Making ravioli is one of my favorite kitchen projects when I have a little extra time. Of course it is more time consuming than cooking pre-made pasta, but once you have made your own, you really notice the difference. The sweet potatoes make a velvety filling that is so satisfying. Tossed in a butter sage cream sauce and topped with parmesan cheese, this ravioli is the ultimate comfort food.
TIP: Kneading the dough is important to getting a good texture. A full 8 to 10 minutes is usually enough. Getting air bubbles out of the ravioli is critical, because air bubbles will cause the ravioli to pop when they are in boiling water.
Sweet Potato Ravioli with Butter-Sage Cream Sauce
Recipe makes 2 servings. Total time 2 hours (cooling time included). Active time 60 minutes.
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature, plus 1 large egg white, beaten (for the egg wash)
- Semolina flour, for dusting the pasta
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 6 large fresh sage leaves
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Kosher salt
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
To make the filling: Preheat oven to 350°F. Roast whole sweet potatoes for 1 hour, or until fork tender. Take out to cool to room temperature. Squeeze sweet potatoes out of skins into a bowl and mash with a fork. Mix in ricotta, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
To make the pasta: While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, pour all-purpose flour on a cutting board or other wooden surface. Make a well in the middle of the flour, cracking whole eggs directly into the well. Use a fork to whisk the eggs, then slowly incorporate flour from the edges into the egg mixture. When the liquid starts pouring over the sides, use your hands to incorporate the rest of the flour.
Mold the dough into a round. Begin to knead the dough, constantly rotating it on the board as you knead. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes. At this point, the dough should be soft, smooth, and elastic (see Cook’s Note).
Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Wrap 3 of the pieces in plastic wrap or cover with a bowl, and use remaining piece to begin making pasta. Put a pasta machine on the widest setting. Flatten the piece of dough and run it through the machine. Fold the dough in thirds, then feed it (open end first) through the machine again. Repeat this 2 more times with the same piece of dough.
Tighten the pasta machine by 1 notch. Feed piece of flattened dough through. Repeat this process, tightening the pasta maker down by 1 notch each time it is fed through. Once the dough has gone through setting number 6, place on clean cutting board. Cut the length in half and place pieces right next to each other.
Using a pastry brush, paint beaten egg white all over both lengths of pasta dough. Use 2 small spoons to place a heaping teaspoon of sweet potato filling every 2 inches down the center of one length of dough. To stack the dough, match both lengths at one end and hold that in place with one hand while you use your other hand to press the air bubbles out of the ravioli as you finish matching the two pieces together (see Cook’s Note).
Using a pastry or pasta cutter, cut in a straight line between each filling. Trim the sides with the cutter to make each ravioli into a square that is approximately 2-by-2 inches. Place finished ravioli onto a clean dish cloth and dust with semolina flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest while making the next round of ravioli.
Go through this process with each piece of pasta dough, one piece at a time. Always fill the pasta and form the ravioli before beginning to roll out another pair of dough pieces.
To make the sauce: Heat cream and sage in a medium saucepan over low heat. As soon as you begin to smell the aroma of sage, turn off the heat and set aside. Do not let the cream come to a boil. Melt butter in a deep skillet, then add garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir while pouring in the cream and sage, then turn down the heat to low.
To cook ravioli: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt. Lower the ravioli into the water, and watch. They will cook quickly. They are ready when they float to the surface. Use a slotted spoon to pull the ravioli out of the water and into the cream sauce. Use a wooden spoon to gently coat each piece in the sauce. If the sauce looks dry or shallow, use some of the pasta water to thin it out.
Top with Parmesan and pepper. Serve immediately.