Sweet Potato Ravioli With Brown Butter Pecan Sauce

Sweet Potato Ravioli
Sweet Potato Ravioli. Photo and Recipe by Diana Rattray
  • 3 hrs
  • Prep: 90 mins,
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

A little thyme flavors the sweet potato and ricotta filling in these homemade ravioli, and the brown butter and pecan sauce makes them extra-special. A creamy Parmesan sauce would be nice on these as well.

What You'll Need

  • For the Pasta:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried leaf thyme)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, whisked with about 2 teaspoons water for sealing the ravioli
  • For the Brown Butter Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or about 1/4 teaspoon dried leaf thyme)
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper

How to Make It

  1. On a pastry board or mat, or clean flat surface, mound the flour. Make a deep well in the center of the flour and add the eggs, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  2. With a fork, begin mixing the eggs, incorporating flour a little at a time. Try to keep the mound propped up as you mix so the egg mixture won't escape. Soon you'll have a kneadable dough. You will probably use only about 3 cups of the flour, but the extra helps keep the eggs contained. Put the unused flour through a sieve and put aside to use later, when you're rolling the dough.
  1. Knead the dough, adding a little more flour, as needed. Dampen your hands with water as you knead if your dough is too dry and stiff. It will be firmer than bread dough, so it takes a little more muscle. I stand on a stool so I can put a little weight into the task.
  2. After about 10 minutes you should have a smooth dough which is quite elastic. An indent should bounce back pretty quickly. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 8.

Prepare the Filling

  1. Combine the ricotta, sweet potato, Parmesan cheese, egg yolk, 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped thyme or 1 teaspoon dried, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cover and chill.
  2. Using a pasta roller, roll dough out to make pasta sheets for ravioli form. I roll to about #7 on my Atlas. Be sure to keep dusting the pasta and the work surface with that reserved flour as you work.

Assemble and Cook the Ravioli

  1. If you're using a ravioli form, dust your it with flour before placing the first sheet, or the dough will stick. Follow directions that come with your mold or stamp for forming the ravioli, mounding about 1 to 2 teaspoons of filling in each ravioli, depending on size.
  2. Dab a little of the egg water mixture along the dough edges of each raviolo before you place the second dough sheet over the filled sheet.
  3. If using right away, cook in lightly salted boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain well and serve drizzled with brown butter pecan sauce (below). Sprinkle with a little grated or shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  4.  If not cooking right away, spread the uncooked ravioli on a flour-dusted baking sheet and freeze in a single layer. Put into freezer bags and keep frozen until you're ready to cook.

    Prepare the Brown Butter Sauce 

    1. In a saucepan or saucier over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter is foaming, add the coarsely chopped pecans. Cook, stirring constantly, until the butter is browned and aromatic. Don't let it go past a light to medium brown or it could burn.
    2. Remove from the heat and stir in the 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried.
    3. Pour into a cooler dish to stop the cooking process. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

    Makes about 3 to 4 dozen ravioli, depending on size.

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    Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
    Calories 751
    Total Fat 54 g
    Saturated Fat 24 g
    Unsaturated Fat 20 g
    Cholesterol 421 mg
    Sodium 715 mg
    Carbohydrates 44 g
    Dietary Fiber 7 g
    Protein 26 g
    (The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)