by Hunter Fike
Sometimes, everything comes together perfectly.
Last night the family convened to create a menu that involved very little preparation and even less of a plan. A modify-as-you-go, see-whats-in-the-pantry-and-roll-with-it theme that, amazingly, resulted in one of our greatest successes in recent memory. The dish? Ravioli, stuffed with Sweet Potatoes and Ricotta di Pecora with a Sage and Strathdon Blue cream sauce. If you care to try for yourself, here is the recipe:
For the Pasta Dough
3 1/2 cups Wondra Flour, or 3 1/2 cups of All Purpose Flour, or 3 1/2 cups of a combination of the two. The more Wondra flour, the lighter the dough will be.
3 Eggs + 3 Egg Yolks
For the filling:
2 large Sweet Potatoes
1lb Ricotta di Pecora (sheep milk Ricotta) or Fresh Cow’s Milk Ricotta. The sheep milk will be sweeter and lighter, the cow milk denser and milder.
Pepper and Salt to taste
For the pasta dough:
1) Make the pasta dough in the traditional manner, creating a well in a mound of flour, adding the eggs, and gently incorporating them into the flour.
2) After your dough is ready, roll half of it to your desired thickness and cut in two equal portions. Repeat with the other half.
For the filling:
1) Microwave the Sweet Potatoes on high for 7 minutes or until soft. Alternatively, you can roast them in the oven, but the microwave does the job just fine.
2) Peel the Sweet Potatoes and put them in a large bowl. If you cannot easily mash them with a fork or wooden spoon, return them to the microwave until you can.
3) Add the Ricotta to the bowl and mix into the Sweet Potatoes. Whip them together until smooth and uniform.
4) Taste, and add salt and pepper as desired. We used very little salt and a generous portion of black pepper.
Make the Ravioli:
1) Bring a pot of water to a boil.
2) Meanwhile, place dollops of the Ricotta/Sweet Potato mixture evenly throughout two of pasta sheets. Top with the other two sheets of pasta.
3) Press the top pasta sheet around the filling to create individual ravioli.
4) Cut out with a knife. If desired, press a fork around the ravioli for aesthetics’s sake.
5) Add to the boiling water. When they rise to the top of the pot, they are done.
Make the sauce:
1) Melt the butter over medium-high heat and let come to a simmer.
2) When the butter subsides, add the heavy cream, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to medium.
3) Add the minced sage and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4) Crumble the blue into the sauce and melt. As the blue is incorporated, the sauce will thicken. When it is fully incorporated, the sauce is ready.
Combine the sauce with the ravioli and serve. Top with Parmigiano Reggiano if desired, but the Ricotta and Blue are enough cheese for most people. Here is our finished product:
Give it a try and let us know what you think. Alteration suggestions are always welcome!