If you’ve ever made stuffed pasta, such as ravioli (in this case triangles of ravioli!) you’ll know just how long it can take. While there’s nothing wrong with taking the long road – sometimes you just want to get there quicker. Enter: Shortcut Pumpkin Ravioli, from work table to stove in 30 minutes (or less, depending on how fast you really want to move!)
The immensely advantageous time-saving shortcut … is from using wonton wrappers. Available in the freezer section of markets everywhere, they’re an excellent substitute for sheets of pasta – and they’re already cut to the perfect size.
I know, I know, Italians will scoff at this, but let me say the first time I saw someone use this very clever idea – was an Italian American pro chef, on TV. Yes, on TV. And it was years ago! I’d totally forgotten about it until recently, after returning home from a vacation to Italy, and my first time to the charming city of Bologna. Having eaten tortelloni there, make from pumpkin (zucca, in Italian) I just wanted that taste again.
I have made and served these at a dinner party, and other than the raving compliments that came gushing forth, nobody noticed anything, or said anything like… “hey, what’s up with this pasta?” And no one ever will. There is no marked difference in taste or texture, but what you will notice is the flavour of the filling really comes through, with the wrapper being so thin & light.
Have I mentioned yet, that there’s another great shortcut…? It’s canned pumpkin, and all you need is one cup to make about 36 ravioli. I boosted the flavour of the filling by adding fried sage leaves in butter, rather than dried sage and raw butter. I also added some grated parmesan, to offset the relative sweetness of the pumpkin.
How good were these Shortcut Pumpkin Ravioli…? With the enhanced taste of the filling and properly garnished with generous amounts of fried sage leaves, brown butter & parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano, please) they were as good as any I’ve ever eaten – anywhere. They were gobbled up so fast, there was barely time for photos!
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
- 4 fresh sage leaves, fried in 2 teaspoons butter until crisp (3 - 4 minutes) then removed
- Browned butter, saved from frying the sage leaves
- Large pinch Kosher salt
- Few grinds of fresh black pepper
- 36 wonton wrappers
- 1 egg, beaten
- A few more sage leaves fried in a couple spoons butter (until butter is brown & leaves are crisp)
- Grated parmesan cheese
- In a medium bowl stir together the pumpkin, cornmeal, parmesan cheese, fried sage leaves, browned butter from the sage leaves, salt & pepper. Set aside.
- Lay out 12 wrappers on a clean board or counter and place 1 teaspoon of the pumpkin mix in the centre of each.
- Brush two edges lightly with egg, fold into a triangle and press the edges to seal well. Lay them on a parchment/other lined tray and cover with damp tea towel while finishing the rest. Work quickly so the wrappers don’t get too dry and do not overstuff them. They’ll explode during cooking!
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook in 3 or 4 batches, just 3 - 4 minutes, until tender.
- Remove with slotted spoon to heated serving bowls. Drizzle with melted brown butter, crumble over the fried sage and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- *Tip: serve 3 or 4 as an appetizer/light course, more for a main.
- **Freeze any that aren't cooked right away.