I have never been a huge fan of spaghetti. Your standard noodles + pasta was never quite satisfying to me. My favorite Italian dishes growing up were always the cheesy ones- stuffed pastas like cannelloni and manicotti and ravioli, and the delicious layers of lasagna. As a vegetarian, they still felt warm and comforting.
In our tiny, California kitchen we do not have room to make homemade pasta- it is fun, and I recommend experiencing it at some point. However, this recipe is not difficult and not super time consuming. The method we apply here utilizes wonton wrappers, in lieu of homemade pasta. When you boil wonton wrappers they behave in a very similar manner, and taste very similar to pasta. This gives you the flexibility of creating any filling you like, and using your own sauce, without having to deal with homemade pasta dough.
The one warning I do have- it makes 26 ravioli and it does not freeze well. I was really hoping that it would freeze, but using this method to quickly make stuffed pasta creates a very thin and fragile raviolo. You might try to freeze them individually, but when we froze multiple ravioli at a time, and then tried to cook them, they stuck together and did not cook evenly.
Homemade Cheese Ravioli
for the filling
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated or shaved)
1/2 cup grated fontina cheese
1/4 cup chopped, fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons minced, fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste (we went with 3/4 teaspoon of each)
for the wrappers
1 package wonton wrappers (pack of 52)
olive oil, pepper, and garlic salt to cook in
tomato sauce, shaved parmesan, and fresh basil to top
(We used our homemade sauce for this and it worked out very well.)
First, make your filling. Combine the cheeses, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, and egg in a large bowl.
Set up a work station. Lay parchment paper down, with your bowl of filling, wonton wrappers, a fork, and a brush. Whisk a second egg in a small bowl, this will be used to help create a good seal on your wrappers.
Lay the wrappers down six at a time. Two rows of three. You will be making three ravioli at a time, using two wonton wrappers per raviolo.
Brush the edges of each wonton wrapper with a bit of egg.
Take a heaping teaspoon of filling and place it in the center of three of your wrappers.
Place the empty wrappers on top of the cheese wrappers one at a time. Press down on the edges carefully to begin the process of creating a seal. As you do this, be careful to keep the squares aligned.
Finally, take your fork and crimp the edges of each raviolo. Place the finished ravioli in a waiting area – they are ready to cook!
Complete this process with the remaining filling and wrappers.
Feel free to be generous with the filling (there will be more than enough), but you do not want to put too much in there to the point that it gets in the way of your seal.
Pretty ravioli are the goal- no ricotta spilling out over the edges! This sounds silly, but in actuality, it will be a big problem when you try to boil them.
After you have assembled all of your ravioli, put a pot of water on to boil. Sprinkle in some olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper. This will add a good bit of flavor to the wonton wrapper while also helping them to not stick together!
Let the water boil fully. You can cook as many ravioli as your are comfortable with at a time, I usually stick to 5 in our small quart-sized pot!
When the ravioli float to the top, they are ready to come out (3-4 minutes)! Stack them on a plate and top with anything you desire! We usually go for sauce, basil, and parmesan. However, you can even bake them or sauté them if you prefer an oil-based or creamier sauce!