Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Recipe: Sweet Potato Ravioli Filling

 My favorite foods are sweet potatoes and pasta, so you can imagine that sweet potato ravioli is one of my favorite dishes. My father used to serve them at the restaurant and I adored them, along with many customers. I've made many sweet potato dishes, but this was the first time I tried my hand at sweet potato ravioli. I dare say that they came out as well as the ones he serves.
I made a filling with roasted sweet potatoes, roasted chestnuts, toasted pine nuts, shallots, celery, cinnamon and nutmeg.  The resulting filling has a sweet flavor even without the use of sugar. It's quite tasty and is perfect in autumn.

Sweet Potato Ravioli Filling
1-2 sweet potatoes
2 stalks celery, cleaned and diced
1 shallot, diced
10 chestnuts, roasted and peeled
8 pitted dates, pit removed and chopped
3 T pine nuts
1 T olive oil
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper

Wash and pierce the sweet potatoes and place in a 400 oven (on a paper lined baking sheet).  Roast until soft, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
Heat a skillet and toast the pine nuts until fragrant.  Remove from pan and place in a dish.  Add the olive oil to the pan and sauté the celery and shallots until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in the cinnamon and nutmeg and turn off the heat. Let cool.
In a food processor, blend the pine nuts until fine but not a paste.  Add the dates and chestnuts and pulse until chopped finely. Add the cooled sweet potato and celery mixture and pulse until combined. The mixture will have some lumps, but will be well combined.
Scrape mixture into a bowl and cover tightly.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

This makes an abundance of filling - enough for 2 batches of pasta dough (4 eggs:3 cups flour per batch). It would be great for a lasagna filling or even manicotti.

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