Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Pumpkin Ravioli with Herbal Butter Sauce

Pumpkin Ravioli with Herbal Butter Sauce

Use wonton wrappers to make this a doable weeknight dish

Love homemade ravioli, but can’t spare the time to make it? Well, we have a handy shortcut.

Wonton wrappers are a great substitute for homemade pasta when you’re making ravioli. Their taste and texture are similar, and you can buy them ready-to-use at most grocery stores.

This method is so convenient, you’ll be able to make ravioli for weeknight dinner. And it’s so tasty, you can serve it at weekend dinner parties, too.

Your grateful guests will think you labored all day in the kitchen. We won’t tell if you don’t.



Pumpkin Ravioli with Herbal Butter Sauce

Recipe: Pumpkin Ravioli with Herbal Butter Sauce

Fresh, homemade pasta is great – especially in ravioli. But it takes time to make homemade dough from scratch. Then you have to roll it out, shape it, and fill each ravioli. So homemade ravioli tends to be a “special occasion” dish for most of us.

Unless, of course, we just use wonton wrappers instead.

Fresh wonton wrappers are available in the produce department at most supermarkets (usually in the refrigerated display). Sometimes you can also find them in the frozen foods section (defrost those before using).

You can fill ravioli with a range of tasty tidbits. We’re going with pumpkin this time since it’s autumn in our part of the world.

We use canned pumpkin in this dish because it’s readily available, and generally quite flavorful. But you could also use leftover roast pumpkin that’s been puréed, or substitute another squash.

Prep time for this dish depends on how fast you work. We can mix the pumpkin filling and shape all the ravioli in about 15 minutes. Add 3 minutes for cooking the ravioli, plus another minute or two for finishing the herbal butter sauce.

This recipe yields about 24 ravioli (but see Notes). We figure on 3 ravioli per serving for a first course, and 6 or 8 for a main course.

Ingredients

For the ravioli:
  • 1 15-ounce can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 egg, separated (preferably a pasteurized egg; see Notes)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste; see Notes)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (to taste)
  • ~2 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about ¾ cup, tightly packed)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 package wonton wrappers (the brand we use contains 48 wrappers per package; may also substitute homemade pasta – see Notes)
  • ~2 tablespoons kosher salt for seasoning the cooking water
For the herbal butter sauce:
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh herb of choice (we like fresh rosemary, but sage or thyme would also work well)
  • additional 1 ounce freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (plus extra for serving at table)
  • salt to taste (several pinches for us)
  • black pepper to taste (about a dozen grinds for us)
Procedure
  1. Open the can of pumpkin. Use a spatula to scrape the pumpkin into a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Separate the egg, reserving the white. Add the egg yolk to the pumpkin. Add the salt and nutmeg to the pumpkin, then mix.
  3. Grate the cheese, then add it to the pumpkin and mix it in. Taste (but only if you used pasteurized egg). Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  4. Add the water to the egg white, then beat together. Set aside.
  5. Now start forming the ravioli. (Be aware that, once opened, wonton wrappers dry out quickly. So keep them covered with a damp towel until ready to use). Open the package of wonton wrappers and take out 2. Place them on a clean kitchen counter, keeping the rest of the wrappers covered with a damp towel. Dip your impeccably clean finger into the egg/water mixture (or use a pastry brush). Dampen the perimeter of one wonton wrapper with the egg/water mixture – this helps the ravioli stick together after they’re formed. Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons of pumpkin mixture onto the middle of the wrapper, then spread it out a bit. (You may need to adjust the amount of filling, depending on the size of your wonton wrappers.) Place the second wonton wrapper on top of the first, lining up the edges. Seal the edges by pressing them together (while also pressing out any trapped air). Be sure all 4 edges of the ravioli are sealed – if they’re not, the filling will leak out when you cook the ravioli. Repeat until you’ve used all the wonton wrappers. (We usually form several ravioli at a time, but start with just one until you get the hang of it.)
  6. If you don’t want to cook the ravioli right away, place them on a sheet pan and cover it with cling wrap. Refrigerate the ravioli until ready to cook.
  7. When you’re ready to cook the ravioli, fill a large cooking pot with water (use a pot that holds least 4 quarts; 6 is better). Bring the water to a boil.
  8. While the cooking water is heating, start making the sauce. Place the stick of butter in a large frying pan (ideally one that measures 12 inches) over medium-low heat (you want the butter to melt slowly, without simmering). As the butter melts, rinse off the herbs, pat them dry, then mince them. Once the butter is melted, add the chopped herbs and mix them in. Keep the butter-and-herb mixture over low heat until Step 11. Grate the additional cheese and set aside.
  9. By now, the cooking water should be boiling. Add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to season the water, then carefully slide several ravioli into the water. We usually add just a handful at a time until all the ravioli are in the cooking pot (see Notes). Adjust the heat so the water is just simmering. Set a timer for 3 minutes.
  10. The ravioli should be done after 3 minutes (they will float to the surface of the water when they’re ready; if they’re not done, cook another minute). Ladle out a cup of the cooking liquid, and reserve. Then, using a large skimmer or spider, fish out the cooked ravioli and place them in the frying pan that contains the butter mixture.
  11. Turn up the heat under the frying pan. Add enough of the reserved pasta water to thinly coat all the ravioli (you’ll need about ½ cup, or maybe a bit less). Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove the frying pan from the heat. Add the ounce of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus salt and black pepper to taste. Stir gently to combine. 
  12. Dish up the ravioli and serve. We like to add a garnish of extra grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, along with a sprig of the herb we’ve used in the herbal butter sauce.
Pumpkin Ravioli with Herbal Butter Sauce

Notes
  • Why add the ravioli to the cooking pot by handfuls? As insurance in case you haven't thoroughly sealed the ravioli (homemade ravioli tend to be more fragile than the store-bought variety). So if you add them all at once, improperly sealed ones are more likely to fall apart.
  • As noted above, the wonton wrappers we buy come in packages of 48 – enough for 24 ravioli. We usually have a bit of pumpkin filling left over (although that varies depending on how much we put in each ravioli). 
  • What to do with the leftover pumpkin filling? You could make more ravioli, of course (though you’d need more wonton wrappers). Or you could make pumpkin bruschetta: Just spread the filling on rounds of French or Italian bread, cover with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and slide under the broiler of an oven for a few minutes.
  • Do commercial wonton wrappers really taste as good as homemade pasta dough? Yup, we think so. Purists would say they’re not quite as good, but the flavor and texture are very close. So close that we’re probably out of the business of making pasta dough when it comes to homemade ravioli – because this method is so much quicker and easier.
  • But if you still want to make ravioli with homemade dough, here’s how (using our homemade pasta recipe): Make a batch of pasta dough. Flatten it into long rectangular sheets with a rolling pin or using a machine (with a machine, run the dough through on the next-to-last setting). Then form the ravioli with a pasta form, if you have one (follow the instructions that come with it). Otherwise, spread a rectangular sheet of pasta dough on your clean kitchen counter. Spoon dollops of pumpkin filling (about 2 teaspoons) down the length of half the dough, spacing them at least an inch apart. Dip your finger into the egg/water mixture, and run it down the pasta sheet, just outside the dots of pumpkin filling. Also run your wet finger between each dot of filling. Fold the empty part of the pasta sheet over the half containing the filling. Press down along the top, bottom, and sides of the sheet, and between the dots of filling, to seal the pasta together. Cut the ravioli pieces with a pasta wheel. 
  • If you don’t want to cook all the ravioli at once, you can freeze some of it. Just place the freshly made ravioli on a sheet pan or in a baking dish, cover with parchment paper, and place it in the freezer. Once the ravioli is frozen (about an hour), remove it from the pan and store it in a freezer bag (in the freezer) until ready to use. The ravioli should keep for a month or two.
  • Eggs carry a slight (but real) risk of salmonella. So we suggest using pasteurized eggs when making anything that you might taste in uncooked form. We definitely taste pumpkin filling while making it (to adjust the seasoning). 
  • We use kosher salt for cooking and baking. Kosher salt is less salty by volume than regular table salt (its crystals are larger and more coarse, so they don’t fill a measuring spoon as tightly). If you’re using regular table salt, use about half as much as we suggest. If the dish isn’t salty enough, it’s easy enough to add more later.
  • Want a spicier pumpkin filling? Just add a little cayenne pepper (or some red-pepper flakes) to the pumpkin mixture.

Saucy

“Love this ravioli,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “And it’s so easy to make with wonton wrappers.”

“Definitely not as much work as homemade dough,” I said. “And the flavor? This is no impasta.”

“Keep up the bad puns and I may have to take drastic action,” said Mrs K R. “You could be pasta way.”

“Such a nasty woman,” I said with a grin. “Or maybe it’s just the joke that was terrible.”

“Be careful,” said Mrs K R. “There could be some punkin' chunkin' around here.”

“Guess I should butter you up,” I said. “So let’s admit it: I’m a bad hombre.”

“Pasta la vista, baby,” said Mrs K R.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Homemade Pasta and Noodle Dough
Fettuccine Alfredo
Old-School Macaroni & Cheese
Pasta alla Norma
Hungarian Noodles and Cabbage with Bacon
Pasta with Cauliflower and Olives
Pasta with Zucchini and Mushrooms
Or check out the index for more recipes

102 comments:

  1. What a great idea it is to use wonton wrappers! I love pumpkin ravioli in butter sauce - it looks terrific John.

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    1. Hi Pam, wonton wrappers are SO versatile! And work really well in this recipe. Thanks for the comment.

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  2. This is really such a clever idea! I never think of using wonton wrappers but they really should be a staple in the kitchen.

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    1. Hi Laura, wonton wrappers are wonderful in this dish! So easy, which is always a good thing. Thanks for the comment.

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  3. That's a very creative use of wonton wrappers, John. I love the herbal butter sauce.

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    1. Hi Angie, the herbal butter sauce is super! And you can use it with loads of other dishes, not just this one. Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Another wonderful aspect to wonton ravioli is how they cook up almost translucent giving the diner a hint at the luscious pumpkin filling. GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, good point! They do look really nice, don't they? Thanks for the comment.

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  5. Ravioli was totally my favorite back when I could eat pasta. I mean, pasta stuffed with a surprise, COMMONNNN! And in this case, a pumpkin surprise!! YUMMMM! You could ever put cinnamon on it......? ;)

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    1. Hi GiGi, I almost put cinnamon in this, but decided against it. I think for cinnamon I'd want to add a bit of beef to the pumpkin filling (beef and cinnamon is an amazing combo, and the pumpkin would really compliment it). And maybe a tomato sauce instead of the butter sauce. Experimentation is needed! And will be forthcoming. Eventually. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. I've attempted homemade ravioli from scratch only once---I just didn't have the patience to get the pasta thin enough. I now use wonton wrappers, too---such a terrific idea! I love pumpkin ravioli with herbs---so delicious!

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    1. Hi Liz, we're fairly good at rolling out pasta dough thin enough (using a machine really helps), but it really takes time. Wonton wrappers are way easier! And good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. I've never used wonton wrappers! Great idea. Pretty ravioli!

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    1. Hi Mimi, wonton wrappers are so easy to use! You'll love them. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. A quick dinner recipe always gets my undivided attention! With seasonal pumpkin and a sprinkle of cheese this is a fabulous fall recipe! (And my sage plant could use a trimming too.)

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    1. Hi Deb, we all need quick dinner ideas! And this is a good one. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. I love making homemade ravioli. I've made it with butternut squash and goat cheese and love that. Now I'll try your recipe. Looks great!

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    1. Hi Vicki, the combo of butternut squash and goat cheese sounds wonderful! Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Looks delicious, John! We really like ravioli but I've never considered making my own, until now, after seeing your easy method. This is a great easy shortcut for making ravioli and I will be doing it soon and fooling them all, hopefully! Thanks for the great post!

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    1. Hi Pam, you'll really enjoy making your own ravioli -- and so easy using this method! Thanks for the comment.

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  11. How fun to have such a gourmet meal that's so easy to put together! Who would have thought this delicious meal could come together in less than 30 minutes!

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    1. Hi Chris, can't have too many speedy meal ideas like this! And the flavor is excellent -- bonus! Thanks for the comment.

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  12. John, this is a beautiful recipe. I had forgotten about the idea of using won ton wrappers as pasta. Incidentally, you can shallow fry them till golden, then dust them with icing sugar as a dessert accompaniment too!

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    1. Hi Liz, like the idea of shallow frying them! Definitely will try. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  13. Never had homemade ravioli before and I am too lazy to make them myself :) so your clever idea hits the spot. Very good recipe John, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Amira, we do like making ravioli the traditional way, but this is SO much easier. We're converts to this! Thanks for the comment.

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    1. Hi Peachy, sorry about that. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. I love the idea of using wonton wrappers. Now I have to try this recipe. Thanks John!

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    1. Hi Gerlinde, wonton wrappers has so many different uses -- including making wontons! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. I never thought to use wonton wrappers to make ravioli! This is a brilliant idea. I love homemade pasta but rarely have the time to deal with making it.

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    1. Hi Ashley, we love homemade pasta too, but that time thing is a killer, isn't it? Wonton wrappers to the recipe! At least when it comes to ravioli. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  17. We love ravioli, great idea to use wonton wrappers and I love the filling.

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    1. Hi Cheri, the filling is SO tasty! Really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  18. Just another demonstration of how ravioli and wontons are really the same thing. Now for pierogi. And certain kinds of dumplings.

    I must admit that quite a number of years ago, I bought some wonton wrappers which stayed in my refrigerator until they died -- I threw them out when they expired. And since then, I have purchased my wontons. Bad, bad me.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, the whole dumpling family is really interesting. It'd be fun to explore in depth, wouldn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. Wonton wrappers--brilliant! I was just craving pumpkin ravioli, so you know this one's going in my books ASAP!

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    1. Hi Ala, you can whip up a batch of thee in a hurry to satisfy that craving! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  20. Herbal butter sauce...MMMM! Love your short cuts and helpful hints. Now you have me craving this dish..Will have to make a batch soon so I can slather on some herbal butter sauce...

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    1. Hi Bobbi, herbal butter sauce is good stuff! Love its flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. I've had a craving recently for a winter squash ravioli and here you go. Love the pumpkin filling with that butter herb sauce. YUM! I can see throwing in a variety of fresh herbs from my garden. So good! The use of the wonton wrappers is a great idea! However, I did recently purchase one of those electric pasta making machine that I am IN LOVE with. I've been wanting to try making a ravioli pasta for just the right recipe. Thanks for providing it John!

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    1. Hi MJ, it's fun making your own pasta dough, and you'll enjoy making ravioli from scratch. But when you're in a hurry, the wonton wrappers are a nice shortcut. And all sorts of herbs would taste good with that butter sauce! Thanks for the comment.

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  22. Love this! I use won ton wrappers also and sage is my ppreferred herb. However you cut it though, these would make anyone cry with desire!

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    1. Hi Abbe, sage is good stuff, isn't it? Can never decide whether I prefer it or rosemary! And these definitely make us cry with desire. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  23. What a fantastic idea - using wonton wrappers! I also love that you've used a sauce that will let the pumpkin shine.

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    1. Hi Jeff, herbal butter sauce is perfect for this dish, IMO. It's also really good with gnocchi. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. I love the sound of this and what a great idea for pumpkin.

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    1. Hi Caroline, isn't this a neat dish? SO flavorful! Thanks for the comment.

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  25. What a great idea. I knew it could be done but I forgot about the wonton wrappers. I much prefer eating these large square raviolis too. You do make them sound very easy to make and great filling and lovely herbal butter sauce. I like the idea also of leftover pumpkin for bruschetta.

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    1. Hi Evelyne, these really are easy to make -- although as with anything, the more you make, the easier they become. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. I have some Italian friends who turn their noses at the thought of using wonton skins for stuffed pasta, but I agree, they're a godsend. Turns an effortful dish into an easy one.

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    1. Hi Frank, using wonton wrappers makes this so easy! And most important, fast. We'll still be making ravioli the traditional way, I'm sure, but most of the time we're using wonton skins! Thanks for the comment.

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  27. I love ravioli but I have never made my own ravioli. That herbal butter sauce sounds wonderful. Your hints are really hints. Thanks for your lovely recipe.

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    1. Hi Anu, you'll love this sauce! And the ravioli. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  28. I would never associate pumpkin with pasta but this is a great idea!

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    1. Hi Mary, we love pumpkin in savory dishes! It's wonderful in ravioli. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. My sister showed me how to make ravioli with won ton wrappers. And we had a ball making them. We made them with a squash filling -- so pumpkin is indeed a natural. We dressed it just with browned sage butter and I have to admit, fresh sage made a big difference!

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    1. Hi Rosemary, can't beat fresh herbs in a butter sauce, can you? And squash ravioli are good! Thanks for the comment.

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  30. Oh John, I tried this once and did not turn out that pretty...yours look fabulous and the sauce amazing...now I want to try this again...
    Hope you are enjoying your week :)

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    1. Hi Juliana, the sauce is wonderful! Ravioli are pretty darn good, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  31. Loving the herbal butter sauce! Wonton wrappers are great shortcuts and the pumpkin filling sounds heavenly...and I'm not even a pumpkin lover 😋

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    1. Hi Nazneen, pumpkin filling is so much fun. And tasty! :-) Even if you don't like pumpkin. :D Thanks for the comment.

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  32. Never knew that you could use wonton wraps for Ravioli. That's a very helpful tip. I love Rosemary and I am sure it might have made the ravioli even better with the butter sauce you made out of it.

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    1. Hi Shibi, it's such a timesaver to use wonton wrappers! And we love rosemary too -- such a nice herb! Thanks for the comment.

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  33. This is such a flavorful and beautiful recipe. I love everything about this dish!Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Hi Kushi, isn't this nice? And tasty! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  34. Such a great idea, John, and it looks absolutely delicious! I'm not a huge pumpkin fan but I could gobble it up in this dish cos it's just the right amount with each bite. Great shots, too!

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    1. HI Robyn, nice thing about ravioli is you can have as much or as little, depending on your appetite and interest in a particular dish. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  35. This dish is all fall. So delicious! I'm trying to pull it off the screen to make it my dinner tonight.

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    1. Hi Lisa, hate it when I can't get great looking food off my screen! Means I have to go in the kitchen and make it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  36. What a perfect fall dinner, John! Your last photo is particularly enticing. I enjoyed your banter with Mrs K R, too!

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    1. Hi Hannah, Mrs KR and I do like to talk. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  37. Oh my gosh, these do look delicious. Can't wait to give them a try.

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    1. Hi Karen, you'll love this dish! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  38. Hello John. The dish looks stunning! I'm dying to taste it now..

    PS. It's Marcela from tastefolio. I had to take a break in cooking and started to take more pictures of things that surrounds me. I don't have a 'real' blog rather than portfolio, but I keep sharing my snaps at my fb page: http://fabebook.com/marrific

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    1. Hi Marcela, good to hear form you! Just checked out your facebook page -- wonderful pictures! NYC is just a great subject, isn't it? Thanks for the comment.

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  39. hehe...I always cheat when I make ravioli at home with wonton wrapper too....until one day I tried some "real" homemade ones at my brother's house. Oh boy! So good. But I would still use wonton wrapper when I make them...and go to my brother's when I want the "real" thing! :D Yours look amazingly scrumptious!

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    1. Hi Amy, real ravioli has a mouthfeel that's hard to duplicate, but wonton wrappers come really close! Thanks for the comment.

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  40. I love ravioli as well but I never make it at home. Need to try this wonton wrapper :D

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    1. Hi Marta, ravioli is SO easy to make when you use wonton wrappers! We've become addicted. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  41. I've never thought to use wrappers - that is brilliant! I've made homemade ravioli once and loved it. It really wasn't that hard but not quick enough for a weeknight meal. Love the pumpkin filling and herb butter sauce! Have a lovely weekend and thanks :)

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    1. Hi Tricia, only way we can do homemade ravioli for a weeknight is with the wonton wrappers. Or make it the traditional way on the weekend and freeze it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  42. This recipe sounds absolutely wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Beth, isn't this a nice recipe? So good! Thanks for the comment.

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  43. Wonton wrappers are indeed great for preparing ravioli. Your pumpkin ones look delicious.

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    1. Hi Karen, love how versatile wonton wrappers are! Thanks for the comment.

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  44. Such a brilliant dish. It looks like a restaurant one yet you've made it so easy to do with wonton wrappers and canned pumpkin. It's easy enough for anyone to attempt. And pretty enough to wow any guests.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, this really is an easy dish. And SO tasty -- really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  45. all these flavors sound so amazing, John!

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    1. HI Rahul, it's a fun -- and good! -- dish. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  46. I love this - a really perfect fall meal.

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    1. Hi Amy, we're loving this too -- so much flavor! And easy! Thanks for the comment.

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  47. Sounds easy to make but delicious. Must try!

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    1. Hi Lux, you really should try this! Totally good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  48. Hi John, what a beautiful recipe! We love using wonton wrappers in place of pasta and also I like to bake them like little hand pies with fruity fillings. Can't wait to try this pumpkin filling with a little cayenne like you suggested. Yum!!

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    1. Hi Marcelle, wonton wrappers can be used in so many different things! Great idea to use them in hand pies. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  49. Damn, you are so brave to make ravioli at home. Hats off. So beautiful.

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    1. Hi Nisha, ravioli is easy to make as long as you use wonton wrappers. :-) And SO worth it! Thanks for the comment.

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  50. Wow I never thought of using wonton wrapper to make ravioli. So clever! I have left over wonton wrappers all the time so this recipe is really handy. The herbal butter sauce sounds to die for. Excellent recipe!

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    1. Hi Yi, bet you'll start making ravioli all the time! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  51. Wonton wrappers are a great way to go, John, and can be used to make cannelloni and manicotti, as well. I've not made ravioli in sone time now and when I do, if it is just for me, I know I'll be using wonton wrappers. Besides, it would give me an excuse to try your pumpkin filling and butter sauce. Yum!

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  52. Hi John, you'll like this! Super flavor. :-) I haven't used wonton wrappers to make cannelloni or manicotti. Yet. :-) Sounds like a terrific idea! Thanks for the comment.

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