As you can imagine, these stipulations are hard to come by on, say, a Tuesday night in the middle of Winter in an apartment with a kitchen that is minuscule. So what is one to do when one wants fresh pasta? I'll tell you. One buys wonton wrappers, makes a quick pesto in her little food processor, and hunkers down in front of the TV for a quiet evening of ravioli construction that is downright cathartic.
This is super easy to make; the most time consuming part of it is actually constructing the ravioli, but like I said, it's therapeutic. When was the last time you sat down and let your mind wander for an hour? I bet you'd be surprised to see where it went.
So let's make pasta!
It all starts with the filling. Frozen peas are boiled for just a moment, until they are bright green and heated through.
Isn't that the perfect color green? I bought some pants last weekend that are that exact shade, and I can't wait to wear them.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, parsley, shallots, a garlic clove, Parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs are added.
Lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and finally, the peas are also added. This all gets pulsed and pulverized until it is a smooth paste. Like pesto. Get it?
Filling is done! Next, assemble your assembly line: pesto in a bowl, a mug of water, wonton wrappers, and a workspace, which in my case was a cutting board.
Headphones, headband, and external hard drive will not be needed. Neither will that sharpie. This is an accurate view--a peak into my life if you will: a coffee table full of things that don't belong.
To assemble the ravioli, take a wonton wrapper and situate it like a diamond in front of you. Add about a teaspoon, maybe less, of filling onto the wonton and fold over so that it is now a triangle. Seal the edges by wetting your finger then dabbing water onto the edges of the wonton and squeezing tight. Then take the two outside angles of the triangle and bring them in so that now the ravioli looks like an open envelope. Again, seal those two edges with water and press tightly.
Repeat with all remaining wonton wrappers. This is about halfway through:
As you can imagine, I have a lot of frozen ravioli on my hands.
When all the ravioli had been assembled, I was up to my elbows in homemade pasta, but felt relaxed, recharged, and more than a little hungry.
I froze about 3/4 of the ravioli I made by placing them in the freezer exactly like you see above. Once they were frozen solid I put them in a zippered freezer bag for future pasta adventures.
When it was finally time to eat, I brought a large pot of salted water to a boil and added about 10 of the ravioli (which was way too much--these babies are filling!). The wonton wrappers only need about 3 minutes to cook, so in no time it was ready. In lieu of a sauce, I simply added some toasted walnuts, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and of course, Parmesan cheese.
What a wonderful surprise, this version of fresh pasta. The pea pesto is light and a little sweet and so very good. It would be also be awesome thinned out with a bit of pasta water and tossed with linguine for a quick mid-week meal. Oh, or as a sandwich spread! Or dip? Yum.
I love how the green color of the pesto shows through the thin wonton wrappers. They look like little jewels. So pretty.
With a filling as flavorful as this pesto was, a light, simple sauce was all that was needed. I loved, however, the addition of the walnuts for added texture. I was happy for some crunch in all that filling.
So the lesson here is that no one should have to go without fresh pasta if they don't want to. Whip up some pesto, sit yourself down, and have a quiet hour of ravioli construction, without the afternoon of homemade dough making. It's almost as good as the ravioli themselves.
Here's the recipe!
Ravioli with Pea Pesto Filling (Adapted from Joy the Baker)
- 1 package prepared wonton wrappers (I found them in the refrigerated section of the produce department, where the tofu and pre-cut veggies are)
- 1 bag frozen peas
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 medium shallot, roughly chopped
- Zest and Juice of one lemon
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add peas and cook for 3 minutes, just until warmed through. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor add garlic, shallots, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and cooked peas. Pulse to combine then drizzle in olive oil. Process until mixture becomes a smooth paste. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl.
- Assemble your work space with the pesto, a small bowl of water, wonton wrappers, and a small spoon.
- To assemble the ravioli, place a wonton wrapper in front of you so that it is shaped like a diamond. Add about a teaspoon of pesto filling in the bottom half of the diamond. Dip your fingers in water and dab the edges of the wonton wrapper. Fold over, making a triangle, and seal by pressing down tightly on all edges. Take the outer corners of the triangle and bring them to the center so that the ravioli is not shaped like an open envelope. Using a bit more water, seal these two pieces together and press tightly. Repeat with all remaining wonton wrappers. Set ravioli in a single layer, as they will stick to each other if they are stacked. To freeze, place in freezer in a single layer, then when they are frozen solid (I left mine overnight), place in a zippered freezer bag.
- When the ravioli is done, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook ravioli for three minutes. Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a medium skillet. Drain the ravioli and add them to the heated oil. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a plate. Top with toasted walnuts and grated Parmesan cheese.