I’ve been thinking about getting a pasta maker again.
I bought one when I was in culinary school (in other words, during the first Clinton administration) but rarely used it. Eventually, it rusted out sitting under my sink.
I love making my own ravioli because they are fun to make and you can fill them with anything you want. Ravioli for me always evokes childhood memories of Chef Boyardee ravioli, the sugary tomato concoction that came out of a can. It was one of the first meals I learned to “cook” by myself (open can, pour into pot, heat and serve).
But real ravioli — any pasta, really — is one of those foods that is about 1000 percent better when its made fresh. Plus it’s really simple to make, as long as you have a pasta machine.
For this recipe, I bought freshly made ravioli at the store. They tasted fine, but were a little bland. I definitely would have added more garlic and feta to the spinach to give it more punch.
Unlike Chef Boyardee’s, this sauce — which I adapted from this recipe I found on the wonderful Lesley Eats vegetarian cookig blog — was mostly fat- and sugar-free, but still had the silky, delicious flavor which perfectly complemented the texture of the fresh spinach ravioli.
Spinach Ravioli with Roasted Garlic and Sweet Potato Cream Sauce
2 Sweet potatoes
3 cloves Garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Soy milk
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp Sea salt
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
Fresh cracked black pepper
12 oz Fresh spinach ravioli
1/4 cup Hard Parmesan, hand grated
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Lay the sweet potatoes on a sheet pan and drizzle a little EVOO over, then use your hands to rub the oil all over the surface of the potatoes. Bake for one hour. Meanwhile, put the garlic cloves in a small square of aluminum foil and drizzle with the 1/4 tsp of EVOO. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the garlic to the sheet pan with the potatoes. Remove from oven and let both the sweet potatoes and the garlic cool at least 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Use a paring knife to remove the sweet potato skins. It should slip right off. Cut each potato into about 3 or 4 large peices and place in food processor or blender. Add garlic, soy milk, Italian seasoning, cumin, cayenne and a few grinds of fresh cracked black pepper. Pulse and then puree until smooth. Transfer to a small sauce pot.
3. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add ravioli, reduce to simmer and cook about five minutes. Drain, return to pot and toss with whole butter, salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
5. To plate, gently reheat sauce. Carefully arrange ravioli in the center of a pasta bowl. Use a cooing spoon to drape the ravioli with the sauce. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off long slices of hard parmesan and sprinkle over pasta.
Now, if you will excuse me I need to go price out pasta makers on Amazon!