Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Three-Cheese Ravioli with Basil-Cream Sauce

Cheesy, creamy, herbal, delicious—not exactly low-cal. The good news is that each piece of ravioli contains less than a tablespoon of filling, and you don’t need many pieces per serving. 

I used half-and-half instead of heavy cream in the sauce, and the result was still creamy flavor with silky texture. Again, you don’t need much—only 3/4 cup for all servings.

When you’re not making your own pasta dough, wonton wrappers make a fair substitute. They’re easy to work with, and you can fill the pieces up to four hours ahead of time and refrigerate before boiling. Make the sauce just before serving—it’s done in less than 10 minutes.

Wonton Wrappers
Serves 4

  • 14 medium basil leaves, divided, plus more for garnish
  • flour, for dusting
  • 3 tbsp plus 3/4 cup half-and-half, divided
  • 4 oz plain goat cheese, softened
  • 2 oz mascarpone or cream cheese, softened
  • 2 oz feta cheese, finely crumbled
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 wonton wrappers
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  1. Finely chop 8 basil leaves.
  2. Combine the chopped basil, 3 tablespoons of half-and-half, and all cheeses in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate 10 minutes.
Ravioli Cheese Filling
  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour.
  2. Place the wonton wrappers on a workstation. Brush the edges of 1 wrapper with water (or use your finger dipped in water) and place between 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon of filling in the center. Fold 1 corner over to form a triangle and press the edges with a fork to seal. Transfer to the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining wonton wrappers.
  3. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator 30 minutes to allow the ravioli pieces to set. (This will help them hold together during boiling.)
Wax Paper Dusted with Flour
Wonton Ready to Fold
Folded Ravioli
Ravioli Ready to Boil
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Add the ravioli and boil 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the ravioli to a plate. 
    1. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the shallot and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
    Cooked Shallots

    1. Add 3/4 cup half-and-half and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a light simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low.
    2. Cut the remaining 6 basil leaves crosswise into thin strips. Stir the basil into the sauce and add the ravioli, tossing gently to coat. Cook 1 minute.
    Cream Sauce Beginning to Cook
    Ravioli Added to Sauce
    To serve, slice a few more basil leaves crosswise into very thin strips. Divide the ravioli among 4 pasta bowls and spoon a little sauce on top of each. Garnish with basil strips and serve right away.

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