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Sweet Pea Ravioli With Won Ton Wrappers

Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Sweet Pea Ravioli With Won Ton Wrappers

I made a long list of justifications and excuses for this post. Guilt has plagued me all weekend, no matter if the above ravioli have proved to be a quite respectable dish.

I will limit myself to list a series of facts, it's your task to draw the conclusions:
1) I've worked for years (too many...) in a so called Italian restaurant, run by Greek owners, with a Mexican pizza-maker, a Vietnamese cook, Brazilian waiters and hamburger with fries as the main course. I was the most authentic thing on the menu;
2) I live next to an Indian Restaurant named Zante (...!), famous up until Oregon for its curry flavored pizza;
3) The most popular sushi on the streets of San Francisco is the California Roll, with avocado and crab, but contenders for the title are the Dynamite Roll, with tuna, avocado, and spicy Mexican sauce; the Caterpillar Roll, with avocado, cucumber and unagi; the Philadelphia Roll, with smoked salmon, onion and cream cheese; and the evergreen Rock 'n Roll, with avocado, eel, and barbecue sauce;
4) Around here if you don't have focaccia, you're nobody, and so even the most famous Irish Bakery in the city has one with tomatoes and onions, perfect for a pint of Guinness;
5) Not only focaccia, but even if you don't have pesto, you're nobody. Spread it on chicken breast, slip it in bean soup, or throw it on a bagel with salmon, and you'll rule the streets. Guaranteed;
6) The latest Italian-French Revolution is called ciabaguette, not a ciabatta, not a baguette;
7) About pizza I shall not talk, 'cause my heart is torn, but if you're interested, take a look here, there's something for every taste;
8) And then, Praguese coffee-shops in the heart of the Latino neighborhood, Chinese-Mexican take-aways, triple cappuccinos with no foam, tofu burgers and vegetarian steakhouses, garlic ice cream, Andalusian tiramisu and tea lattes. Boy, some things do leave a mark. Have pity on me.

Although I don't think I got that far (see Number 5 and Number 7), guilt - I repeat - has haunted me for days, and I feel compelled to apologize.
I apologize to all the purists out there, to the Fundamentalists of the Imperia Pasta Machine and the Zealots of the Wok; I apologize to all the ghosts of Sunday lunches, of past, present and future; I apologize to the Brotherhood of the Ravioli and to that of the Won Ton. And most of all, I apologize to all the grandmothers, mother-in-laws and aunts, to those from Ascoli and those from Beijing. Forgive me 'cause I don't know what I'm doing, let alone what I'm writing, but more than ten years in this gastronomic melting pot have spun my certainties. The only one that still remains in me, the invincible fortress of my taste, is Pizza, the one with capital P, in which I'll always have one blind and unwavering faith. Of this I'm sure, and the rest is just a sand castle. Or a deflatable piece of dough. At least until the next post ...

Sweet Pea Ravioli
with Won Ton Wrappers

for 4

fresh peas, shelled about 250 gr.
green onions 2
olive oil, salt, pepper, mint, grated parmigiano cheese, butter to taste
won ton wrappers 32

The idea is not mine, of course. I found it online by accident; if you do a search for "ravioli with won ton wrappers", Google will open up a whole new world.

For the filling, blanch peas for a couple of minutes, drain and set aside. Cut the green onions into thin round slices and saute them in a pan with a little olive oil, add the peas, fresh mint, salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes. Let it cool off, put everything in a blender with two tablespoons of grated parmigiano cheese and puree until smooth.
To make ravioli, place few won ton wrappers on the work surface and scoop a teaspoon of filling in the middle of each. Brush the borders with cold water, then cover each wrapper with another won ton sheet, trying to eliminate all the air bubbles and pressing with your fingers to seal the edges. As ravioli are ready, place them on a platter and cover them with a cloth.
Cook them in salted boiling water for two minutes or until they come to the surface. Dress them with melted butter, grated parmigiano cheese and a sprinkle of pepper.
And so the ravioli are served.

Note: Seriously, I was really curious to see the result. Won ton dough has a neutral flavor, and this works in favour of the filling, may it be made with peas, asparagus, cheese or whatever your imagination suggests. The difference is rather in the texture of the wrappers; I might call it stickier, or a little chewier. Nothing prohibits you from using the pea filling for some ravioli ravioli, or as an appetizer, spread on some toasted bread.
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