A Meatless Marvel
Sometimes you need to prepare a meatless meal in a hurry, one that vegetarians and omnivores would both enjoy. I often make this “ravioli” at home, simply because it is delicious and takes very little work. It’s great for company because it looks very elegant when served. When the snow melts and ramps appear in the markets and the woodlands, you can substitute ramps for the scallions. A simple side salad is all you need to complete the meal.
1 ½ cups cheese – I mix together equal parts of feta crumbles and goat cheese crumbles
¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
6 scallions, sliced very thin
¼ teaspoon grated (or ground) nutmeg
Salt & pepper
Wonton Wrappers (you will use 16 wrappers for each serving – keep the others covered in plastic so they don’t harden)
Pesto – at room temperature and ready to serve (Use store-bought pesto, or a homemade recipe follows)
Put a large skillet on the stove, fill with 2 inches of water and set to a gentle simmer.
In a bowl, mix together for the filling: the cheeses, egg, scallions, and nutmeg. I usually add in about ½ teaspoon pepper and just a pinch of salt, as the cheeses are already salty.
Lay out half of the wonton wrappers (16) on a non-stick piece of foil or silpat.
Put about 1 ½ teaspoons of filling in the center of each wonton. Brush a little water around all of the edges of the wonton, place another wonton on top and seal by crimping with a fork, making each into a “raviolo”.
Gently transfer each raviolo into the simmering water and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. You want the ravioli to be in a single layer while they simmer - not overlapping too much - so you will probably have to cook them in batches or in several pans. When the ravioli rise to the top of the water and are all evenly opaque, they are cooked.
Carefully remove the ravioli from the water with a slotted spoon (or Chinese spider-mesh strainer), and place on each individual plate. Eight ravioli (made form 16 wontons) is a hefty individual serving. Make sure that there is no residual water on the dish before topping with pesto and serving.
Top each wonton with about a teaspoon of pesto and enjoy! You can add some more Pecorino Romano for a garnish if you’d like.
In a food processor, combine:
1 ½ cups packed basil leaves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic clove
With the food processor running, slowly add in ½ cup extra virgin olive oil.
If you are making the pesto in advance, place in a container then cover with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent the basil from darkening.
We always make a gigantic batch of homemade pesto each summer when fresh basil appears at the Farmers Markets. We keep it individually portioned in our freezer in small containers.