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Fresh stuffed pasta

Fresh pasta … who doesn’t like it? Restaurants brag about making it, grocery stores mark it up and it cooks in less than five minutes. Fabulous stuff.

But a major pain to make. If you’ve ever attempted it at home, then you’ll have firsthand knowledge of getting covered in eggy floury goo and having the strands break when you were just about achieve the perfect fettucini noodle. Really, there’s no way to win.

One of my favorite dishes is fresh ravioli. Buying it in the store is all well and good, but the selection is limited to what the manufacturers feel like making and the prices can add up fast. While looking for ways to get the same results at home, I came across a recipe that involved using wonton wrappers rather than rolling out fresh pasta.



Wonton wrappers are found in the produce section of the grocery store. They usually come in square or round shapes, either will work for ravioli. Be sure to wrap any leftover wrappers in plastic wrap or another air-tight container so they don’t dry out.

Curious, I gave it a shot and can report that it works really well. So now that the hard part is out of the way, the fun bit is deciding how to fill the custom ravioli.




Ravioli can be stuffed with pretty much anything, just chop it really small. There shouldn’t be much more than a level tablespoon of the filling per ravioli. Over stuffing will keep the edges from sealing and the filling will leak out when it’s cooked.

For this ravioli experiment, I chose to make a filling of chicken, spinach and ricotta cheese. The chicken was diced very small, only about a cup or so is needed. The spinach should be sauteed if it’s fresh and diced finely. The ricotta cheese is used to bind everything together. Again, you’ll need about a cup.

Some alternate fillings to consider: ricotta, smoked mozzarella and parmesan; chicken, roasted red peppers and pesto; fresh goat cheese with tomato sauce.

When the filling is mixed, place one wrapper on a flat surface. Brush the edges all the way around with egg white. Place the filling in the middle and top with a second wrapper. Press down on the edges to glue them together. You’ve made one ravioli.

While the ravioli are being filled and sealed, bring a pot of salted water. Drop in the finished ravioli, being careful not to crowd the pot. Do this in batches if you have to. Cook for three minutes, drain and remove to a warm plate or bowl.

When everything has been cooked, top with your favorite sauce and serve.

The ravioli can be made in advance and frozen, but be sure to store them in an air-tight container. It’s not necessary to thaw them before boiling.

Mangia!

Chef Kady Guyton be reached by email at kady@kdgcooks.com. An archive of past columns can be found at http://www.kdgcooks.com. She also welcomes readers questions and requests.

Makes 4 servings of 8 ravioli

1 cup cooked chicken, finely diced

1 cup fresh spinach, rinsed with stems removed

1 cup ricotta cheese

48 wonton wrappers

1 egg white, lightly beaten

1. Saute spinach with butter or olive oil until wilted. Chop finely.

2. Combine chicken, spinach and cheese in a bowl, mixing throughly.

3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

4. Meanwhile, working on a clean, flat surface, lay down one wonton wrapper. Brush the edges with egg white, using either a pastry brush or you fingers. Go all the way to the edge of the wrapper.

5. Place a spoonful of the filling in the middle of the wrapper. Place a second wrapper on top and press the edges together, sealing them closed. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.

6. When the water has come to a boil, reduce the heat to a gentle boil. Drop in the ravioli, being careful not to crowd the pan. Work in batches if needed. Allow the ravioli to cook for 3 minutes, then remove and drain. Repeat with remaining ravioli.


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