Monday, December 29, 2008

Cheater's Ravioli

Before I make a post about my almost-homemade ravioli, I want to get one thing off my chest.

There is NO SUCH WORD as "raviolis". The word ravioli is ALREADY PLURAL. You do not need to add the letter s to the word ravioli to express the fact that you are eating more than one. Every time I see or hear the word "raviolis" I want to claw my eyeballs out.

Italian lesson of the day: the letter i in the Italian language serves the way the letter s does in English. It is a pluaralizing vowel. If you see a word ending in the letter i in Italian, you can safely assume it needs no further pluralization. The singular of ravioli is raviolo.

Other words that do not need any further pluralization:

Manicotti (and it really gets me going if some Italian-American of Napoletano descent says manicotti the southern Italian way [as I learned to do myself] and then ruins it by saying "I ate 10 Mahn-i-gawtS").

Okay. I said it. I don't think anyone is going to pay attention to me, but I got it off my chest.

On to my own ravioli...

I've been wanting to make ravioli for a while now. I have an Imperia pasta roller/cutter and have made homemade pasta with it many times before, but good ravioli have eluded me. I can't seem to take the plunge and try them again. My ravioli craving was getting the better of me last night and I had this great idea for a mushroom-stuffed ravioli, so I cheated and used wonton skins.

The stuffing had to be minimal cheese, but still be satisfying. I came up with a nice, substantial mushroom filling.

I started with finely chopped cremini mushrooms sauteed in olive oil and garlic.

I mixed that with breadcrumbs, parmesan, and oregano. It didn't look pretty, but it tasted pretty good.

Pile it up on the sheets.

Sealed up and ready to go.

After boiling them up, pour over some browned butter and fried sage leaves. Sprinkle some toasted chopped hazelnuts on top.

I'd say a pretty good meal for a cheater. The wonton skins don't have nearly as much flavor as regular pasta, but the flavors of the filling and the sage butter helped to make up for that. They would have been better if they were completely from scratch.

Mushroom Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter and Hazelnuts

1 package wonton skins
1 8oz package cremini mushrooms
2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on size and how much you like garlic), minced
2 Tbl olive oil
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan (I love my new microplane! It grates cheese so finely.)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
Few grinds black pepper
1/2 stick butter
Fresh sage leaves
Toasted chopped hazelnuts

Clean mushrooms and pulse a few times in the food processor. You want them chopped up into lots of little pieces, but don't grind them to a paste. It's okay if you have some bigger chunks in there.

Heat olive oil in a large pan and add garlic. Gently heat. Add mushrooms and cook until they brown up a bit and release their juices. Allow to cool a few minutes.

Mix cooled mushrooms with breadcrumbs, oregano, salt and pepper.

On a sheet lay out your wonton skins. Place a spoonful of the mushroom mixture on top and wet the edges of each skin well. Place another skin on top and press together well to make sure the edges are very well sealed. You don't want 'shroom leakage.

Place ravioli in boiling salted water for about 3-4 minutes. They will all bubble up to the top when they're ready.

Meanwhile heat butter in a small pan. Add sage when the butter is warm and cook until the sage crisps up a bit. Add a little salt if desired.

When ravioli are cooked drain and gently toss with butter-sage mixture. Sprinkle with hazenuts and enjoy.


Clumbsy Cookie said...

Cheater's or not they must be delicious!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Hehehe! You've hit on one of my big pet peeves.

Cheating? I'll give you cheating. I buy my "homemade" ravioli from my local Italian store. It's fabulous and really is homemade - just not by me! ;)

Peter M said...

Rachel, does that mean I can't use "irregardless" here? lol

I've tried the wonton approach to ravioli (making more than one) ana despite a few did the trick.

Bellini Valli said...

I have been meaning to try a ravioli with wonton skins. They sound easy to have "pseudo" Italian on the fly.

noble pig said...

Ha! I laughed so hard at Mahn-i-gawts! That always makes me laugh so hard when I hear some Soprano-like person say i don't want people to stop saying it makes me laugh.

I've done the skins too and hey, they are good!

Sue said...

I think Jamie once suggested cutting up lasagna sheets to make fettucine, but couldn't you also cut them up to make raviolis? KIDDING!!! Not about the lasagna sheets, but about the ravioli.

The same spelling rule is true for cremini, right?

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Cookie - Thanks

SGCC - Ah...we speak the same language. I have a wonderful pasta store right down the road from me where I could get fabulous homemade ravioli, but it's always closed by the time I come home from work.

Peter - Lol. Does irrregardless mean regardful?

Cathy - The area where I live is very heavily populated by people of southern Italian descent. So many people have learned to speak Italian through their parents and grandparents just with the neapolitan dialect. I have friends who also studied textbook Italian, so they know they get the grammar right, but plenty of them never did, so of course it's Manigawts because they never learned the context of singular and plural. It's all just repetition.

Val - Definitely give it a try. After you put together the 12th one it gets a little tedious, but it's faster than pasta dough.

Sue - Interesting point about cremini. I always assumed cremini was a diminutive adjective, but it's defining a plural word. I jsut say "mushrooms". ;-)

Emily said...

Yummmm, this sounds amazing! I've been craving ravioli with browned butter and sage for months. And then you went on and added the nuts. Simply amazing!

I never pronounce pasta like that. That's horrible.

melissa said...

I have another recipe for this in my file, I don't remember from where. But I'll take the cheater's version any day since I can't make my own yet.

As for the word things, I hear ya. But I confess some of my own stupidity - I just learned last night that I've been saying "Caprese" incorrectly for the last 6 months.


The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Melissa - The caprese thing is understandable because not everyone has learned the pronounciation of Italian vowels. But it's common enough for cooks to say things like "ravioli" as a plural that it seems people would catch on a little better.