Wonton wrappers are a revelation. Little squares of dough perfectly rolled, cut and stacked for your convenience. Ravioli is one of my favourite pastas, and if you haven’t experienced the joy of burnt butter and sage sauce, you need to get on that IMMEDIATELY. My latest cooking system is to serve a decent starter and then a smaller ‘main’ course – more like 2 or 3 small servings rather than the traditional starter, full main, dessert. It lets me taste more things without feeling like a disgusting pig and wanting to explode. Next time you have some leftover butternut, mash it up and give these a try. I like butternut for the ravioli because it has a great flavour, but you could also use seasoned ricotta as the filling. In SA, we don’t stock wonton wrappers in mainstream supermarkets, but the smaller Asian supermarkets have them in the freezer. Enjoy!
Rustic Butternut Ravioli with Burnt Butter & Sage
32 wonton wrappers
1/2 cup mashed butternut (seasoned with salt & pepper)
10g fresh sage leaves
* makes a starter of 4 each, for 4 people
If you are keeping your wonton wrappers in the freezer, make sure you take them out well in advance to defrost – a good few hours before at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge. Lay out all 32 wrappers and spoon a teaspoon of well-mashed butternut (no lumps) into the centre of 16 of the wrappers. Dip your finger in a little bowl of water and wet the entire wrapper around the butternut. Place one of the empty wrappers on top, pressing down firmly around the butternut blob to seal the dough together. Try not to leave any air trapped in the centre. Do this for all 16 raviolis. (Ravioli? Raviolis? Hmm…) Heat a saucepan of water until boiling, and cook the ravioli in batches (4 or 5 at a time is manageable) for about 3 minutes. Scoop them out, drain excess water, and leave them somewhere where they won’t stick to each other or the surface. An oiled baking tray is one of the best options.
Heat a frying pan and cook the butter until foaming, then add the roughly chopped sage leaves. Fry until the sage leaves become crispy and the butter has turned a golden brown (check by scooping up a spoonful). It only takes 2 minutes or so, then turn off the heat. At this stage you can wander off and have a glass of wine or do other things – it can be left like this until you are ready to serve. Then turn the heat back on and add the raviolis to the sage butter. Heat through – turning them to coat in the sauce – and plate 4 per side plate, making sure you scoop out all the amazing, crispy sage leaves. Garnish with grated parmesan if you like, although they really don’t need any additional help.
Note: In a world where you really want to make this as a starter but are very pressed for time, buy some fresh ready-made ravioli from the supermarket, and prepare it in the sage butter as above. So. Easy.