Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cappellacci (Sweet Potato Ravioli)

I'm (slowly) working my way through Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, which I got for Christmas, and this recipe needed to be made mostly because cookies are in the sweet potato filling. I repeat: cookies are in the sweet potato filling! I understand that might turn some people off, but it was irresistible to me. 

It might sound a little indulgent, but what else would you expect from the genius of a woman who popularized putting five tablespoons of butter into tomato sauce? The cookies add a little crunch to the filling that is just perfect.


For the sweet potato filling
2 medium-size sweet potatoes
2 Italian amaretti cookies
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons prosciutto, chopped
1 1/2 cups grated parmigiano-reggiano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley (or substitute with fresh)
Pinch of whole nutmeg

For the pasta*
1 2/3 cups unbleached flour
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon water

For the butter and parmesan cream sauce
1 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
2 1/2 tablespoons butter

*I made this ravioli two nights in a row, one night with pasta from scratch and the other with wonton wrappers instead (which I had seen in other recipes). It works infinitely better with the homemade pasta, but if you are crunched for time, the wonton-wrapper way is not that bad.

-Microwave sweet potatoes for 7 minutes on each side until tender. Split them in half and scoop out potato pulp into a medium bowl.
-Mash up those amaretti cookies with a mortar and pestle in a small bowl.
-Add cookies, egg yolk, prosciutto, parmigiano-reggiano, parsley, a pinch of nutmeg, and salt to potatoes. Mix until combined. Set aside.
-Combine flour, eggs, and water to make pasta dough, kneading by hand for at least 8 minutes. Roll out to desired thinness. (If you are using a pasta-making machine like I did, thin out to a 5.) Cut dough into either 3-inch or 4-inch squares (depending on how big you want your ravioli to be).
-Place about 1 tablespoon of ravioli mixture in the center of each square. Layer another square on top. Pinch closed.
-Cook ravioli in boiling, salted water for 4 minutes.
-Drain, then toss with parmigiano-reggiano and butter, until butter is melted all over.

(Recipe adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan)

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