Okay, before you assume that this is an Asian dish, keep in mind that dumpling wrappers, wonton wrappers, and pasta are essentially the same–flour and water with maybe some special pizzazz here or there. But basically, they’re the same.
In this recipe, “Wonton” just means “You can buy the ‘pasta’ pre-made, rolled, and cut.” In other words, “Easy Ravioli with Ricotta and Spinach.”
This recipe is from Dinner: The Playbook, which I currently have checked out from the library. It appears to be every bit as fantastic as its precursor, Dinner: A Love Story. You should probably read it, even if cooking isn’t your thing. It’s like practical advice from your older sister about how to live life (via your kitchen). Without being preachy.
Anyway, our first recipe pick from the cookbook was pretty wonderful. The filling is light and bright thanks to the ricotta, spinach, and a few other magic ingredients (such as lemon zest). It was a teeny tiny bit time-consuming (45 minutes), but the time-consuming part of it was relaxing. It worked well and easily, and my beginner technique didn’t get in the way.
With no further ado, the recipe (with a slightly different version available on its home website here):
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 2 tablespoons minced onion
- 1 cup thawed and well-squeezed frozen spinach
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish (which I completely forgot–the garnish, that is)
- 1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- grated zest of 1/2 lemon (about 1/2 teaspoon, or more if you like lemon as much as I do)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 40 wonton wrappers (or as many come in a package at the grocery store… ours were super hard to find but were with the fancy juices and things in the refrigerated vegetable section of the store)
- 2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or from the store (we went with store bought this time)
- Optional Hannah add-on: 1/4 lb. Italian sausage (sweet with spicy sauce or spicy sausage with standard sauce)
- In a skillet set over medium-low heat, heat the oil, then add the garlic, cut side down, and swirl around for a minute so it infuses the oil. Remove the garlic and discard. Add the onions and cook for about a minute, until slightly wilted. Mix in the spinach and stir until it is warmed through. If you want to add ground sausage, now is the time. You could just brown the sausage and crumble it into the veggie mix. We thought that would turn this into a more substantial meal for hungry guys (and gals), but it’s completely delicious without the meat as well. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan, ricotta, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Lay a few wonton wrappers on a cutting board (keeping the remaining wrappers covered with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out). Dip your fingers in a bowl of water and “paint” around the edges of the first wrapper. Add about 2 teaspoons of ricotta/spinach/sausage filling, cover with another wrapper, smushing the filling gently to flatten, and seal the edges with your fingers. Transfer to a plate. Repeat until all of the wontons are stuffed.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In a small saucepan, heat the marinara sauce over medium-low heat.
- When the water comes to a boil, gently add the ravioli and cook for 3 minutes, or until they are floating. Drain the ravioli (gently) into a colander and drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Serve with marinara sauce and more Parmesan (or throw on some olives, or basil, if you have them around).
- Go borrow or buy Dinner: The Playbook. There are lots and lots of recipes that look delicious, and we’re already sold after trying out one recipe.