Sunday, July 8, 2018

Ravioli with wonton skin ワンタン皮のラビオリ

My sister-in-law gave me a cookbook called "Perfect Pairings"(special issue of "Food and Wine"). One weekend, my wife and I were browsing through it and found several interesting recipes. My wife really wanted to try this ravioli recipe which was paired with champagne in the book. Since it was a very hot summer day, we had this with a rather inexpensive rose wine from Provence called Domaine du Garde Temps 'Tourbillon' Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016 (made of 50% Cinsault, 30% Grenache, 20% Syrah). We started by trying to follow the recipe. When we realized the recipe used 12 oz. of cheese and made over 60 ravioli, I intervened and decided to "wing-it" in my usual style. I used most of the ingredients for the stuffing (without measuring) and took a shortcut using store-bought "wonton" skins instead of making a pasta dough. We served this as a first dish with the aforementioned (a bit over-chilled) rose wine.

For sauce, I simply made a brown butter sauce with capers and Meyer lemon juice with a side of basil leaves. I included a quarter of Meyer lemon just in case we needed more acidity in the sauce.

The next day, I made a sauce of finely chopped shallots sautéed in butter with basil leaves added at the end just to wilt them. I topped with grated Parmesan and just before eating squeezed on some Meyer lemon juice. This was a better sauce for the ravioli.

Ingredients (made about 32-35 ravioli):
For filling
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4 lb prosciutto, thinly sliced and then minced into small pieces (We used Boar's Head brand which appears to be imported from Italy).
1 whole egg
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
One package of baby spinach, cooked without adding additional water, moisture pressed out and chopped.

Instead of using a pasta sheet I used one package of Wonton skins (We ran out of the skins leaving a small amount of filling which we cooked in a ramekin in the toaster oven).
Mixture of flour and water to form a glue to seal the ravioli

For sauce
3 tbs unsalted butter
1-2 tsp of capers, drained, roughly chopped
1/2 Meyer lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl (#1).
Using a small ice-cream scoop, place the filling in the center of the wonton skin and paint the skin with the flour and water mixture (#2).
Take another wonton skin, paint one side with the flour glue and press both wonton skins around the filling try to not to trap any air (#3).
Using an appropriate sized cookie cutter cut around the filling making the square into a round  (#4).
Repeat until either all the filling or all the wonton skins are used up.  We ran out of wonton skins a tad earlier than the filling) (#5 and 6).
Boil the ravioli in rapidly boiling water (salt and olive oil added) for 2-3 minutes or until they float (#7).
Drain and let it cool briefly on metal rack (#8)
After they cooled we stacked the ravioli on a large square plate with parchment paper brushed with olive oil to make multiple layers and keep them from sticking together.  At this point, I suppose you could serve, refrigerate or freeze them.

For serving:
Melt the butter in non-stick frying pan until slightly brown, add the capers.
If needed season it with salt (prosciutto is rather salty, so do not over season).
Add the ravioli and warm it up, squeeze on the lemon and serve immediately.

Making ravioli even when using pre-made pasta skins is a bit of work. My wife and I worked as a team. I filled and sealed the ravioli and she cut them into rounds with the cookie cutter. She over saw cooking them and I prepared the "landing pad" so they would not stick together. But it was worth it. Although I thought I may have used a bit too much prosciutto when I was making the filling (I was trying to use it up), it was just the right amount.  It amalgamated into the Ricotta and spinach mixture adding a nicely complex meaty, salty flavor. The Meyer lemon added a bright note which was both lemony and orangey. This went well with our rose from Provence. The wine is very light with some acidity which went well with acidity provided by the lemons.  The fresh basil leaves were also great. Next time, I may just add few basil leaves to the butter sauce itself. Since we serve only a few ravioli at a time, we will be enjoying them for some time to come. (Good thing we didn't follow the recipe and make 60!)

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