I survived!…and Sweet Potato Ravioli

29 Aug

I was in Norfolk last year when that hurricane came through because the dorms closed at William and Mary.  It hit land and weakened significantly, but it was still a hurricane/tropical storm.  I recall this now because that hurricane was a bore compared to the storm that rolled through last night.  It torrential downpoured for AN HOUR AND A HALF, and then it just kept on raining.  And the wind was terrifying.  I have never been so certain that I would die in a tornado.  But in the end, we survived!

Usually I would have been glued to my computer and in front of the TV watching the radar for hook echos but no, my friends, last night I was at QUAD RUGBY PRACTICE!!  But you will hear me gush about quad rugby plenty, so I’ll save that for another post.

Luckily, there was no tornado and we made it out of the flooded parking lot (fun fact: there is a street here that literally floods at high tide.  Norfolk is the second most flood prone city in the US…second to New Orleans. *sigh*) and headed home for some easy evening munchies: Trader Joe’s turkey meatballs from the freezer (totally delicious, I highly recommend these).  No from-scratch cooking tonight, but as promised, I bring you:

         Here’s the back-story to this recipe:  for prom dinner in high school, I had this amazing pumpkin ravioli.  It was delicious, and in my early days of experimenting with cooking, I tried to recreate it.  I was in a college dorm, in a tiny kitchen, with limited cooking supplies.  I was intimidated by filling ravioli and making fresh pasta, so my idea instead was to make a pumpkin sauce for store bought pasta.  This was during that pumpkin shortage a few years ago, so instead of pumpkin puree, I found canned yams.  I was determined.  I crushed up those yams, added some spices and maple syrup, and poured it over some rice pasta (I was doing a gluten free thing at the time)…and it was awful.  Like, really bad.  I would encourage you to learn from my mistakes and to not try that.

I would encourage you to try this recipe though!  Making fresh pasta is not terrifying, and it’s not hard.  I have made it before (and am planning a new batch soon!) and it turned out just fine.  I don’t own a pasta maker though, so rolling it out and filling the ravioli was…not fun and took forever.

Instead, wonton wrappers!  They are cheap, and they come in packs of a bajillion.  They are also extremely versatile, so with the extras from this recipe, you can try something else (like crab wontons)

This ravioli starts with one large sweet potato, and an oven preheated to 400 degrees.  Cut it in half and lay it flesh side up on a greased baking sheet.  Sweet potatoes are a real pain to cut…use a very sharp knife or to make it easier, you can also microwave the potato beforehand…pierce a few times with a sharp knife, then microwave for a minute or two, rotating halfway through. It will be hot if you do this, so be careful!

     Then bake until a knife can easily be inserted into the larger half.  For my potatoes, that was about 35 minutes.

Mmm, all roasted!  The let sit until cool enough to handle (If you’re like me, you’ll make derby pie bars while you wait).  Then make the filling.  This part is easy!

Combine both halves of the sweet potato (it ended up being ~1 1/2 cups) with ~1/4 cup of chopped onion until smooth.

Then a tsp each of molasses, cinnamon and salt, and puree some more.  That’s all!  Remember to taste at this stage…you can easily add more of any of these seasonings to suit your tastes.

Onto the ravioli making!  Get out your wonton wrappers, and a small bowl of water.Place about 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of a wonton wrapper.  Then use a finger to wet all four edges of the wonton wrapper.

Fold over corner to corner, then gently press around the filling to seal the edges and squeeze any air out.  Like so:

Then fold one bottom corner over the other to make THE CUTEST LITTLE RAVIOLI POCKET!

They look like they’re hugging themselves!

You shouldn’t need any more water to get this to seal.  My still slightly wet fingers and extra moisture from wetting the edges was enough to keep the corners together.

Now just repeat!  Many…many times…

     I know it sounds time consuming, but in actuality, this recipe only made me about 24 little raviolis, which is PLENTY for my boyfriend and I.  It only took me a half hour or so to fill them all, which was significantly less than I was expecting.  And seriously, even though it does take some time, it’s SO easy.  This was my very first time making ravioli from wonton wrappers, and every single one of them turned out perfectly (i.e. no frustration!).

Plus, this is totally something that can be made in advance and freezes easily.  Just lay them out on a wax paper lined sheet pan/plate, and set it in your freezer for a few hours.  Once the individual raviolis have frozen, throw them in a bag (they need to be frozen individually first so they don’t all stick together and freeze into a block) and freeze for up to 5 months!

If you saw my previous blog post, you know I fried/steamed these in a brown butter and walnut sauce, and served with roasted brussel sprouts and it was certainly the way to go…the perfect bite to tempt me into the beginning of fall recipes.  The molasses flavor and cinnamon with the natural sugars of the sweet potato give it a taste similar to pumpkin pie filling, with the pungent onion (and bitter molasses) keeping it savory.  The walnuts bring crunch, and the brown butter brings it all together.  Perfection!

Sweet Potato Ravioli

Inspired by Iowa Girl Eats

Makes 24 raviolis

1 large sweet potato (~1 ½ cups pulp)

¼ cup yellow onion, diced

1 tsp molasses

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

(more or less of these to taste)

Wonton wrappers

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with tin foil, and non-stick cooking spray
  • Cut your sweet potato in half lengthwise and set on the sheet pan with peel down, orange flesh up
  • Bake until a sharp knife can be inserted easily into thickest part (35-40 minutes)
  • Set out until cool enough to handle, then scoop flesh out into a food processor with ¼ cup of diced yellow onion, and puree until smooth; add 1 tsp molasses, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp salt
  • Taste your puree, and add more seasonings to suit your tastes
  •  Lay out your wonton wrappers (I worked in batches of four), and prepare a small bowl of water.  For each one, use a clean finger dipped in the bowl of water to wet all four sides of the ravioli.  Fold corner to corner, and carefully press around the filling to squeeze all the air bubbles out, and the edges to seal (It will be a triangle)
  • Fold the other two corners one over the other and press gently to hold in place (see images above)
  • Cook immediately in boiling water or with thismethod on the stovetop, or freeze for up to five months
    • To freeze, after assembling ravioli, lay them out on a sheet pan or plate such that none overlap, directly into the freezer for 1-2 hours until frozen through, then transfer to freezer bag

Additional notes:

  •             Could you use canned yams like I tried in college?  I wouldn’t.  Only because yams/sweet potatos from a can absorb so much moisture your filling would end up too liquidy when you blend them.  Plus, I love the depth of flavor you get from roasting vegetables (sweet potatoes included), but could boil your sweet potatoes until soft (like if you were making mashed potatoes), OR microwaving until soft (pierce it several times, throw it in the microwave for 6-10 minutes, rotating every minute or so until the insides are soft…be careful, they get REAL hot if you do this).

Certainly fall is sweet potato season, but you can get them year-round for less

than a dollar per pound, so you really have no reason not to buy these veggies fresh!

  •  I would recommend freezing these unless you plan to cook them immediately…like I said, I made these Sunday morning and cooked them up Monday night, and the wonton wrappers had absorbed moisture from the fridge and the filling and gotten sort of sticky and wilted, though they did taste fine cooked
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One Response to “I survived!…and Sweet Potato Ravioli”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Fried Pizza Rolls (and some tailgating) « Halite and Pepper - September 2, 2012

    […] Next to fill the wonton wrappers.  I used the same method I did for making ravioli. […]

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