We’ve had a rough time around here lately – starting with the loss of our beloved Merlin, the death of my father, and then, five months to the day after that, D’s father passed away. To say we need a break is kind of an understatement.
Eddie Papa reading Goodnight Moon to a very young Miss E.
The day after his dad died was a bit of a blur, the Misses stayed home from school, and we were all just going through the motions. I wanted to make dinner because the kitchen is my therapy, and knew quickly what I wanted to make. These ravioli are not only delicious, but make you focus on the preparation. From the filling to forming each little packet, you have to be present (not like risotto where I can stir away, deep in thought and chardonnay…) for their construction. So there we stood, D and I in our kitchen, side by side, talking about everything and nothing, and healing just a little bit.
I’ve made these ravioli so many times and have never gotten around to photographing and writing about them. In fact, I also made these for my mom and sister the day my father died. I needed to be busy and to comfort them. This is how I do it. Culinary therapy.
The original recipe calls for one package of wonton wrappers, but I always have plenty of filling left over, so I suggest either buying two packages of wrappers or using the leftover as pasta sauce or slathered on toasted French bread. Equally delicious either way.
Green Pea Pesto Ravioli
Yield: about 3 dozen ravioli
1 16-ounce bag frozen peas, unthawed
1 – 2 small cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. diced shallot
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs (just toast some bread and crumble it up)
1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 packages refrigerated wonton wrappers
Your favorite jarred or homemade spicy tomato sauce (We use Rao’s Arrabiata Sauce)
To Make the Green Pea Pesto:
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the frozen peas and some salt. Boil the peas for about 3 minutes, until just blanched. Drain well and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine blanched peas, garlic, shallots, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, bread crumbs, and cheese.
3. Process until the mixture is well incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
4. While the food processor is running, slowly pour in the olive oil in a steady stream until you have a thick and glossy pesto.
5. Transfer the pea pesto to a small bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To Assemble the Ravioli:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Arrange your workstation with the wonton wrappers, the bowl of pea pesto, a small spoon, and a small bowl of water.
2. Place a wonton square in front of you at an angle so that it resembles a diamond.
3. Spoon a teaspoon of pea pesto on the bottom half of the diamond. If you don’t overstuff them, they hold together better when boiled.
4. Dip your finger into the bowl of water and moisten the edges of the diamond. This helps the edges of the ravioli stick together when folded.
5. Fold the top half of the diamond over the pesto to create and upside down triangle. Press the edges together, removing any air bubbles, until well sealed.
6. Wet your finger again in the bowl of water and moisten the two opposite points at the top of the triangle. Bring them together in the center of the ravioli and press lightly to seal.
7. Set the ravioli in a single layer on a cutting board or plate. Continue until all the wonton wrappers are filled or the pesto is used up.
8. Carefully place the prepared ravioli in the boiling water, for 2-3 minutes, or until the wontons look more translucent than opaque. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander.
9. Serve with marinara sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
Source: Adapted from Joy the Baker, who cites The Gourmet Cookbook
Note: Joy also includes instructions for freezing the ravioli on her site.