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meatless monday: asparagus ravioli

April 25, 2011

I love spring. I’m convinced it’s nature’s way of repenting for its winter sins. Its way of saying “Baby, I’m sorry for all that snow, slush and howling cold winds, please love me again.” And every year I do. Not for the weather though because, let’s be honest, spring weather is nothing to get poetic about. Rain, mud, grey skies.

No, it’s the produce that makes me melt. Asparagus, spring onions, ramps, rhubarb…swoon. I have to hold myself back when we shop because suddenly I find myself with a basket so full there’s no way I’d ever get around to eating it all.

This recipe is swoon worthy in its own right. Asparagus is THE focal point of every aspect of this dish and it leaves you wanting more. Using wonton wrappers instead of making your own dough, takes a lot of the grunt work out of these, but does add a different consistency to the raviolis. Overall, thumbs up and a shortcut I would definitely use again.

Asparagus ravioli with brown butter sauce
from Fine Cooking


  • Sea salt
  • 1 lb. thick asparagus, trimmed, spears cut into 1-inch pieces, tips reserved
  • 6 tbs. mascarpone
  • 1/3 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano; more for serving
  • 1 tsp. anchovy paste
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • About 36 wonton wrappers
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds, chopped
  • Finely grated lemon zest to taste (I used the zest of a whole lemon)
  1. Bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Prepare an ice bath in a bowl next to the stove.
  3. Boil the asparagus tips until tender but still bright green, about 2 minutes.
  4. With a slotted spoon, transfer to the ice water. When cool, transfer with the slotted spoon to a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Cook and cool the asparagus spears in the same manner; dry them on paper towels.
  6. In a food processor (or by hand), chop 1-1/2 cups of the spears very finely and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the remaining spears to the tips.
  7. Add the mascarpone, ricotta, Parmigiano, anchovy paste, garlic, and cayenne to the chopped asparagus; mix well.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Arrange 18 wonton wrappers on a work surface.
  10. Put 1 level Tbs. of the asparagus filling in the center of each wrapper.
  11. Using a pastry brush, moisten the edges of each with water.
  12. Top each with another wrapper and using the prongs of a fork press the edges firmly to seal, expelling any air bubbles as you seal.
  13. If you don’t plan to cook the ravioli immediately, cover them with a damp cloth.
  14. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a rolling boil over high heat.
  15. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat and add the almonds, shaking the pan.
  16. Cook until the butter turns light brown, about 6 minutes, and then immediately transfer to a small bowl.
  17. Add the ravioli to the boiling water.  If your pot isn’t large enough to accommodate them all comfortably, you can do a couple batches.
  18. When they rise to the surface, after about 1 minute, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to serving plates.  Repeat as necessary.
  19. Spoon the brown butter mixture over the ravioli.
  20. Top with the reserved asparagus pieces, a grinding of pepper, a sprinkle of Parmigiano, and a little lemon zest, and serve.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2011 1:34 am

    Brilliant idea – asparagus ravioli using wonton wrappers.
    🙂 Mandy

  2. May 2, 2011 1:13 pm

    There was once I was watching tv with my mom, and upon seeing ravioli, she went “The Italians eat wonton too?”. While I burst out laughing, the idea of substituting one for another never quite escaped me, so I’m really happy to see this post 😀

    Will definitely give this a try, and let my mom have her Italian wontons 🙂

    • May 2, 2011 10:29 pm

      I love that story–how fantastic.

      I wouldn’t say it’s the most authentic stand-in, but it worked really well and I think added a fun touch to the ravioli. Hope you have the chance to give it a try.

  3. Jaime permalink
    May 2, 2011 11:27 pm

    I made these two nights in a row because they were such a hit! Thanks for the post, they were soooo yummy!!

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