Ah Fall, my favorite season—it’s almost here! Can you feel it too? The days are still warm, but there’s already a few leaves crunching beneath my feet and a chill in the air at night. I’m dusting off my boots, unearthing sweaters, and craving wonderful fall things: roasted brussel sprouts, pumpkin cake, cider donuts . . . mmm mmm mmmmmm. And these ravioli!
The combination of sweet potato and goat cheese is almost dessert-like. When I first made these last year, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. Before I’d gotten my first sheet of pasta dough rolled out, I’d already eaten a ridiculous amount of the filling (and was no longer hungry at all). This time, to offset the sweetness (and the urge to consume spoonful after spoonful of filling), I decided to throw in a couple of roasted chili peppers. A good idea! The occasional spicy kick is a great complement to the sweet potato. I love them. I’m house sitting alone until next Wednesday, and these things are begging me to eat them all before I return to Vermont. Willpower . . . fading . . .
You might have noticed that the outsides of these handsome little orange guys look a bit whole-wheaty. This was actually my first experiment with hand-milled flour. I’m not partial to adding store-bought whole wheat flour to my pasta dough, but freshly-milled flour is a whole new world! It was as easy to work with as normal dough, and the finished product was only slightly chewier, with a subtle heartiness that is not at all reminiscent of stale cardboard flakes. The next time, I might cut the fresh flour with some unbleached flour, to tone down the chewiness. But considering that I worried I might have made a poor decision immediately after adding the eggs to the flour (point of no return!), the dough was a great success.
Sweet Potato, Roasted Chili, & Chevre Ravioli
yield: approximately 2 dozen large ravioli
- 3 small to medium sweet potatoes
- 2 green chili peppers
- a little less than 4 oz. of goat cheese
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 batch of egg pasta dough
Preheat oven to 425°. Rub peppers with a little bit of olive oil, and place on a baking sheet with the potatoes. Roast for 10–15 minutes, or until pepper skin begins to blacken. Remove peppers (leaving the potatoes) and place in a paper bag. Close bag and let peppers sit for about 10 minutes (to make removing the skin easier). Continue to roast potatoes for another 30–40 minutes, or until soft and mash-able. Remove from oven and let cool.
Skin and de-seed peppers, the dice finely. Remove potatoes from their skins and mash in a large bowl. Add goat cheese, peppers, nutmeg, and salt, and mix until well-combined.
Divide pasta dough in half. Roll one half out on a floured surface until thin, but not in danger of tearing (approximately 1/16 of an inch thick). If the dough becomes difficult to work with, just let it rest for a minute before continuing. Place evenly spaced spoonfuls of the filling along the surface of the dough. (My spoonfuls were around the size of a tablespoon.)
Roll out the other half of the dough, trying to replicate the size/shape of the first half. Before placing the second sheet on top of the first, rub the open spaces between the filling with a little bit of water (to help the ravioli seal). Place the second sheet on top of the first, and press to seal.
Cut ravioli with a knife or pasta wheel. Check all the edges to make sure they are properly sealed.
As per usual, I like to pan fry my ravioli in butter after they’ve finished cooking in the water. To do this, just transfer them into a hot, buttery pan with a slotted spoon, and fry until golden brown. Enjoy!