Sunday, September 18, 2011
Eat: The Tasty Challenge of Pumpkin Ravioli
For this week’s dish I wanted to up the ante. I began looking for a seriously challenging recipe and boy did I find it! My first impression of this recipe for pumpkin ravioli was that it must be a sweet twist on traditionally savory ravlioi. This was due to all of my previous interactions with pumpkin dishes: pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, even pumpkin cookies. However, I quickly learned that pumpkin in its purest form is not even remotely sweet. In fact, as far as I could tell (or rather, taste) it does not taste like much of anything by itself.
An interesting aspect of this recipe is the use of wonton wrappers in place of pasta. The upside to this is the drastically shortened preparation time. Wonton wrappers function like ready-made pasta without any cooking. The downside to this trick is that after putting so much effort into making perfect little pockets of cheese, many of them opened up while boiling. So if you give this dish a try, be emotionally prepared to watch some of the fruits of your labor burst open. Otherwise, it was a fun challenge with tasty results! I particularly enjoyed the tomato and ginger sauce, which would also pair well with traditional pasta.
TIME: 1.5 hours
YEILDS: 6-8 servings
MY SOUNDTRACK: She & Him, Mates of State
1 teaspoon oil
4 oz. onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz. pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
15 oz. ricotta cheese
2 egg (1 will act as "glue" for ravioli)
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
12 oz. (approximately 50) wonton wrappers
cornstarch for dusting pan
Begin by heating oil in a small skillet. Sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes until softened.
In a large bowl, beat one of the eggs with salt and pepper. Stir in the pumpkin and ricotta cheese. Add the onion and garlic mixture. Blend thoroughly, scrapping the sides and bottom of the bowl.
To make the ravioli: Prepare two baking sheets by dusting them with the cornstarch. Put one teaspoon of filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper (which is fairly delicate, so handle gently gentle). Dip your index fingers into a beaten egg and line the edges of the wrapper. Fold diagonally into a triangle and press the edges firmly to seal the pocket. Place on baking sheet. Repeat for each wonton wrapper.
To cook: Bring a large port of water to a boil. Add a few teaspoons of water to prevent the ravioli from sticking together. Gently add each ravioli to the pot and bring the water back to a boil for a few minutes.
To serve: This is where things can get a little dicey. If some of the ravioli have opened while cooking, I would not recommend draining the water. All of the filling will escape into the sink leaving you with a pile of plain cooked pasta. Instead, remove the ravioli from the pot using a slatted spoon. You can then spoon out any of the filling in the pot and add it to your plated pasta. Top with tomato ginger sauce (see recipe below).
Tomato Ginger Sauce...
1 tablespoon oil
6 oz. onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger or 1-2 teaspoons of dried
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, with juice (do not drain!)
In a medium saucepan or skillet, heat oil. Cook the onion and garlic until tender. Add the ginger and tomatoes. Bring to a boil briefly and simmer for 10-15 minutes. If it is too thick, you can add a pinch of water. For a smoother texture, puree the sauce.
This week's recipe came from my husband's own collection. Unfortunately, he cannot recall where he originally found it.