Monday, June 18, 2012


I was thumbing through Cooking Light magazine and saw a photo of Ricotta and Pea ravioli.  It looked yummo!  I stored the idea and the ingedient list away in the nether regions of my brain, thinking this would be a nice and light dinner one night (‘cause we can’t eat butter and cheese every night….Can we?)(Oops, there is cheese in the ravioli, but it's less fattening cheese.)  This is based on that recipe, with a little tweaking.
I was late getting to the grocery store after spending the afternoon at Ikea.  I always think I’ll only be there an hour, but end up spending hours marveling at the affordable and stylish, ready to assemble rooms.  Since I was running short on time, I needed a quick and easy dinner.  I decided tonight was the night to make the Ricotta and Petite Pea Ravioli, (homemade ravioli, are you impressed?) and I’d pick up the ingredients and a rotisserie chicken (not so impressive).  Did I mention I also had the Apple cake while I was at Ikea…so I felt the need to eat healthy?
The filling is easy, just creamy, tangy ricotta cheese, sweet petite peas, nutty parmesan cheese, an egg yolk for richness, a bit of scallion, a pinch of nutmeg, with just the perfect hint of lemon.  It takes about 2 minutes to throw together.
 I like to keep things simple.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t like to work harder that I have to, so instead of making my own pasta I used wonton wrappers (which are a very thin pasta after all).  This makes life soooo much easier. The wontons make for a delicate pasta, so while the ravioli is satisfying, it doesn’t weigh me down. 

 then I just dip my finger in water and wet the four edges of one ravioli,  

then place another wonton on top, pressing down the edges, getting up nice and tight to the filling to remove all the air, then moved on to the next ravioli.

This took about 10 minutes to put all the ravioli together!

In the time it took for the pasta water to simmer I made the sauce.  The sauce is a nice and light broth complimenting the ravioli perfectly.  I used Shitake mushrooms, but you can use whatever kind of mushrooms you like.  I like the slightly minty flavor of basil with peas, but I didn’t want to over power the lemony flavor in the filling, so I put it in the sauce. The pea shoots just add a little freshness (they look like some kind of sprouts, but taste like peas). Don’t panic if you can’t find the pea shoots (pea tendrils) the dish will still be just as pretty and delicious without them. I just happened to see them at Whole Foods, where they keep the herbs and lettuces, and the foodie that takes up a part time residence inside of me made an appearance, telling me she thought they would add a touch of sophistication to the ravioli.
In less than 30 minutes I had homemade ravioli.  Billy was totally impressed, and I have to say that I was impressed with myself! Even the rotisserie chicken became more impressive being served with the sophisticated ravioli!  The filling was a perfect balance of flavors, the pasta nice a tender and the sauce was flavorful but still light.  I had topped mine with more parmesan cheese, but I felt it would have been better without.
Impress your family and friends by making the ravioli in advance and leave them in a single layer on a sheet pan, covered with plastic wrap and cook them right before your ready eat.  They don’t have to know it was easy!

Serves 4, makes 24 generously sized ravioli

1 package        Wonton wrappers


1 cup                Ricotta, whole milk
1                      Egg yolk
2/3 cup             Frozen petite peas, thawed and rough chopped
1/3 cup             Parmesan, freshly grated
2                      Scallions, green part only, finely sliced, you will use the white part in the sauce.
¼ tsp                Salt
¼ tsp                Pepper
Pinch                Nutmeg, freshly grated
½ tsp                Grated lemon rind, from about ½ lemon


2 Tbsp             Olive oil
4                      Scallions, white only, finely sliced                      .
1 cup                Shitake mushrooms, finely sliced          
1 ½ cups          Chicken or vegetable stock, low or no sodium
1/3 cup             Frozen petite peas
2                      Scallions, green only, finely sliced
*1 ½ oz            Pea shoots (optional)
2 Tbsp             Fresh Basil, cut into thin ribbons
                        Salt and pepper to taste

1.                  Put a large pot of water on to bring to a simmer.
2.                  Meanwhile, put all the ingredients for the filling into a medium sized bowl and mix well.  That simple!
3.                  Get yourself a small bowl or cup of water; this will be glue for the wontons. Have a sheet pan ready to lay the filled ravioli onto.
4.                  Lay about 8 wontons onto a clean surface, I prefer a wood cutting board
5.                  Place about a teaspoon of the filling onto each wonton.
6.                  Using your finger, or a pastry brush, moisten the edges of one wonton with the bowl of water you have on the side.  Do this part one at a time. 
7.                  Top with another wonton.
8.                  Press the top edge of the wontons together, and then start to work the air bubbles out as you press the other edges together. Place on a sheet pan, and repeat with the remaining ravioli.
9.                  Cover the sheet pan of ravioli with a clean, lint free kitchen towel and put to the side while you make the sauce.
10.              Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. 
11.              Add the whites from the scallions, and the mushrooms.
12.              When the mushrooms have a golden color, add the stock.  Taste for seasoning, and add salt if you need to, definitely add some black pepper.
13.              Let the stock simmer and reduce, for about 5 minutes.
14.              Add the peas.
15.              The water for the ravioli should be simmering (not boiling or the raviolis will fall apart), add a generous amount of salt to the water.  Add the ravioli stirring gently.
           * If you won’t be eating all the ravioli, do not cook the ones you won’t be consuming, put the towel back over them, I’ll tell you what to do at the end.
16.              When the ravioli are done they will float to the top of the water.  Remove them to a platter, or individual plates.
17.              Add the green part of the scallions, basil and pea shoots to the sauce, then spoon the sauce over the ravioli.  Top with parmesan cheese if desired.

*          Now, leave the ravioli on the sheet pan and put in the freezer for about 11/2 hours.   Put the frozen ravioli into a freezer bag and store them for a couple of months. To cook, put the frozen ravioli into simmering water.  They will float to the top when they’re done.

In assembly line fashion, I layed out 12  wontons at a time, and put a teaspoon of filling onto each,

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE ravioli, but have never made them at home. This sounds SO good!