, and press out air, sealing ravioli. Use a cutter to cut out ravioli and place on a lined baking sheet. The excess dough can be re-rolled.

Once completed, ravioli can be placed in the freezer until frozen, then transferred to a freezer bag.

To cook, place in simmering water for 2-3 minutes, then cover with a sauce of your choice.

http://scratchinit.halversen.com/2015/07/sweet-potato-ravioli-with-lemon-pepper-pasta/

Ingredient discussion:

As it turns out, lemon is a nice combination with sweet potatoes, so we do suggest making the lemon pepper pasta. It’s not any more difficult than any other pasta dough, so go for it. We did our pasta dough with half whole-wheat flour, too. We figure that no one gets enough whole grains, so, if we can fit them in dishes, why not? For the cheese, we were originally going to leave it out, but we tasted the filling as we were making it, and it need just a bit of something, so a couple of tablespoons of Grana Padano (an Italian cheese made just like Parmasan, just not in the Parma region) went into the mix. We actually think blue cheese would work here, too.

Procedure in detail:

Cook potatoes. We did this in our microwave. Again, we wanted this to be fairly quick to put together, so we scrubbed the sweet potatoes clean, pierced them with a sharp knife (so they don’t explode, which makes a real mess), and put them in the microwave for 5 minutes. Then we let them rest for 5 minutes, and repeat, if necessary. Once very soft, let cool completely and pull off the skins. As an aside, we made up the pasta dough while the potatoes were cooking.

makig sweet potato filling
We like to mash, season, taste, season, taste, until it’s just perfect.

Mash and season. Place the sweet potatoes in a small bowl and mash them using the back of a spoon. There aren’t enough potatoes to warrant breaking out a ricer, or a masher, so we just used the same spoon that we’d mix with. Add the nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and stir it in. Taste, and add more, if needed.

adding cheese
After tasting we thought that the filling needed just a bit of cheese, so we added a couple of tablespoons of grated Parmesan.

Add cheese. Add a couple of tablespoons of grated Parmesan, stir it in thoroughly, and taste again. Add more if needed, but not so much that the filling won’t stick together.

filling on pasta sheets
Place the dollops far enough apart so you can cut out ravioli.

Roll and fill. Roll out some of the pasta into a long thin sheet. Get it as thin as you can; almost translucent is good. We think it’s easiest if you can make the sheet about 3 inches wide. Once rolled, lay it on your work surface and place about 1 teaspoon of filling over half of the sheet, spacing each dollop of filling about 1 1/2 inches apart.

ravioli in the making
After the first few ravioli, we learned that it’s very important to squeeze out all the air before cutting the raviolis. It’ll help keep them from bursting when cooking.

Fold and press. Pick up the portion of the dough without the filling, and fold it over, covering the sweet potato mixture. Now, work from the folded end to the open end, pressing down the pasta dough around the filling and squeezing out the air.

cutting out ravioli
A ravioli cutter will make nicely shaped ravioli, but you can also use something as simple as a knife.

Punch. If you have a ravioli punch, go to town punching out ravioli; otherwise, you can use a fluted cutter, or even a knife. The only thing the punch does is make same-size ravioli with a fluted edge, so they look a bit nicer. Pull away the excess dough, which can be mixed into the remaining dough and re-rolled, and place the ravioli onto a lined baking sheet.

ravioli ready for the freezer
Place the ravioli on a lined baking sheet. We find it easiest to freeze them before cooking. They’re easier to handle.

Freeze. Once you have a baking sheet full of ravioli, place it in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. After that, you can transfer the pasta to a freezer bag for longer storage. Freezing makes the ravioli a lot easier to handle, so we always do it.

strozzapreti
We turned the excess pasta into strozzapretii, or “priest stranglers,” an easy pasta shape to make.

Make another pasta shape. We had some pasta dough left over, so we made strozzapreti, but you could also make farfalle, lorighettas or annelli, and more; just search for “shaping pasta” for ideas.

Simmer. To cook fresh ravioli, bring a large pan of salted water to a simmer — not a boil, which would break apart the ravioli — and drop them in without thawing. Let them simmer until they float to the top and the pasta is done, about 2 to 3 minutes, possibly longer depending on the thickness of your pasta.

We had our ravioli with a very simple sauce; just melted, lightly- browned butter with fresh sage. With the lemon pepper pasta, we didn’t want to cover up the flavor with a heavier sauce, like tomato, or even a cream sauce (unless it was very light). It was a very good dinner; the lemon flavor was there, complimented by the sweetness of the potatoes, making for an interesting flavor combination. The only issue we had was that we had overfilled a couple of ravioli and they ended up bursting as they simmered. Ah, the hazards of scratchin’. Five stars.

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