I really do think it is ravioli week this week, lots of my friends have been making it and last night I watching Bobby Flay's Ravioli Throwdown. Coincidence? I think not.
I like homemade ravioli best, with fresh egg pasta, but this was an interesting recipe from the latest Saveur magazine. It uses wonton wrappers, square in the recipe but I had found some nice round ones in the supermarket, they seem a little thicker than the wonton wrappers I usually get.
I also added some chicken stock to the sauce to make it "in brodo", more soup-like and less likely for the ravioli in the tender wonton skins to stick to each other.
This was a not-too-difficult recipe with sophisticated results. It seems labour intensive at first but it can be made in stages. Very yummy indeed. Break out a nice bottle of wine to go with it, soft music and candlelight. Buon Appetito!
Shrimp Ravioli with Spinach and Ginger
Saveur Magazine #126, Jan/Feb 2010
Kosher salt, to taste
8 oz. large peeled shrimp
9 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 small leek, white part only, finely chopped
1⁄2 small bulb fennel,finely chopped
1⁄2 rib celery, finely chopped
1 3" piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
32 square wonton wrappers (3" x 3)
1 egg, lightly beaten
10 oz. spinach, stemmed *I used baby spinach and didn't have to cook it.
1 1⁄2 cups dry white vermouth
2 tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded, and finely chopped *I used half red pepper
1 tbsp. minced chives *I used green onion
I added some chicken broth to the sauce and garnished with Parmesan cheese.
1. Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of water to a boil; add salt. Add shrimp; poach until just cooked, about 2 minutes. Drain shrimp and transfer to a plate; let cool. Finely chop shrimp; set aside in a large bowl. Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add thyme, carrots, leeks, fennel, and celery and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tsp. ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Add 3 tbsp. water, cover partially, and cook until liquid has evaporated, 4–5 minutes; set aside to let cool. Remove thyme and transfer vegetables to bowl containing chopped shrimp; season shrimp mixture with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
2. Using a pastry brush, brush a wonton wrapper with egg and put 1 tbsp. shrimp mixture into center of wrapper. Top with another wonton wrapper and press edges to seal; trim ravioli with a 2 1⁄2" round cookie cutter to produce a round dumpling (or leave square, if you like). Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers and shrimp mixture to make 16 ravioli in all. (I got around 20+) Transfer ravioli to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
3. Bring 4 cups salted water to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan over high heat. Add spinach and cook for 1 minute; drain, squeezing out as much liquid as possible, and set aside.*I didn't do this, used tender baby spinach instead. Heat remaining ginger, vermouth, and 1 1⁄2 cups water in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until reduced to 2 cups, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining butter, 1 tbsp. at a time, until incorporated. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a 1-qt. saucepan and strain sauce, discarding solids. *I added some chicken broth at this point, just over a cup, eyeballed - heat through. Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper; keep warm.
4. Divide spinach between 4 warmed serving plates. Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer over medium heat. Add ravioli and cook until filling is hot, 4–5 minutes more. Drain ravioli and place 4 on each bed of spinach. Spoon ginger broth over ravioli and garnish with chives.