Saturday, January 16, 2010

Turkey Sausage and Broccolini Ravioli

One of our favorite restaurants is an Italian place in Ann Arbor, where the bruschetta is amazing, and so is the Veggie Lasagna. It's very easy to be a member of the Clean Plate Club at that place. For a while, one of their dishes was my favorite meal anywhere. "Broccolini and Italian sausage stuffed ravioli with cream tomato sauce." It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Some time ago I decided that I was going to attempt to make it myself, but never found a day when I could spend the entire day in the kitchen making pasta dough and filling ravioli. I remember making fresh pasta with my great-grandfather as a kid so I was convinced that I could do it myself. I was also under the impression that someone in our family had Grandpa's old pasta machine, but no such luck. If it's around, it's burried somewhere. Then I came across the short-cut of using wonton wrappers. It still seems like a cop-out to me, but if Giada can do it, then they're good enough for this Polish-Irish-American girl.
Turkey Sausage and Broccolini Ravioli
Yields about 30 ravioli 

3 Italian turkey sausages with the casings removed or about 3/4 lb. loose
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. rubbed sage
1/2 c. broccolini, chopped small
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
1 package wonton wrappers (about 60 each)

1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, red pepper, sage and sausage. Cook until sausage just starts to brown and is cooked through.
2. Transfer sausage mixture to a large bowl and set aside. Add broccolini to the pan and sautee for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add broccolini, egg, and parmesan to the sausage and mix well.
4. Set wontons out on your work surface in a single layer. Drop tablespoons of the sausage mixture in the center. Using your finger wet the outer edge of the wonton, place another wrapper on the top and firmly press the layers together whithout creating air pockets. Use a biscuit cutter to cut off some of the excess and place on a cookie sheet. Continue making ravioli with the remaining ingredients.
5. Bring a large pot of water to a low boil. Add ravioli in batches of about 5-6 at a time, and boil for 3-5 minutes until wontons are soft.
6. Serve immediately with your favorite sauce. (We used a basil marinara.)
These turned out awesome! It was exactly the flavor combo that I was hoping for. Broccolini is sweeter and more tender than regular broccoli which pairs well with the spicy sausage. You can find it in most grocery stores, but it's often called "baby broccoli" or "aspirations", as it was in my store, because some people think it tastes like a cross between broccoli and asparagus. The wonton wrappers are definately more delicate than an egg pasta dough so the dish ends up lighter than traditional Italian ravioli, but with great flavor. Because they are delicate you have to be careful not to over cook them or they'll tear right in the pot.

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