The past 2 months combined, the Royal Foodie Joust ingredients have been sweet potatoes, garlic and orange. Wow…what a combination! Although I waited until the last minute…I knew what I was doing from the very start…ravioli! I just had to have the right day to be able to roast my sweet potatoes and make pasta! LOL! Ok..what else are you going to do on Halloween Day when you have neither children nor trick or treaters??
First, I roasted sweet potatoes as though I were making filling for Marcella Hazan’s Cappellacci. We made this recipe from Marcella Hazan’s Essential Italian Cookbook in Cooking Italy in October of last year. I loved the recipe then, but my pasta came out so tough I canned the whole thing. So this year…when sweet potatoes came up…my mind went here immediately! I adapted her recipe so I didn’t have an enormous quantity of the filling… I used 1 cup of roasted sweet potato, the rind of 1 large orange and 1 large garlic clove, sauteed slowly in butter until it caramelized. I mixed the ingredients together with about 1/3 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons of panko bread crumbs seasoned with a few drops of almond extract and a teaspoon of Grand Marnier, and 1 egg yolk.
Save the egg white to brush on the pasta to seal the ravioli better. Add a touch of salt and pepper to taste, and set aside while making her “yellow” pasta to her specifications. I rest my pasta between rolling it out so it becomes very smooth and elastic. Spoon little morsels of filling along a pasta sheet, paint the intervals with egg white and divide with a ravioli stamp or a rolling cutter. Just make sure you do your best to squeeze all the air out of the filling so it doesn’t try to explode during cooking. We found half the recipe of pasta was plenty for the two of us.
I served the ravioli with Marcella’s Butter and Cream sauce from the same book. It called for butter, cream and parmesan cheese…and it went very nicely with this ravioli.
This is a true pasta you’d anticipate having a main entree follow…and you’d appreciate it, and want it. This filling is mystifying. It’s the essence of flavors you expect to be sweet, but that really aren’t, that leave your tongue slightly puzzled about the flavors while it’s purring over the silky smooth texture. The cream sauce is silky, the filling is as soft as eiderdown, and the pasta is as light as a feather, barely containing the filling. I knew the orange and sweet potato would work well…but went out on a limb a bit by adding the garlic in the ravioli filling. Once it caramelized, even slightly, it became another layer of flavor that kept the ravioli filling savory, but just barely. Although a lot of work…this is considered a keeper, and a definite “show off” dish. It’s also a great way to use up extra baked sweet potatoes!