A while ago I read an interesting recipe that said you don’t have to have a pasta machine to make your own ravioli. My flatmate and I both agreed that this was quite obviously a giant, spiky lie. However, since the recipe writer is a professional chef and I am merely someone who is too critical of professional chefs, this ravioli business niggled at me for weeks. That was until Sunday when I got out my rolling pin, measuring spoons, fancy flour and olive oil and set to making my own pasta dough sans pasta machine. I am not going to bore you with details of and a recipe for the two semi-successful batches that followed, just suffice to say that it was a few hours well spent for two reasons: I made a delicious dinner that could have been better and I added to my list of ‘things I would like to improve on in the kitchen’.
But that was not the end of the matter. The filling was SO good and so expensive that I could not be content using a fraction of it then giving up. So last night post-knitting circle I stopped by my local supermarket to pick up fresh sheets of pasta. It turns out this was very naive. However I did come across, and eventually settle for, wonton wrappers, thinking these could act as a worthy pasta replacement.
Internet research suggested that I was in for a watery, disgusting excuse for a meal. In reality I had delicious pasta parcels that cooked in less than 2 minutes and lost nothing in taste from not using real pasta. I would seriously suggest it as a quick and easy meal, especially as these ‘ravioli’ freeze really well.
Homemade ‘ravioli’ parcels
*150g grated cheddar cheese
*200g ricotta cheese
*50g finely grated parmesan cheese
*1 beaten egg
*2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
*1 packet of wonton wrappers
For the filling:
*mix together the egg, cheeses and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To make the ‘ravioli’/parcels:
*take a wonton wrapper and place a small spoonful of the filling in the middle. Dip your finger in water and wet around the sides then twist up the sides to look like a little moneybag dumpling (in the pictures below they are tied with string but this isn’t necessary)
*repeat this step until you are out of filling. Make sure you don’t use too much so that it spills out the top, and drain it if it is too wet or it may soak through the wrappers
*place into boiling, salted water and cook for 2 minutes or until tender (no longer than 3 minutes should be necessary)
I ate these with basil pesto and another time with red onion, garlic and sliced tomato cooked briefly (4 mins). The great thing about them is that the filling really goes with any kind of pasta sauce you can dream up.
You can also see why I called them ‘ravioli’ not ravioli. You could make them into a traditional ravioli shape with the wonton wrappers but this seemed to work better for me and despite there being a lot of pastry at the top they cooked evenly in the 2 minutes.
So I encourage you to try these out, especially as a handy stand-by freezer meal. And as always I especially encourage you to let me know if you have tried the recipes or if you have any you would like me to try!