Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cheese Ravioli with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Okay, so I didn't go to the extent of making my own pasta. I'm not quite that good. Though I do want to try my hand at homemade pasta someday... in the future... when I have the proper materials to do so. So instead I made these ravioli with won ton wrappers and it was easier than I care to admit. The hardest part was finding won ton wrappers at the supermarket. I looked in 3 different stores without any success. I wandered up and down the aisles aimlessly and cluelessly. So then one day a thought occurred to me... and I went to my computer, got on Google and typed in "where to find won ton wrappers at the grocery store." Thank goodness for Google. They're in the produce section - so no one has to feel silly and go through what I went through.

Won ton wrappers can be a little tricky to deal with. For starters, they dry out really quickly so it becomes super important to keep them wrapped at all times. As you fill the wrappers, put them on a pan and either cover them with plastic wrap or with a wet towel. And in order to get them to close properly, brush the edges with a little water and fold them over and flatten them to get out all of the air bubbles. It's really easier than it sounds.

Very gently put them in the pot, in two batches, and let them boil. Then carefully remove them and place them on a wire rack to drain. Next, prepare the sauce which takes just a few minutes and is very light and tasty. The sauce has a little kick to it, but you can tone down the red pepper flakes if you don't care for any spice. Or, turn it up a notch and make it spicier! Whatever you care for.

This is a really delicious and light meal. If you ever thought you couldn't make your own ravioli, guess again. Trust me, it's really good!

Cheese Ravioli with Spicy Tomato Sauce
(adapted from Southern Living magazine)

1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
8 oz. package won ton wrappers
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Stir together first 3 ingredients and 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil in a small bowl.

2. Arrange 1 won ton wrapper on a clean, flat surface. (Cover remaining wrappers with plastic wrap or a damp towel to prevent drying out.) Lightly moisten edges of wrapper with water. Place about 1 and 1/2 tsp. cheese mixture in center of wrapper; fold 2 opposite corners together over cheese mixture, forming a triangle. Press edges together to seal, removing any air pockets. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. Repeat procedure with remaining wrappers and cheese mixture.

3. Cook ravioli, in 2 batches, in boiling salted water to cover in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain well on a lightly greased wire rack. Divide cooked ravioli among 4 individual serving bowls.

4. Saute tomatoes in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes or just until soft. Add broth and white wine vinegar; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until tomatoes begin to wilt. Stir in dried crushed red pepper, salt, and remaining basil. Pour sauce over ravioli. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

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