For two years I watched Food Network chef Giada de Laurentis make pasta from wonton wrappers, and one appealed to me so much I even copied off the recipe. It'd be another two or three years before I'd make my first filled pasta dish, butternut squash tortellini. It's funny how it can take a while to try a new technique or type of food in the kitchen. Today I'm posting on what I think would be a little easier, more mainstream pasta dish: swiss chard ravioli. It's your standard ricotta based ravioli, but with swiss chard mixed in rather than just cheese or even spinach, and since last year we had a bumper crop of swiss chard, I tried several chard recipes, and I really liked this one. I also like to dress it simply, with a drizzle of olive oil, but a good marinara would be an excellent topping as well.
Years ago when I had Food Network, I thought making your own pasta was extraneous, but now that I've become a little more adventurous and have actually tried it, it's fun and it's easy. Don't get me wrong, it can be laborious, but it'd be a good activity for kids or friends alike, and wonton wrappers (found near produce in most grocery stores) are the perfect "pasta" sheets to fill. There's also something to be said for making your own pasta- those are some nice culinary bragging rights.
This recipe is a variation of one from Lidia Bastianich's Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy. Her recipe is for tortelli, which is like ravioli, but bigger. In my case I didn't make her dough and instead used wonton wrappers.
Ravioli With Swiss Chard Filling
adapted from Lidia Bastianich
3 lbs. swiss or rainbow chard, stemmed and sliced crosswise into narrow ribbons, about 1/2 inch wide
1 lg egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt, to taste
8 oz. fresh ricotta, drained
1 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or parmesan)
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 package wonton wrappers or squares
In a large pot, bring 5-6 quarts of water to a boil. Heap all the chard into the pot and stir, gradually submerging the strips. Return the water to a boil and adjust the heat to keep it gently bubbling. Simmer until the chard is tender, about 10 minutes. Pour the strips into a colander to drain and cool off and then squeeze out as much water as you can. Pile the chard into a large bowl.
When the chard is completely cool, add a pinch of salt to the beaten egg and pour it over the chard. Toss to incorporate. Scatter the cheeses and nutmeg on top and toss until thoroughly blended.
Lay out individual wonton wrappers onto a sheet pan. Keep any wonton wrappers not on the sheet pan covered so as not to dry out. Drop tablespoonfuls of ricotta and chard filling into the center of each wonton wrapper. Using your finger or a small pastry brush, brush two sides of one wrapper at a time and fold over to seal. You can make these raviolis into triangles or rectangles. You can even make big raviolis by placing one wonton square over the other. Repeat until all squares are used up or filling is gone. At this point, freeze the ravioli on the sheet pan and then place into a freezer bag or container or prepare them for eating.
To prepare the ravioli, place ravioli in boiling water and boil until they float to the top. Serve with olive oil, chopped nuts, and parmesan cheese or marinara sauce.