Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wonton I go!

A few years ago I discovered the fantastic versatility of wonton wrappers and I am always amazed to find new ways to cook it. It was invented in China thousand of years ago and in Cantonese cuisine is usually used to make delicious dumplings. Marco Polo was so impressed by its flavor that he took the recipe to Italy and it is probably the main inspiration of the fresh Italian pasta. You can use wonton wrappers to prepare a fast and impressive dinner for a small or large group of people. The recipe below can easily impress your family and friends:

Mushroom Ravioli:

42 wonton wrappers
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 table spoons of olive oil
½ cup of mascarpone cheese
8 ounces of fresh mushroom, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup of finely chopped onion
2 large leaves of fresh basil, chopped
½ cup of finely shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/3 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Water for brushing

In a large sauce pan, sauté the onions in garlic in olive oil for about 2 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until liquid has evaporated, 6 to 10 minutes. Stir in parsley. Remove mushrooms from the heat.

Meanwhile, put oregano, fresh basil, mascarpone, mozzarella, parmesan cheeses in a medium bowl and stir to blend. Season with salt. Stir in cooked mushrooms.

Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of a wonton wrapper. Brush the edges of the wrapper with water. Fold the wrapper in half. Gently press the edges to seal. Repeat these steps until all wrappers are filled. Cook the ravioli in a large pan of boiling salted water for about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain water from completely and transfer them to shallow serving bowl. Cover with marinara sauce (recipe follows) and serve warm.

Variation: Add 4 ounces of finely chopped Prosciutto to the filling.

Marinara Sauce:

1 tablespoon of tomato pure
1 (28 ounces) large can of crushed tomato
2 tablespoon of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of Italian dried herb mix (or Italian Seasoning)
½ bunch of fresh oregano, chopped
1 ½ teaspoon of marjoram
1 teaspoon of sugar
Sea salt to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and saut√© garlic until lightly brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomato pure, crushed tomatoes, sugar and salt. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 25 minutes or until thickened. Remove and discard thyme spring, coarsely chop it. Stir in all the herbs (oregano, thyme and dried Italian herbs).  Serve it with pasta.

“My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.” Orson Welles

This post is a part of Real Food Wednesday

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