I have to admit, I’ve gotten a bit lazy and have been buying dried pasta for the past few years. There’s nothing wrong with store-bought pasta but last Christmas my mom bought me that gorgeous pasta roller machine and it’s been standing in the closet since then… Not really showing off my appreciation right?
Pasta is fun, and it should be made with loads of love, then eaten quickly with lots of appetite and slurping if need be! But the best thing about it is how fantastic it is that water, flour and eggs – three everyday ingredients we all take for granted, and that are quite boring to look at – when mixed and kneaded together form an elastic dough that can be rolled, cut or squashed into a million shapes and flavoured and coloured a thousand different ways. It amazes me!
Unlike pastry and bread doughs, pasta dough isn’t very fussy. You don’t really need a machine to shape the pasta, but a pasta roller really helps and it’s one of life’s great pleasure when you pull that final cut of the pasta strands out of the machine and drop them into a pot of boiling water.
And so a few days ago I finally took out of the box my beautiful Italian pasta roller and decided that I would mix together sweet potato, the left over wild mushroom I had in the fridge and some gorgonzola to bind it all together and Oh my was that a good call 😉
Sweet potato, wild mushrooms and creamy gorgonzola ravioli served with sage butter:
Cooking time: 45mins (+ 30min rest for the pasta dough)
Ingredients for the pasta dough:
– 400gr flour (try to get hold of Tipo “00” flour)
– 4 eggs or 8 egg yolks if you want a really yellow pasta dough
– a little bit of water (if necessary)
Place the flour on a board or in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into it. Using a fork, beat the eggs until smooth. Mix together with the flour as much as possible so it’s not too sticky. Then flour each hand and begin to knead. What you want to end up with is a nice piece of smooth, silky, elastic dough. If your dough is to dry, put a little bit of water on your hands and keep kneading. Repeat this until you get the right dough consistency.
Once the dough is smooth, silky and elastic, cover it with clingfilm and leave it to rest for about 30min in the fridge before rolling and shaping it.
Ingredients for the filling:
– 1 large sweet potato
– 200gr of mixed wild mushrooms
– 100gr creamy gorgonzola
– 3tbsp butter
– salt & pepper
– a small handful sage leaves
Pre-heat oven to 250C
Roast the sweet potato in hot oven until very soft. This should take 20-25 minutes. Split open. Leave to dry in oven with heat switched off.
While the sweet potato is roasting and cooling, Heat a large frying pan with 1tbsp of butter over medium-high heat. Add the wild mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms first release their liquid and then liquid evaporates, this will take about 10 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl, and cool briefly before stirring in the gorgonzola. Now time to get your sweet potato. Discard the peel and add the sweet potato to the mushroom-gorgonzola mixture. Roughly mash everything together. Season with salt (if needed) and pepper.
Now to make the ravioli: Cut fresh pasta dough into 2 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the remaining piece covered with a bowl. Using a pasta machine, roll through the widest opening, brushing very lightly with flour. Fold dough in half crosswise; pass through machine again. Roll dough through remaining settings until you get to a 1,5mm thickness (on my machine this is through setting number 5; this may vary depending on the type of machine used), using as little additional flour as possible.
Place pasta sheet on a lightly floured surface with the long side parallel to the edge of work surface. Place 1 heaped tsp of filling along the first half of the sheet about 10cm apart. Moisten pasta around each mound of filling, using a pastry brush dipped in water. Fold the dough up and over the filling to enclose; press around filling to seal. Cut your ravioli with a pastry wheel or baking rings, centering the filling as you go. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add about 6 ravioli per serving, and cook until tender but al dente, about 3 minutes. In a frying pan, melt 2tbsp of butter and with the sage leaves for each serving. When ravioli are done, use a slotted spoon to remove from boiling water. Drain well, and transfer to the hot pan and cook until the edge of the ravioli becomes crispy. Toss in butter, and divide among warm bowls. Bon appétit!
I recommend to pair this dish with a white Chardonnay or Viognier which are full-bodied dry white wine that shows rich fruit flavours but also a subtle oak character that will really compliment the fine flavour of the ravioli
The Dutch boyfriend’s opinion:
Imagine a cloudy Sunday. It is cold outside, and it does not need a lot of convincing to stay indoors doing nothing but watching your favorite series. I really like my Sundays like that, especially when my blonde super chef is making small cries of joy when she’s in the kitchen. This time she experimented with ravioli and wanted to try to combine other ingredients with sweet potato. Ravioli I knew, but sweet potatoes were new for me. But man, the result was unbelievable. Full of flavour, soft but firm texture with sometimes a crusty extra to the ravioli’s edges. There was just not enough. Not. Enough. I know I am on a diet and all, but this was just mean 😉