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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Homemade Bacon and Spinach Ravioli

I am crazy for any food that has a doughy, dumpling resemblance, whether it's chinese dim sum, an Argentine empanada, a Russian pirogi or an Italian ravioli. For dinner last week, I was at odds with what to make because I had not been to the grocery store and was lacking much of the fresh produce which normally create the best meals. I found in my freezer chinese wonton wrappers and frozen spinach. In a past blog posting, I had made a goat cheese, spinach and walnut ravioli using wonton wrappers which turned out fantastic, so I know it was possible, but of course I had to change up the recipe this time around. I decided upon the seductive combination of bacon, spinach, shallot, garlic, whipped cream cheese, and parmesan for the filling. My mother had given me some of her homemade tomato sauce, so that's what I used at the bottom of my serving dishes. I love using wonton wrappers for my raviolis because the constancy of the dough creates an al-dente yet delicate quality I adore. The general recipe can be found below for your reference. 

Homemade Spinach and Bacon Ravioli 
(serves 4)

1 package thawed round wonton wrappers 
1 package thawed frozen spinach, liquid strained out
1/2-1 cup diced bacon
2 tbsp chopped shallot
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cups whipped cream cheese
1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
2 egg whites, whipped

In a large pot, bring 6 cups water and a pinch of salt to a boil. In a separate sauce pan, cook bacon until slightly crispy. Remove bacon and dry on paper towels. Remove any excess grease, leaving a thin layer in your pan for the shallot and garlic. Saute shallot and garlic until lightly browned and aromatic. In a large bowl, (as shown in picture above) add your spinach, bacon, shallot and garlic mixture, cream cheese and parmesan. Mix until thoroughly combined. Lay your thawed wonton wrappers out on the counter. Add 1-2 tbsp filling to the middle of your wrappers and brush egg white around the outer circle. Place a plain wrapper over filled wrapper and pinch with your fingers around the edges much like you would a pie crust (be sure all edges are tightly pinched). When all of your wontons have been made, add them to your salted boiling water. Let wontons cook in boiling water about 2-4 minutes or until wrappers are tender. Strain your raviolis and plate over tomato sauce, or a light butter sauce. Garnish with a fresh herb. Enjoy!

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