I’ve been obsessed with soup lately. I know, strange timing since it’s been one of the hottest weeks of the year, but there’s something so comforting about an aromatic broth. Bonus points if there’s noodles in there too.
This weekend I was leisurely strolling through Whole Foods, my favorite place ever, when I stumbled upon a package of wonton wrappers. Hmmmm… wontons in broth??? Ding ding ding, the lightbulb went off in my head, and the possibilities were endless.
Overwhelmed and all too excited about getting to enjoy homemade ravioli without having to make the dough, I decided on a classic combination of spinach and ricotta. As for the broth, I thought the green and white pasta would look gorgeous in a puddle of scarlet tomato broth.
And that is how this bowl of beauty was born.
Delicate and creamy spinach and ricotta ravioli floating in a light tomato-garlic broth. Yes. Let’s begin:
Chop up an onion and smash a few cloves of garlic, and add to a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. If you happen to have a carrot and some celery, add that too.
Let the onion caramelize for a few minutes, and then pour over some white wine. Pour yourself a glass while you’re at it (tell yourself it’s an imperative step for quality control).
Cook until the wine is reduced by half, and then you’ll add your tomatoes. If you can, buy the canned ones specifically marked “San Marzano”. These are from a special region in Italy (don’t ask me where), and are the absolute best quality.
Pour in the chicken broth and add a handful of fresh basil to the mix. Squish the tomatoes to get them into smaller pieces, and let simmer for half an hour or so.
When the broth is thickened slightly, pour everything into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. Note: do not wear white during this step!
With the back of a spoon, push the soup through the strainer to create a gorgeous, vibrant, intensely flavored broth.
Admire, and salt and pepper to taste.
Now, on to the ravioli:
In a bowl combine ricotta, parmesan, and chopped spinach into a bowl. I used frozen chopped spinach that I thawed and then squeezed all the water out.
Add salt and pepper to the filling, and taste to make sure it’s seasoned properly. I always do this before I add the egg, that way I can make sure everything tastes right without having to worry about salmonella.
Crack your egg into the mix, and stir to combine. Now set up your station.
You’ll need a cookie sheet covered in parchment or wax paper, a beaten egg, the wonton wrappers, and most importantly the filling.
Lay a wrapper onto your work station, and add a teaspoon of the filling. Brush each side with egg wash, and then fold in half diagonally to close. Be careful not to over fill the wontons or the filling will ooze out.
I’m sure you can already guess that on my first one I got a little excited and put a waaaay too big scoop of the filling onto the wrapper….That one didn’t make the cut.
The beautiful finished ravioli! Time to cook them. Now, you do not want your water at a rolling boil like you would usually have for pasta. This will toss the delicate raviolis around too much, which can cause them to break apart and leak the filling everywhere. Oh just the thought is too much to bear!
Instead, have it at a gentle boil, so there are bubbles, but they aren’t huge.
Drop them in, and let them cook for about 2-3 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they float to the surface and start to look translucent.
I gave mine a gentle stir while they cooked to ensure they didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
You’ll want to bring the broth to a simmer, and then ladle a bit into your bowls.
Place a few ravioli in the broth and top with slivers of parmesan and a basil leaf. Now, go brag to your awaiting guests (or the dog, neighbor, anyone that’ll listen) about how you just slaved over these homemade parcels of deliciousness!
Here’s a bite so you can see how beautiful they look. I easily scarfed down 10 of these and I’m not the least bit embarrassed.
The acidity from the tomato broth cuts the richness of the cheese filling perfectly… Ah my mouth is watering just talking about them! The cool thing about these is you can get so creative with the filling. I’m thinking butternut squash for fall?? Let me know your ideas!
Tomato Broth (makes 2-3 cups of broth) recipe from the ever amazing Smitten Kitchen
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 medium stalk celery, diced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1/2 cup white wine
- One 28-ounce can whole or chopped tomatoes with juices (San Marzano!!)
- Small handful fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, add in the olive oil and carrots, celery, and onion. Stir and let cook for a few minutes.
- Pour in the wine and let reduce by half, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the tomatoes, broth, and basil, and simmer away for 45 minutes, or until thickened slightly.
- Strain through a fine mesh colander, and keep the broth at a simmer, covered, until ready to serve.
Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli (makes about 50 ravioli)
- 16 ounces ricotta
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- 1 cup of thawed frozen chopped spinach, I used a 12 ounce bag (measure after it’s been thawed and all the water has been squeezed out)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
- Wonton Wrappers (I used these)
- Parmesan shavings and basil leaves for garnish
- Combine the ricotta, spinach, and parmesan in a bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix in the egg. Beat the other egg in a small bowl.
- Take a wonton wrapper and scoop a teaspoon of the above filling into the center. Brush each side with the beaten egg and fold to close.
- Make sure each side is very well sealed so the filling doesn’t escape.
- Repeat with the rest of the wrappers. Bring a pot of water to a slow boil.
- Gently drop the ravioli in, I did three batches, and let cook for 2-3 minutes until floating and slightly translucent.
- Ladle the broth into bowls, and top with the ravioli, parmesan shavings, and basil leaf.
- Bon Appetit!