I have made some questionable lockdown purchases, justified in my mind by the fact that I have not been able to spend money on my usual vices that tend to be clothes, eating out and travel.
These have not only included pretty random things like a tie dye kit, a skipping rope or books I will never read even if we are stuck in this situation for another 3 years, but also a lot of cooking utensils that my kitchen was actually lacking like scales (yes I know, how did I not have any), cup measures and a decent non stick frying pan. All useful post Corona you can argue, but this week I had to very much stop myself from making that oh so common 'buy and use once before abandoning forever' purchase that is a pasta machine.
After hand rolling my pici pasta the other week, I wanted to try my hand at making more pasta, ravioli in particular, and before I knew it was looking up all kinds of ravioli making paraphernalia. However then it crossed my mind that when this all over I will most likely not be cooking as much or as elaborately as I am right now and to be honest a little bit of cooking fatigue has already hit me by now as it is.
The solution? Not waste money on a pasta making machine and instead find an alternative way to fulfil my ravioli craving! And succeed I did after a little online research which got me to the amazing shortcut of using wonton wrappers as ravioli substitute! A quick trip to my Asian supermarket later, I had my wrappers ready and the most fantastic filling in the making to finish off this gorgeous dish which makes the most of in-season asparagus.
The end result was so easy and fun to make and the filling literally tasted like spring on a plate with its gorgeous mix of asparagus, basil, pistachios, lemon juice and zest and ricotta, plus I adored the simplicity but punchy flavours provided by the sauce made from butter, thyme, white wine, chive and stock that finished off the dish. A stunning looking main that was a delight to eat, with not a single fancy kitchen gadget required!
- 2 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup roasted pistachios, shelled
- juice + zest of 2 lemons
- kosher salt + pepper
- 40-50 circle or square wonton wrappers
White Wine Sauce
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the asparagus and blanch until just tender, about 1-2 minutes.
- Drain and rinse under cold water.
- In a food processor or blender combine 3/4 of the asparagus (reserve the remaining for serving), the basil, ricotta, parmesan, pistachios, lemon zest and juice, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
- Pulse until combined and smooth.
- Lay out about 6 wrappers.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling into the centre of each wrapper.
- Brush the edges with water.
- Lay a second wrapper on top of each ravioli.
- Press down the edges to seal, pressing out all the air.
- Crimp the edges with a fork.
- Alternately you can create triangles with the square wrappers if desired.
- Be sure to keep the ravioli's covered as you work to prevent them from drying out.
- To make the butter sauce in a frying pan melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the chives and thyme and cook 30 seconds to a minute or until fragrant.
- Pour in the wine and broth and bring to a boil.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook 5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced slightly.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Boil the ravioli in batches for 1-2 minutes or until they float. Drain.
- Divide the ravioli among bowls and ladle the sauce over the ravioli.
- Top with the remaining asparagus and enjoy!