Working With What You Have: Wonton Skins
ROMANTIC DINNER MENU FOR 2: Sundried Tomato Ravioli with Spicy Red Sauce; Lemon Roasted Asparagus; Dark Chocolate Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chips
The inspiration for this pasta came from the same source as the parmesan broth for Cara’s White Bean Soup: Chef Jennie. We met up with all our high school friends one night recently, for drinks rather than the usual food. Jennie doesn’t usually get out of work at the restaurant in time for our potlucks anymore, so we were excited to see her, straight from the kitchen, and proceeded to make her talk to us about nothing but work.
She proudly reported that she had invented one of the specials that week: Edamame Ravioli in a Parmesan Broth. Cara’s ears perked up at the mention of parmesan broth, but apparently mine held onto ravioli. I had been dying to make some variety of stuffed pasta, but unlike Cara, I rarely get the urge to make my own dough. I’d much rather waste time making small portions of five different intricate fillings than take 5 minutes to make the wrappers from scratch. Silly, but true.
I think my hesitation dates back to college when my friend Luke hosted a pasta-making party at his house. A very ancient-looking pasta roller had recently come into his possession via the Providence vintage store. I had never made pasta dough before, and I’m pretty sure no one there had either. By the time all twenty of us had made our balls of dough and rolled them out, every surface in the small kitchen was covered in either egg and flour. I know this is not a likely scenario in my own kitchen today, given my tendency to clean as I go, but the image of gummy hand prints all over Luke’s walls continues to haunt me.
But I digress…
Jennie mentioned that she had used wonton skins in place of regular pasta dough for her ravioli. I just so happened to have a good 100 of those lying around after one of our catering gigs, and I couldn’t wait to use them. The weekend following was another cool rainy spring afternoon, and I decided it was about time I indulged in another Italian delicacy: watching The Godfather. I prepared a pasta feast, the appetizer being these delicate ravioli in a spicy red sauce, and the main course heaping bowls of Jennie’s other BGSK contribution: Tuscan Spaghetti Bolognese.
From my kitchen, where wonton wrappers bring out the Italian in me, to yours,
Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Sundried Tomato Ravioli with Spicy Red Sauce
Makes 2-3 servings (10 ravioli)
1 cup ricotta
2 tbsp basil (plus more for garnish)
4 sundried tomatoes, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cu grated smoked mozzarella (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
20 wonton skins
Spicy Red Sauce (this can be made days in advance)
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
Combine the ricotta, basil, sundried tomatoes, garlic, grated cheese(s), salt and red pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine.
On a work surface, arrange 5 wonton skins and spoon a little less than a tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto the center of each. Brush the edges of the wonton skins with water, then gently top each with a second wonton skin. Using your fingers, press out all the air so each ravioli is tightly sealed. Using a fork, crimp the edges.
Spoon the tomato sauce into each bowl, top with a few ravioli, drizzle with additional sauce and garnish with torn basil. Serve immediately.