rice paper ravioli? yes. wrap your heads around it people, it happened. and it was good. like, really good. believe it or not, rice paper is a great substitute for all things pasta. these are not the fresh, homemade raviolis i grew up eating from the Bronx, but they are a really great alternative. after doing some research on how to use rice paper as pasta i took to testing it out. i learned some valuable lessons that day that resulted in me getting a good bearing on how to treat these delicate little raviolis.
*just to note, if you are using wonton wrapper or egg roll wrappers you may want to research how you should treat the paper, it may be different from the directions i give below.
i put my raviolis over a salad, but they work in any capacity. you could totally use them in any authentic italian recipe, or use a pesto sauce, you could even go the sweet route and fill them with a nutella-like substance. the filling i chose was broccoli- ricotta puree. here i used tofutti ricotta cheese, which is soy based (you can easily substitute this with regular dairy ricotta). because i don't eat cheese, i left out reggiano cheese - which adds a certain depth of flavor to the filling - so i replaced it with a healthy amount of spices and salt. this was a fun little project, i hope you try them out some day!
:: makes 24 raviolis ::
prepare a large bowl with water (you will use this to dip the rice paper in)
prepare a platter or large plate with a coating of olive oil
for the ravioli //
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8-10 ounces of broccoli (a small head of broccoli) cut into florets
1/2 cup ricotta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt or more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano)
pepper to taste
12 pieces of rice paper
for the salad //
3 ounces mixed baby greens
a handful broccoli sprouts (or micro greens)
1 radish sliced thin
2 small beets, grated
1 tablespoon toasted pignoli nuts
2 tablespoons basil oil
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
salt to taste
prepare a medium saucepan with water that reaches 3/4 of the way up to the top and olive oil (the raviolis tend to stick to one another)
in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. add the broccoli, 1/2 cup of water, and 1 more tablespoon of olive oil, cover and cook over a low heat until tender, about 10-15 minutes. let cool. coarsely puree the broccoli in a food processor; transfer to bowl. stir in the ricotta, salt, red pepper, oregano, and pepper
prepare a work surface with water for dipping rice paper, and a platter coated with oil
dip the rice paper in the water, rotating it until it is completely wet, set it down on a large cutting board. using a small spoon, dollop 4 mounds of ricotta mixture onto the paper. take your second piece of rice paper, and dip in the water, wetting it completely. lay the top piece over the bottom piece - the paper takes about a minute to really soften - let it sit until soft. take a sharp knife or pizza cutter and cut into 4 equal pieces. here is the somewhat tricky part: you don't want a lot of air getting caught when you seal the ravioli, so make sure there is a hole to push the air out of (this sounds much more complicated than it actually is). next. use your fingers to press the pieces of rice paper together, creating a seal. take a round cookie cutter and cut out your ravioli. transfer to the oiled platter. repeat with remaining papers. i had extra filling leftover; i froze it for another time.
bring the water in your saucepan to a boil
2 at a time place the raviolis in the water, turn the heat to medium low - you want the water to boil but not so hard that it breaks the ravioli. after 1 1/2 - 2 minutes use a slotted spoon to remove the raviolis, place them back on the oiled platter until they are all cooked
repeat with remaining ravioli
let them cool while you assemble your salad. combine all salad ingredients, toss in the raviolis, dress with the basil oil dressing (you can also totally substitute this dressing with something else) and enjoy!