A recipe for Sweet Potato Caramelle! This homemade caramel candy-shaped pasta is filled with a mashed sweet potato mixture and served in a brown butter sage sauce.
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I first learned about Caramelle in the book Making Artisan Pasta and it is such a fun and versatile shape! Named after the caramel candy, this homemade pasta has filling piped in the center of a rectangle of dough before sealing and pinching the edges together to form the wrapper shape.
This type of pasta can be made with a variety of fillings. I went with an easy sweet potato filling perfect for fall. Sweet potatoes are baked until tender, peeled and mashed until smooth, then combined with ricotta, egg, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
To really help the sweet potato flavor stand out, I tossed the tender Caramelle simply in a brown butter with crispy sage leaves immediately before serving.
A Few Tips
To make the dough, combine the “00” pasta flour (all-purpose can be substituted in a pinch) with the eggs and slowly drizzle in just enough water to form a soft dough. If the dough is too wet, add a little more flour. If still too crumbly, add a little more water.
Wrap the dough in plastic or cover and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. This will make it easier to roll and shape.
No special equipment is required for this pasta shape, but a couple of items will make it easier. I rolled out the dough by hand, though you can use a pasta machine for ease to create a thin sheet of dough.
Cut the thin sheet of dough into rectangles about 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches (6×4 centimeters) using a straight cutter for the lengthwise cuts (an accordion pastry cutter is perfect to do this quickly and evenly) and a fluted cutter to make decorative edges on the shorter sides. You can make the Caramelle larger or smaller based on personal preference by adjusting the size of the rectangles.
Until you get used to quickly folding the pasta shape, cover the unfolded rectangles of pasta with a towel as you work to keep them from drying out. If you do find the edges starting to dry, dampen them with just a little touch of water to help the edges stick together.
Arrange the formed Caramelle in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you don’t want to cook them right away, freeze the baking sheet and once chilled, transferred the pasta to an airtight, freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
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This recipe was originally posted in December 2012 and updated September 2021.
Sweet Potato Caramelle Recipe
Adapted from Making Artisan Pasta
Sweet Potato Caramelle
- 3 cups (375 grams) 00 pasta flour or all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- Water for bringing the dough together
Sweet Potato Filling:
- 1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) ricotta
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Brown Butter Sage Sauce:
- 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter
- 20 small sage leaves
To make the pasta dough:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment or a large bowl, add the flour and make a well in the center. Add the eggs and mix until well-combined.
- Slowly add just enough water to create a soft dough. If too wet, add a little more flour. If too dry, add a little more water.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
To make the sweet potato filling:
- Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Pierce the tops of the whole sweet potatoes a few times with a fork and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake the sweet potatoes in the preheated oven until tender through the center, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Mash until completely smooth.
- Fold in the ricotta, egg yolk, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, and nutmeg until well-combined. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to a day.
- Divide the dough into four equal pieces.
- Place one piece on a floured work surface and cover the remainder. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a large plain tip or a large freezer bag with a little over 1/2 inch (1.25 centimeter) hole cut into the corner with the sweet potato mixture.
- Roll the dough into a thin sheet using a pasta machine or rolling pin, until it is about 1/16th inch (1.5 millimeter) thick.
- Cut the pasta east to west with a straight or accordian cutter into 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) strips.
- Cut the sheet of pasta south to north into 1 1/2 inch (4 centimeter) wide strips with a fluted cutter to create rectangles of dough.
- Remove any irregular pieces around the edges and set aside/cover (you can either cook these as is or reroll/cut).
- Pipe a line of sweet potato across the center of each rectangle, leaving about 3/4 inch (2 centimeters) clear on either side.
- Fold one long side over the sweet potato. Fold the other side over to overlap the first side and press lightly to seal without pushing out the filling.
- Flip the pasta over so the sealed seam is on the bottom. Press down firmly on either side of the filling to seal both short ends.
- Gently lift the edges of the pressed down ends and pinch together to create the wrapper shape on either side of the filling.
- Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add a few assembled Caramelle at a time and cook, stirring lightly to keep them from sticking to the sides of the pot, until they rise to the top and are tender, about 2-3 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove to a colander to drain and repeat with remaining Caramelle.
To make the Brown Butter Sage Sauce:
- Place a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and add the butter.
- Cook, watching closely and swirling the pan occasionally, as the butter melts and starts to foam.
- Continue to cook until golden flecks start to appear in the butter with a nutty fragrance.
- Add the sage leaves and cook for another minute until crisp and the butter has browned, but not burned.
- Toss the sauce with the cooked Caramelle and serve immediately.