The True Story of my Shrimp Ricotta Ravioli

Herblay, France

With all the excitement of seeing Beth again after three long months of Bethlessness, I wanted to make a great dinner-I really did-but it didn’t happen. I had too many ideas and ran out of time so we all sat down to a very ordinary supper of spicy shrimp and avocado to start and spaghetti as main. It was great to be together and catch up on all her comings and goings but I felt badly that I hadn’t treated her to something special. We made plans to meet again around the table the next night.

In the morning I made a stock with a bag full of shrimp heads and carcasses that I had in the freezer and added the ones from the night before. So easy!

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Ok, so the stock was ready and I found some Japanese wonton wrappers tucked away in the freezer, so as you might imagine, I’m in an Asian frame of mind. I ran out to the market for coriander, chives and coconut milk but when I got there, there was something I hadn’t anticipated. There at the back of our beautiful Herblay market (pictures to come!)  was a new and fantastic Italian stand. Oh my, all that fresh pasta, all the gorgeous antipasti. I couldn’t resist. Menu change on the spot! From Asian to Italian in six and a half seconds. I resisted the pasta because I had my wonton wrappers at home. I went for the antipasti: luscious big marinated artichokes, hot little peppers stuffed with tangy goat cheese, fresh ricotta, sun blush tomatoes (tomates confites). On my way back through the market I picked up some rucola, olives and more shrimp. Happy me. So the menu was now a big, showy antipasto platter followed by some kind of shrimp ravioli that I had to concoct. I was worried about the ginger in the stock but it worked fine and added depth to the flavor. Not genuine Italian but delicious all the same.

Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

shrimp stock reduced to about one cup

1 large package Japanese wonton wrappers (about 36 wrappers) see note

300 grams peeled and deveined cooked shrimp

approx one quarter of a cup fresh ricotta cheese -may need more

one handful snipped fresh chives or to taste plus extra for garnish

one handful finely sliced basil or to taste

salt and pepper

Cover the shrimp bits with water in a pot. I had a lot so it was about three or four cups of water. Add a chopped shallot, a branch of celery cut in four, and a thumb sized piece of ginger roughly chopped. That day I also had a half of lemon that had already been squeezed a bit so I threw it in . Once it reaches the boil reduce the heat to medium high, taking off the foam as it forms-it stops after a while. Let it cook and reduce, cook and reduce then remove it from the heat and mash it all down  to get the tasty juices . After straining the liquid do another round of mashing and straining, then set it aside.Chop the shrimp. It needs to be quite fine but I like it to have some texture which is why I don’t just throw everything in the blender. Mix with the ricotta and evaluate the situation. There should be a good bit of cheese but mostly shrimp. Add the herbs and season to taste.

To make the ravioli have a little bowl with some water in it. Take one of the wonton wrappers and put a good teaspoon full of filling on it towards the bottom the the wrapper. Wet your finger with the water and moisten the edge of the wrapper all the way around. Fold over and press the edges together. You can also go around and press the edges firmly with the end of a fork to give you an even better seal. Now for the sauce. Take the pan with the stock and reduce it down a bit more. Swirl a generous tablespoon of butter through it and add a tablespoon of cream. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add more cream if you like. Keep warm.

Get a great big pot of water boiling and add some rock salt. Gently slide the raviolis into the water and don’t go away. This doesn’t take long. The raviolis will bob up to the surface. Let them boil a bit longer-a couple of minutes at most. I can’t be more precise because the cooking time will depend on the thickness of the wonton wrappers. You can test the edge of the pasta if you can’t tell by looking. Pour the sauce into a pasta bowl. Drain the ravioli well-very well-being careful when you pour them into the strainer then add to the sauce. Serve on individual plates and garnish with a bit of sun blush tomato and black olive. Sprinkle with chives and dig in.

NOTE about wonton wrappers: I happened upon a little Japanese grocery store in Paris and bought several packages of their frozen wonton wrappers. I have always used the Chinese type and use two per ravioli. These were round and a little thicker. I love them. Now if I can just remember where that shop is!

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8 thoughts on “The True Story of my Shrimp Ricotta Ravioli

  1. enlwilliams September 10, 2013 at 5:04 pm Reply

    Thanks so much for making such a delicious dinner mom! It’s great to be back in France 🙂

    Girls, as soon as I took a bite I begged her to snap a pic and share the recipe on the blog. You’d be crazy not to make it – it’s soooo good 🙂

  2. Hanin September 12, 2013 at 12:34 pm Reply

    Jan, Have you just invented the It-asian cuisine?

  3. Emily September 16, 2013 at 2:58 am Reply

    That looks incredible. I have yet to find a way of making this gluten free. That said the stock and filling are good for me. Maybe I can use rice and roll with the filling into balls and bake? Little rice balls. Not sure just a thought. But yum- wish I had been there

    • momwilliams September 16, 2013 at 10:04 am Reply

      Hi Em,
      Give it a try. If baking doesn’t work why not make the balls adding maybe half an egg to hold everything together and then cook them gently in the broth. You would be back in an Asian theme so adding a little coconut milk would be great. You could also leave the rice out of the shrimp balls, reduce the broth and coconut milk a bit more and serve it all over rice or rice noodles. Sprinkle with chives and coriander.
      Fun.

  4. Anitha September 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm Reply

    Hi Jan.
    This is Anitha from India. I know I dropped off the planet for a while :). Sorry about that.. But its wonderful to be a part of your world once more.This blog is so heartwarming. Its so beautiful for all of you to share recipes like this. I love some of the recipes too and cant wait to try them out. Is there a way I can subscribe to the posts on email so I’ll know when any of you posts ?

    More in the email.

    Love,
    A

    • momwilliams September 26, 2013 at 10:57 am Reply

      Thanks you so much for joining us! It is so wonderful to hear from you. Glad you like the blog and I hope you will offer us some recipes. I will never forget the dinner that you made for Nigel and I. I’m afraid our local Indian restaurant in town does not do justice to the fabulous regional flavors of Indian cooking. Hugs and more hugs to you and the family. Jan
      ps To follow us you need to click on the ‘+ follow’ button at the bottom right of the screen . Click on it and enter your email address et voila!

  5. breadloveanddreams September 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm Reply

    Love,love,love this ravioli recipe!!!!! Thank you for sharing Jan 😉

  6. momwilliams September 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm Reply

    Thanks for dropping in and I’m so glad you like the ravioli. Those little wrappers have saved my sanity more than once. I just looked at your blog and it’s great! I’ll be a regular visitor. Jan

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