Potato and Garlic Wonton Ravioli

If you do not have a pasta machine, or find yourself pressed for time, some Italian delis sell sheets of pasta. You can, however, make very good ravioli by substituting Chinese won-ton wrappers. The fillings do not have to be remotely Oriental, as in this recipe adapted from Deborah Madison’s The Savory Way, one of three vegetarian cookbooks based on the food served at Green’s restaurant in San Francisco. These won-ton ravioli are stuffed with a potato-and-garlic purée and are served with a béchamel sauce.

Ingredients

  • 450 g/ 1 lb potatoes, peeled
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 30 g/ 1 oz unsalted butter
  • 32 won-ton wrappers, 7.5 cm / 3 inch square
  • flour, for dusting
  • a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • chives or basil leaves, to garnish

For the Béchamel Sauce

  • 30 g/ 1 oz butter
  • 30 g/ 1 oz flour
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 850 ml/ pt milk

Method

Make a béchamel sauce: melt the butter in a heavy pan over a gentle heat, stir in the flour and cook gently, stirring, for a minute. Stir in the milk, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring until thick and smooth. Simmer gently.

Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 10 minutes, then add the chopped garlic and continue cooking until the potatoes are done. Drain and return to the hot pan to dry off.

Mash dry until smooth, then add the chopped parsley and butter, beating it to a smooth purée. Keep warm.

Season the béchamel sauce with nutmeg, salt and pepper and leave over the lowest heat, stirring from time to time, while you make the ravioli.

Put a big pan of salted water to come to the boil. While it heats, put 2–3 teaspoons of the potato purée in the middle of 16 of the won-ton wrappers. Brush the edges lightly with water, then place a second wrapper on top. Press the edges together with your fingers, then use a crimping wheel to seal. If you do not have one, use the back of a teaspoon, working your way all around and pushing down hard. Put the ravioli on a lightly floured tray as you go along.

Poach the finished ravioli in the simmering water. They are done when they float to the surface, about 3–5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drop them into the béchamel sauce, turning them gently to coat.

Put 4 ravioli in each of 4 warmed bowls, dust with freshly grated Parmesan and either snip some chives over or tear a couple of basil leaves to scatter over the top.