My Cheatin’ Ravioli

IMG 5151 (1).jpg

Last night I made homemade fresh ravioli for some friends and here’s the thing - it only took a few minutes. If you’ve never had fresh ravioli before then you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. If you thought it was too hard to make at home – guess what – it’s not. The secret is the pasta and the “cheater” method for achieving that fresh taste and silky texture at home without purchasing expensive equipment that you will store and then forget where you put it. (Or is that just me?) This ravioli tastes nothing like the stuff you can buy at the grocery store. It’s more like what you’d expect from that authentic little Italian restaurant you’ve been dying to try. Ok here it is – secret revealed – packaged won ton wrappers. They are right there in your grocery store – usually in the refrigerated produce section. Won ton wrappers are just perfectly portioned very thin sheets of pasta. All you do is stir together the filling, fill the won ton wrappers – no fancy folding required - and toss in boiling water for a minute or two. The filling I like is a combination of ricotta cheese with a pressed garlic clove, some basil and a little Parmesan cheese. Mix it up, spoon it in, fold the wrapper in half, and press to seal. Just like that you have made ravioli. I made mine in the afternoon to serve for dinner and left them in the fridge covered with a slightly damp paper towel. When it was time to make dinner about a minute and a half in boiling water did the trick.

As to the sauce business, I just kind of made up a spinach and cream sauce as I went along, but the truth is, you almost don’t need sauce. The pasta is so light and delicious, that a little olive oil and fresh grated Parmesan cheese would do the trick. You could also serve the ravioli with a simple sauce of roasted cherry tomatoes and garlic (from blog Tomatoes on Top).

These are very versatile ravioli! They can be a main dish or a fancy side. I served them as a side dish with grilled fish and found that four to six ravioli per person was a perfect amount.  The meal was a huge hit and everyone left wanting to try their hand at this very easy recipe that produces such impressive results.

We all thought that a side perk worth mentioning is what fun it would be to casually throw into a conversation how much you enjoy making your own ravioli. People will ask you questions! Make this soon and you will have great answers. Plus, lots of compliments.

Homemade Ravioli

IMG 5132.jpg

Ingredients

24 wonton wrappers

1 cup ricotta (whole milk)

3 Tbsp (about 12 leaves) chopped basil

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ cup grated Parmesan

salt and pepper to taste ( ½ tsp)

1 egg, beaten

Directions

In a large bowl, combine ricotta, basil, garlic, Parmesan, and salt and pepper.

IMG 5137 (1).jpg

Working with 6 wontons at a time, add about a tsp of filling to the center of each, brush egg wash around the edges, fold in half and press to seal. (I used my finger to apply egg wash.)

IMG 5139 (1).jpg


Place filled wontons on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and cover with a damp paper towel while making the rest.

IMG 5144 (1).jpg


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Add a Tbsp of salt to the water and add the filled ravioli.

Boil about 1 and ½ minutes and remove to a colander to drain.

Serve immediately with a little olive oil and grated cheese or with Spinach and Cream Sauce (Bonus Recipe) or Tomatoes for Topping (blog)

IMG 5134 (1).jpg

 For Spinach Cream Sauce: Saute 2 cloves minced garlic in 1 tsp olive oil until starting to turn golden. Add I bag of pre-washed spinach to wilt. Stir in ½ cup heavy cream, grated zest of one lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix in ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. (Note: cooked ravioli can sit in the sauce for a few minutes.)

© Deer One Publishing 2019