Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Quick and Easy Ravioli

Property of Chef Madeleine Dee
Roasted Eggplant Ravioli with Crispy Bacon, Wine Sauce,  and Sauteed Asparagus, Mushrooms, & Corn
By Madeleine Dee
Isn't that dish up there pretty? 
What if I told you that it was quick and easy?
What if I also said that it's made with wonton wrappers?

Awesome, right?

Now, in a perfect world, you'd have time to prepare and roll out beautiful, 
handmade sheets of pasta for your ravioli, yeah? 
Well, let's just say that I lured you in with the words 'quick' and 'easy', 
and that you DON'T have that much time.

Below is a step-by-step recipe for roasted eggplant ravioli.
You can use whatever vegetable you want instead (zucchini, butternut squash, sweet potato, bell peppers, broccoli, etc...), but if you like eggplant (or if you think you don't), I encourage you to try this version.

Also, you can make the filling in advance, put it in a pastry bag, and save it for another day. 
It will be ready to go when you are!

Here's what to do:

1. Gently wash and dry 2 medium-sized eggplants. 
Trim off and discard the ends, then slice into even coins.

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2. Toss to coat quickly and evenly with olive oil, salt, pepper, and the zest of 1 lemon. 

Roast on a foil-lined baking sheet at 375*F or 400*F until golden and soft, about 30-40 minutes. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

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3. Puree your eggplant in a blender or food processor with some cream cheese, fresh herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary...), and roasted garlic (or garlic powder). 
Add salt and pepper as needed. 

You can add whatever seasonings you want here. Check to see if it tastes good. 
Once it does, stop adding junk and move on to step 4. :)

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4. Mix your eggplant puree with some ricotta cheese (about 4 cups) and some Parmesan. 
You can add a little puree at a time while you mix to prevent adding too much - you may not need it all.

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

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5. To thicken your mixture, whisk in 1-2 cups of all-purpose flour.  Stir well to incorporate. The mixture will stay a bit lumpy because of the ricotta. Just mix it as well as possible.

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6. You may not need a full 2 cups of flour, so just mix a little in until a scoop of the mixture will stand up on the counter like it does in the photograph below.

Once the mixture will stand, adjust the seasoning (salt, pepper, herbs) until it tastes delicious. The flavor will not change from this point.

*If you want to save this mixture for another time, simply cover it tightly and refrigerate it today for fresh ravioli tomorrow!*

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7. Put a large pot of nice, salty water on to boil while you assemble the ravioli.

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8. Scoop your filling into a plastic pastry bag fitted with a tip. 
Set aside while you prepare your wonton wrappers.

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9. Whip up a little egg wash in a small bowl. Use 1 large egg and some water until you have a pale yellow liquid that is thin and watery.

This is pretty much egg super glue - it will bind your wonton wrappers together and keep your filling inside while you boil your ravioli.

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10. Lay out some wonton wrappers on a clean work space next to your egg wash. 
Make sure you have enough wrappers for bottoms and tops. 
(If you have 40 bottoms, make sure you also have 40 tops!)

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11. Use a pastry or grill brush to lightly coat the wrappers with the egg wash. Make sure every bit is coated, but make sure you don't get them too soaked!

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12. Grab your beautiful pastry bag of filling and pipe 1 tsp. into the center of a wrapper. Make sure not to add any more or any less than 1 teaspoon.

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13. Repeat. 

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14. Very gently lay a wonton wrapper over the top of each filled wrapper and lightly press your fingers around the little mound in the center. This pushes the air inside away from the filling.

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15. Continue to gently press around the filling until you have a lovely little dome in the center.

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16. Gently begin to smooth the rest of the wrapper, beginning at the edges of the filling and smoothing away to the edges of the ravioli. Thoroughly (but gently!) smooth away any air bubbles or creases.

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17. Lather, rinse, repeat. :)

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18. Once all the ravioli are smoothed, brush the tops lightly yet thoroughly with the egg wash.

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19. One by one, gently slide the ravioli into your salty BOILING water and boil until they float. Stir lightly every once in a while to prevent sticking.

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20. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain off extra water. To prevent sticking, you can toss them with a little olive oil.

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21. Add whatever sauces and/or garnishes you like! 
I have a recipe for Arugula Pesto on my blog that would be great with these. 
You could also use a jar of spaghetti sauce. 
I'm not here to judge. ;)

To mine, I added crispy bacon and white wine sauce 
with sauteed asparagus, mushrooms, and sweet corn.

Property of Chef Madeleine Dee

This is a fabulous way to get your family together and make a fun meal that everyone will love! Kids will especially enjoy helping make the ravioli and scooping them up from the pot when they float to the surface.

Get creative and enjoy. :)


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Executive Chef and Owner of No Place Like Home in Louisville, KY. Writer, actress, chef, professional cook and professional eater.