My oldest daughter Morgan works as the sous chef of one of Philadelphia’s finer restaurants. But before she decided to dedicate her immediate future to a life of endless work and low pay, she was a classics student in college. This recipe below, which she wrote for her college paper, is not only very simple to prepare but makes for a foolproof yet delicious ravioli.
When I am in a bind and do not have time to make my own pasta for ravioli I often turn to this method and it works wonderfully.
Though it might sound strange, wonton skins (which are sold pre-packaged
at LoBill for $2) make simple, delicate ravioli, in place of homemade
pasta. Just mix together a filling and drop it by the spoonful onto the
centers of the skins, which can then be folded over into triangles and
sealed, and take only a couple minutes to cook.
The ingredients of the filling can be varied endlessly according to
taste, or what’s at hand. For instance, my mom uses cottage cheese
instead of ricotta, omits the basil, and adds shredded zucchini to the
mix. You could also add garlic, other fresh herbs, ground beef, pumpkin,
etc. Use your imagination, but keep it simple.
Basic Filling (serves 4):
3 cups ricotta cheese
A little olive oil
Chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 (14.5 oz) can whole, peeled tomatoes, or tomato puree
1 clove garlic
A little olive oil
Start by preparing the sauce. Lightly coat the bottom of a saucepan with
olive oil, and let it get hot. Add the garlic (thinly sliced or minced),
and cook until it’s fragrant, but don’t let it brown (takes about a
minute). Then add tomaotes, and salt to taste. If you are using dried
herbs, add them now (wait until the last minute to add fresh). Let this
simmer, start a pot of water to boil, and move on to filling.
Mix together filling ingredients. Using a beaten egg or some water,
dampen the edges of one of the wonton skins (this is so that they will
seal properly). Place a spoonful of filling onto the center, then fold
the skin in half and seal the edges by pressing them together with your
fingers. Repeat until filling is gone.
Drop ravioli 10 at a time (or whatever seems appropriate for the size pot
you’re using, so that they don’t get too crowded) into boiling water.
Cook 2-3 minutes. When done, carefully lift them out of the water with a
spoon (they are very fragile), and place them onto a serving plate.
Continue until all of the ravioli are cooked.
Pour sauce over the cooked ravioli. Sprinkle grated parmesan and/or fresh
basil on top, if you like.