I´ve really come to love Asian food in the last few years, but Italian will probably always be what I eat when I want comfort food. So last week I made ravioli marrying the two cuisines in a way… no, I have come to hate the whole “fusion cuisine” movement because it is way too snobish, so I won´t categorize my recipe under fusion cuisine.
Basically, I was too tired to make the ravioli dough from scratch, so I grabbed a pack of won ton wrappers I had in the freezer and made some huge ravioli with a shitake-panko-potato flakes-onions-parmessan filling with a mozzarella cube in the center, served with a very simple tomato sauce.
They turned out great. I managed to avoid extra moisture in the filling by adding panko, parmessan and potato flakes (the stuff you use to make instant mashed potatoes). I used some dried red mushrooms and shitake mushrooms and soaked them in hot water for a minute (you could use white wine or anything else you want to add another layer of flavor).
I cut some small cheese squares and wrapped the filling around them before placing them in the dough… so the ravioli would end up having a lovely melted cheese center, I mean, the equation could not go wrong, mushrooms, parmessan, onions, mozzarella, a hint of Tabasco sauce, served with tomato sauce, a bit of fresh cream, a drizzle of olive oil and parmessan flakes, what´s not to love?
Oh, and another recipe suggestion. We run out of mushroom filling (we had enough wrappers to make 50 ravioli), so for the second batch we simply used some mozzarella and some salami for some, and mozzarella and green olives for the rest. My mom gave them a fancier shape, which probably has a name in Italian but I have no idea what it is, anyone knows what these would be called?
They are also easy to make. Use 1 won ton wrapper instead of 2, put the filling in the center, paint with egg, fold it to get a triangle and join the two side tips.
I´ll attempt to give you a recipe, which will read more like guidelines than anything because I wasn´t really measuring anything. The main point though is for you to try your hand at ravioli even if you feel lazy or don´t have a pasta roller. Using this method, we made 40 ravioli in an hour, and none of them opened at all while boiling!!! now, that´s a first.
Won ton ravioli
50 won ton wrappers
around 2 cups dried mushrooms (I used shitake and red mushrooms)
1 medium red onion
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup parmessan
1/2 cup potato flakes
a dash of Tabasco sauce
around 1 tablespoon of pesto
1 egg (as a glue to seal the ravioli)
1. Chop the onion finely in the food processor and saute it with a bit of butter for a few minutes just to tone down the flavor a little bit. Put them back in the food processor.
2. Soak the mushrooms in water for 1 minute. Rinse and blend them in the food processor along with the cooked onion.
3. Place the mix in a bowl, add Tabasco sauce, the pesto and the salt.
4. Then start adding alternately panko, grated parmessan cheese and potato flakes until you get a firm mix which will be easy to work with your hands. Let it rest in the fridge while you lay out the won ton wrappers.
5. Cut some small mozzarella squares.
6. Place the won ton wrappers on the counter. Wrap the cheese squares with the mushroom filling and put the little ball you formed in the center of the wrappers.
7. Paint the borders with a whisked egg. Cover it with another wrapper making sure the borders are hermetically glued together and you have eliminated as much of the air that forms inside the ravioli as possible.
8. Boil it gently in salted water for around 3-4 minutes (do check though).
9. Serve the ravioli with a nice tomato sauce, a bit of fresh cream, a drizzle of good olive oil and some parmessan flakes. Enjoy!
STRANGE TRIVIA I noticed looking at Google Analytics that I have 1 reader from Carbonera!!! You say, what is Carbonera, well, Carbonera is a small town in Treviso, Italy where my dad´s family comes from. I mean, it is really small, so I almost fell from my chair when I saw “Carbonera” in the statistics. I was there once and I love the place… for what it is, for the family I have there and for all the place means, so if you are that reader from Carbonera, leave a comment or email me, I´d love to hear from you! (by the way, that extends to every single reader of this blog, I don´t discriminate against non-Carbonera people haha).