I made these...oh, before Christmas and never got around to writing them up. But I took some halfway decent pictures and in spite of some sticking issues, these were quite delicious. So, since I've been kind of making pretty much nothing by stuff from my Deborah Madison cookbook that I'm now completely obsessed with, and figured I shouldn't just reproduce the entire cookbook on my blog. Mostly ethics. A little SOPA. But mostly ethics.
I've actually had this recipe that is the basis for this recipe bookmarked as something I've wanted to make since I got this cookbook (simply titled Vegetarian Cooking and having no author listed besides Murdoch Press) for Christmas during my senior year of college (I'm pretty sure my mom pulled it off the super-sale table a B. Dalton in the mall). My roommate and I proceeded to stick post-its all over this book. We cooked up a storm using the cheap pots and pans we got at the Ames Going Out of Business Sale. But I never got brave enough to tackle stuffed pasta.
And finally, nearly eight years later, I tried them, but with a couple of modifications.
First, I used quark instead of ricotta.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, quark is a fresh cheese that's found throughout Germany and Eastern European origins. It has the consistency of cream cheese, but also reminds me a bit of ricotta. It is actually made the same way as ricotta, but scalding the whey left over from other cheese making. It tastes slightly tangy, like creme fraiche or yogurt. You can easily substitute ricotta or, if you want some tang, chevre, in this recipe.
I also changed the sauce from just olive oil to balsamic brown butter. It was a good choice.
One thing I didn't do that I definitely would next time, is roast the garlic with the potatoes. I started with already roasted sweet potatoes from my fridge. I could have roasted the garlic by itself, but heating up that huge oven for a tiny bit of garlic didn't seem like a very responsible use of energy.
Sweet Potato and Quark Ravioli with Balsamic Brown Butter
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking, Author unknown (pub Murdoch)
One package of wonton wrappers (I ended up using about 30 total)
About 1 lb of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 small clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper
3 T quark
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T unsalted butter
1/2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T chopped sage
If you're starting with frozen wonton wrappers, set them out to thaw while you're working on the sweet potatoes (this will take about 40 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 425. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper (at this point I would have tossed two to three cloves of garlic on the tray with the sweet potatoes and mashed them up in the next step). Roast for about 30 minutes, tossing once or twice, or until completely soft. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, place them in a large bowl with the quark and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher or a fork until smooth (you can also do this in a food processor or with an electric mixer. I had a couple of stubborn sweet potato chunks and went for the latter). Taste and adjust seasoning. If you want them a bit cheesier, add a bit more quark as well.
Now to assemble the ravioli: Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Have a bowl of warmish water ready. Just like when we made dumplings, we want to make sure the wrappers don't dry out, so cover them with a towel. I find working "assembly line" style works. Lay out a row of wrappers. Fill them with 1-2 t of filling (I tried 2 t like the recipe said for the first few and they seemed over-stuffed, so I switched to 1 t. After eating a batch, I'm thinking 1 1/2 t would be perfect). Wet your fingers and run them around the edges of one of the wrappers, cover with another wrapper, and use your wet fingers to seal. Continue in this manner until you've used up all of the filling. If you run out of space on the cookie sheet, you can add a layer of parchment paper over the ravioli already on the tray, or just start a new tray.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water with a splash of olive oil to a boil. While you're waiting for the water to boil, throw together the sauce. In a small skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Continue to cook until the butter smells nutty and has little brown flecks in it, remove from heat, add the balsamic vinegar and sage, and season with salt and pepper.
When the water has come to a boil, cook the ravioli for 2-4 minutes, or until the pasta is completely tender and beginning to become translucent. Drain and quickly transfer to a large bowl (or back to the pot) and toss with the brown butter. Serve immediately (leftovers definitely form into a giant, but tasty, glob).