February 16, 2012

Spinach Dip Filled Ravioli

A lot of my dinner inspiration comes from an increasingly large Excel spreadsheet full of recipes I think look good. Anytime I'm on the web & find something that looks like we'd enjoy it, I add it to the list. I'm picky about recipes, but the list still keeps growing. It's almost embarrassing...but it's handy for dinner ideas!

From there, I decide what I'm hungry for, what ingredients we have on hand, & how much time/energy I have. I'm fortunate, because the Bup isn't picky. He's fully supportive of my quest to conquer my recipe list. So far, 258 tried, 338 to go! And now I wish I hadn't looked that up. Yikes!

This recipe is a combination of two ideas, plus a few variations. It's very rare that I make a recipe exactly like it is. I always feel like I have to make a change: healthify this, add extra that, substitute this because we don't have that, etc.

My Italian grandma always makes homemade raviolis for Easter, from scratch for the dough & the filling. Mom & I made them one year & it was a lot of fun...and a lot of work. I'm sure Grandma would be in shock over this, but I used Joy's idea to make ravioli using wonton wraps. I figured that since I'm using a non-traditional filling, maybe that makes it ok not to make my own dough?

So cute!

The wonton wraps were surprisingly simple to work with. They sealed easily with just a tiny bit of water & I didn't have any problems with them sticking together or tearing. It was a little time-consuming, but not anything near what making my own dough & cutting it would have been.

The end result was delicious. My first bite reminded me of America, Italy & China all at once. The wonton wraps made for a thin, lighter texture than traditional raviolis. Paired with a tossed salad & a glass of wine, it made a perfect Valentine's dinner.

Spinach Dip Filled Ravioli
Adapted from Whole Foods
Inspired by Joy the Baker
Yield: about 4 dozen

1 (12 oz.) package prepared wonton wrappers
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped & seeds removed
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 c unsweetened almond milk
1/4 c lemon juice
1/3 c nutritional yeast
3 c (2 15 oz. cans) Great Northern beans (or other white beans)
1 avocado
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 (16 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, squeezed to remove excess liquid

To make the filling:
In a large dry skillet, cook the peppers, onion, & garlic over medium heat until browned & softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add almond milk, scrape up any browned bits, & simmer for 2 minutes.  Measure lemon juice, nutritional yeast, beans, avocado, salt & black pepper into a food processor or high-speed blender. Add the pepper & onion mixture & purée until smooth. If mixture is too thick to process, add 2 T more milk at a time. Stir in the spinach. Taste & season with more salt & pepper as desired.
NOTE: There will be leftover filling, which you can use as a dip for chips & veggies or as a spread. If you prefer to not have leftovers, the recipe can easily be halved.

To assemble the ravioli:
Gather the wonton wrappers, a bowl of filling, a spoon, a small bowl of water, a towel & a platter or piece of wax paper to lay the raviolis on.

Place a wonton wrapper in front of you so that it looks like a diamond.  Place a generous teaspoon of filling on the bottom half of the diamond. (After the first few, you'll get a feel for the exact amount that will fill the wrap but not ooze out the sides.) Dip your finger in water & run your wet finger along the bottom edges of the diamond.  Fold the top half of the diamond over the filling dollop.   Press the triangle edges together, making sure there are no air pockets.  Grab the two farthest points & bring them together in the center.  Use a drop of water to seal the two points together. Lay ravioli in a single layer on platter or wax paper.  Repeat until wonton wrappers are all filled.

In the meantime, heat a large pot of water to boiling. Add raviolis. Stir gently one time & allow to boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain & serve tossed in your favorite tomato sauce or pesto.

Make ahead:
Ravioli can be frozen by placing it in the freezer, in a single layer, until frozen.  Once frozen, seal in a plastic bag & freeze until ready to use.  Frozen raviolis can be cooked straight from the freezer, just increase the cooking time to 7-9 minutes. 


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