Recipe by Leandra Rouse Photography by Sam Emmons

As the temperature drops, dinner parties move inside. What better way to entertain your guests than with an interactive menu? Try a DIY ravioli party as a way to make both the preparation and eating the main event! As the host, you can provide pasta, a filling, and sauce to get the party started. Ask your guests to bring their favorite filling, sauce or side. The result is a taste-to-go feast that everyone can partake in.

In this recipe we’re featuring our favorite ravioli shortcut: the wonton wrapper. It’s a quick way to feed a crowd and an easy trick for your guests to try (Of course, you can always make pasta from scratch.) Frozen wonton wrappers can be found in the Asian freezer section of most grocery stores. Once defrosted they make a foolproof noodle casing for your favorite ravioli filling.

This recipe includes an unconventional filling – herbed pine nut “cheese”. It is unique, flavorful and dairy free. But the possibilities are endless. Here are some other healthy ravioli fillings:

  • Chicken and mushrooms
  • Shiitake mushrooms, green onions (spring onions), and ricotta
  • Spinach and three cheeses
  • Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes
  • Squash and Caramelized Onions
  • Potatoes and chorizo
  • Butternut squash and sage

For the sauce, our late-season tomato sauce recipe is a classic base—easy and bright.

Other ideas are carrot top pesto, shaved truffle with walnut oil, or roasted garlic cream sauce.

To prepare for the party, make the filling in advance. Defrost the wonton wrappers and set up a ravioli-making station on a large central surface — such as a kitchen island or dining room table.

Dust workstations with flour and set small bowls with finger bowls with filling, pasta sauce and water. Damp kitchen towels should be placed over the wonton wrappers between uses to prevent them from drying out. And a parchment-lined baking sheet will help line up the ravioli in the fridge for guests to prepare ahead of time.

Have serving plates and utensils readily available so guests can eat while working. Heat a large stock of water on the stove so that the ravioli is ready to boil as soon as it is made. Ravioli cooks quickly, so encourage guests to try small batches of different combinations. Each round can be served in groups and guests can taste, compare notes and enjoy the unique flavors.

Consider making a batch of ravioli ahead of time so you can quickly feed your guests and display the finished product as an example.

Ingredients:

For the Pine Nut Cheese Filling:

1 cup pine nuts, soaked

1 tablespoon shallot, minced

2 tablespoons chives, minced

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

A lemon peel

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon of salt

Half a teaspoon of fresh chili

12 to 16 oz (350g – 450g) package of frozen wonton wrappers, about 8 sheets per guest

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups (470 mL) prepared homemade tomato pasta sauce or your favorite packaged option

Instructions:

24 hours before the party, prepare the pine nut filling. Tomato sauce can be made well in advance and frozen up to a day.

To make the filling, soak the pine nuts in water for 6 to 8 hours and drain the excess water. Then add the soaked pine nuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and zest, chives, and shallots to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until blended. With the blender still running, slowly pour the olive oil into the mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed during the blending process. The filling can be slightly chunky to very smooth depending on your personal preference. Add small amounts of warm water to the mixture as needed to achieve your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble the ravioli, place eight wonton wrappers on the prepared work surface described above. Whisk two eggs together in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, coat each wrapper with egg wash. Then place a tablespoon of filling between the four ravioli. To seal, place additional wonton wrappers on top to cover the filling. Pick up the ravioli and press the edges together with wet fingers. Place the raviolis upside down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. A damp towel should be draped over them if they are not dry.

To cook the ravioli, bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and drop in the first batch of ravioli. Stir gently so the ravioli don’t stick to each other. Cook over low heat for two to three minutes or until the ravioli floats or puffs up.

Remove the cooked ravioli from the water with a slotted spoon and serve directly to your guests’ plates. Two to four is a good serving size to start. Guests can choose their choice of sauces, toppings and sides. Good time!

Makes 36 ravioli or 8 servings.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories 320 KCal

11 grams of protein

15 grams of total fat

1.5 grams of saturated fat

Cholesterol 50 mg

Carbohydrates 38 grams

2 grams of fiber

Total sugars are 6 grams

Added sugars are 2 grams

Sodium 730 mg

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