Like most of America, I am a huge fan of sweet potatoes. Recently I have been looking for new ways to make some of my favorite foods. Sweet potatoes are one of those items I love to eat but I am getting a little bored with the just roasting them. I have also been working on ways to make sweet potatoes a main entrée item, rather than just a side.
My first thought was pasta! I have been making a lot of homemade pasta lately, especially ravioli. I tend to buy ravioli to simply have as a back up meal in my freezer for a quick and easy last-minute lunch or dinner. Making it though is incredibly easy and very cost efficient.
For my Sweet Potato ravioli filling I first started by roasting the sweet potatoes whole in the oven for about 45 minutes until they were fork tender. I prefer roasting them rather than boiling them as roasting helps to remove some of the excess moisture in the sweet potatoes.
In a food processor, with the sweet potatoes, I added whole cloves of roasted garlic, fresh thyme, a small shallot and salt and pepper. The acidity of the shallot helps to cut and balance out the sweetness from the sweet potatoes and roasted garlic. If you do not have a shallot you could use a small red onion or add a little apple cider vinegar.
Once everything was pureed and smooth, I added sour cream and heavy cream. The sour cream and heavy cream helps lighten the filling and balance out the flavors.
Sweet Potato Ravioli
1 lb Sweet Potatoes
4-5 Cloves Roasted Garlic
3 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
1 Small Shallot, sliced
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper to Taste
DirectionsTo roast the sweet potatoes, clean and remove any excess dirt from the potatoes. With a fork, prick the potatoes a few times, and place on a sweet pan. Bake in a 425 oven for 45 minutes or until tender. Once done, set aside to cool. Once cool, remove the skins and place sweet potatoes in a large food process with the rest of the ingredients except for the sour cream and heavy cream. Puree filling until smooth. Add in the heavy cream and sour cream and puree until combined. Use mixture immediately or refrigerate in an air tight container until ready to use.
To make the ravioli Roll out pasta according to instruction. Using a 1oz scoop, scoop mixture directly onto the dough. Using your fingers for spacing, space the added dough out two fingers worth apart. Using your finger, dip it in water and add a thin layer around the filling. Top the filling with an additional piece of pasta and gently press the pasta down around the filling. The water will hep seal the two sheets of pasta together. Using a cookie cutter or a ravioli cutter, cut out the ravioli and place on a floured sheet tray. Keep refrigerated until ready to cook. If freezing the ravioli’s, let them air dry until completely dry and place carefully into a freezer safe plastic bag. Freeze up to 2 months.
Next up is a classic dish with a twist. Traditional Italian gnoochi made with sweet potatoes rather than regular potatoes and its also made gluten-free.
Now, I am gal that is very much Pro-Gluten. I am also fortunate enough not to suffer from any allergens associate with Gluten but I do have a close friend that does. So, I wanted to make something that would not only taste amazing but also be something that if you are Gluten-Free you could also appreciate.
Gnoochi is elegant and exceptionally easy to make. It’s one of those dishes if I see it on a menu, I am absolutely ordering it. It is also, incredibly easy to make.
Like our ravioli filling, I roasted the sweet potatoes first in the oven to remove any excess moisture in them. Once tender and cooked, I cooked them an additional 20 minutes to almost dry them out. If the sweet potatoes are to moisture, the dough in the end is tough to put together.
Once the potatoes are cooled, using a ricer or a potato masher, I mashed the potatoes until smooth. Making the potatoes smooth before adding in the flours prevents lumps from forming.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
3/4 lb Sweet Potatoes (about two small sweet potatoes)
1/4 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Brown Rice Flour
1/4 Cup Potato Starch
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp White Pepper
1 Egg Yolk
DirectionsRice the sweet potatoes into a bowl with the sour cream, brown rice flour, potato starch, salt, pepper and egg yolk. Gently mix everything together until a ball of dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Dust your work surface with a little rice flour or potato starch. Cut your dough in half and using the pads of your fingers, gently rough your dough out into a log. Roll the dough out until it’s about the diameter of a nickel.
Using a bench scraper, cut 1 inch pieces of dough (it’s ok if they are not perfect!). Using a gnocchi board and your thumb, you want to press the ball of dough down and along the board, so that each pieces of dough molds to the grooves.
Bring a pot of salted water to a roaring boil and gently add the gnocchi. Give them a gentle stir and let cos for 3-4 minutes. Once the gnocchi starts to float to the top, they are done!