What do you do when you receive a copy of this book
from the lovely Sarah over at Tastespotting? Jump up and down and scream because you have never won anything before. Then immediately open the book to page 110 and make that recipe first.
As soon as I saw this recipe I was intrigued by 2 things--the cheese broth and the five spice. Two things I have never made or used. I have made all types of my own stock and broth. I have even infused soups with rinds of cheese, but cheese broth?! That was a must try. As far as the Chinese five-spice, it is a spice I have always wanted to use. So, this is the part of my blog where I get to try new recipes. Fun!
When I first read the recipe and saw that there was Chinese five-spice, wonton skins, and scallions, I couldn't help but think that it might have an Asian flair to it. Boy, was I wrong. The wontons are for ease of preparation; no making your own pasta dough and on a weeknight, that is a bonus for me. Chinese five-spice is a mixture of cinnamon, anise seed, clove, ginger, and fennel seed, so you can imagine how wonderful that would compliment the roasted sweet potatoes. It tastes like Fall. And the scallions, they just make the dish. They help balance the sweetness, an absolute must.
My children are good eaters, but I was slightly hesitant to serve this to them. I don't like turned up noses at the table. But one bite and they totally understood this dish. They even went back for more--enough said.
I made a few minor adjustments to the original recipe. Just a bit more of this and a bit more of that. The original recipe called for round wonton wrappers, but I couldn't find them, so I just bought some egg roll wrappers and cut 4-2 3/4-inch cirlces out of each sheet. I also sandwich the filling between 2 circles instead of folding one in half. I just liked the presentation better. My recipe made quite a bit more than the original 48, but you can freeze them in a freezer bag for up to a month. Perfect for those unexpected dinner dates or a simple solution for a busy weeknight. But the one change I made that really made this dish pop was to brown the butter first before adding the cheese broth. That added a wonderful nutty aroma and taste that just went perfectly with the ravioli. I thickened it slightly with a little cornstarch so it was more of a glaze than a broth. It coated the ravioli perfectly.
Serve a few ravioli as a first course or a couple more for an entrée. Just please serve them. They are delish! Thanks again to Sarah for the book and to The Frankies. You have helped me add another recipe to my master list.
Sweet Potato Ravioli in Cheese Broth
serves 8 plus extra to freeze (about 80 ravioli total)
3 large red skinned sweet potatoes, about 3 lbs
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
heaping 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1-lb packages of egg roll wrappers
8 (4 oz) tablespoons unsalted butter
6 sage leaves
4 cups Cheese Broth (recipe below)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
4 scallions, white and light green parts sliced on the diagonal
To make the Cheese Broth
In a large stock pot, place 8 cups of water and 3 oz piece of rind from a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Simmer over low heat for several hours or until reduced by half. Strain and store in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for three months.
For the Ravioli
Heat the oven to 400ºF. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until tender syrup is oozing. Cool slightly.
When cool enough to handle, halve the sweet potatoes and scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl. Add the honey, Chinese five-spice powder, and salt. Stir to combine, adjust the taste and just if needed.
Prep your pasta-making station: the ravioli filling, pile of egg roll wrappers, a 2 3/4 in circle cutter, a small bowl of water, a pastry brush, and baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Using the circle cutter, cut 4 circles out of each wrapper. Place a teaspoon of filling into the center of 2 of the circles. Dip the pastry brush into the bowl of water and wet the edges of all 4 circles. Place the non-filled circles on top of the filled circles and seal the edges. Place the ravioli a baking sheet. Continue with the remaining wrappers and filling. The ravioli can be used right away (serve 6 per person) or frozen on the baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag and freeze for up to one month.
When you are ready to serve, bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the butter. Melt the butter and continue to cook stirring continuously until the milk solids have begun to brown (careful not to burn). Remove from the heat and immediately add the sage leaves and stir for 1 minute. Add the cheese broth and season with a pinch of kosher salt. Return to the heat and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Remove the sage leaves from the broth. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the broth. Stir until lightly thickened.
When the water has come to a boil, drop 48 of the ravioli into the pot. Gently stir to keep from sticking to the bottom. They should rise to the surface within 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon of perforated skimmer, remove the ravioli from the water and divide them among the serving bowls. Ladle 1/2 cup of the broth into each bowl and garnish with the scallions. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion