Flavor First: Sweet Potato Ravioli with Basil Brown Butter


By Emily Sterne

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Serves 6 as an appetizer, 4 as an entree (makes about 20 ravioli)

This recipe requires two main steps: First, make the ravioli filling. Then, make the ravioli by placing the filling in wonton skins, and cook.

• 2 large sweet potatoes, wrapped in foil and baked through in oven, scooped out, hot
• 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
• 1 bunch chives, chopped
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1⁄2 package wonton skins
• 1⁄4 cup packed Thai basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
• Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 2 tablespoons water)
• 8 tablespoons butter, divided
• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a bowl, combine hot baked sweet potato, five spice, chives and honey. Check for flavor and season with salt and pepper.

2. When filling has cooled, form ravioli: place wonton skin down, lay one large Thai basil leaf in center, top with sweet potato mixture and another basil leaf.

3. Brush egg wash around edges and top with second wonton skin. Seal tight and repeat with remaining filling and wonton skins.

4. In a sauté pan over high heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter and add canola oil. Sear ravioli until crisp, then turn and sear second side until crisp.

5. Remove ravioli to a paper towel-lined plate. Position 3 to 5 ravioli per pasta plate.

6. Add remaining butter to pan and brown. When butter is browned, add basil for garnish, taking care to stand back because the moisture in the basil will cause the oil to pop.

7. Add vinegars and stir to combine. Drizzle sauce over ravioli and serve.

Linda Shockley writes from her home in New York City.

Click here for the main article,  Flavor First: Chef Ming Tsai .