On my second birthday, I made the declarative statement that I was "two old years." Whether this was just a silly reversal of words or an actual statement of my perceived maturity I can't recall, but it is a childhood moment that my family members lovingly bring up around my birthday each year. As the years move forward and I grow older, the statement seems more appropriate; however, I'm beginning to realize that it's the attitude not the number that defines my age, so this year I'm declaring myself "27 young years."
To celebrate 27 young years, my parents invited Dan and me over to their house for a night of indulgence. There was indulgence of conversation, wine, food, and gifts, and it was loveliness in its purest form. As this was my first birthday as a vegetarian, my mom knew she had to get creative with the menu to cater to the newly diverse group of eaters. So, being the amazing lady she is, she made a homemade vegetarian ravioli for me and rack of lamb for the rest of the group. The ravioli came from The Modern Vegetarian by Maria Elia and was a delicate take on the Italian classic. My mom did about 95% of the work for the ravioli and insisted that I sip on wine, relax, and keep myself out of the kitchen on my birthday, but I was too curious to remain completely uninvolved and ended up pitching in to help fill the pretty little ravioli. Thus, while I can't completely take credit for how these decadent little packets of heaven turned out, I can vouch for their tastiness. The flavor combination is an artichoke and goat cheese lover's dream and is the perfect way to warm a cold winter's night. Oh yes, and using wonton wrappers instead of pasta dough makes the process of creating homemade ravioli a cinch.
Artichoke and Goat's Cheese Ravioli (Serves 4-6)
Modified from The Modern Vegetarian by Maria Elia
2 packages diced artichokes
11 oz soft goat cheese
2 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup pine nuts
half a bunch of basil, finely chopped
sea salt and black pepper
20-30 square wonton skins
1. In a bowl, mash the goat cheese until creamy. Add the parmesan, diced artichokes, pine nuts, and basil; season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
2. To make the ravioli, place a heaping teaspoon of the artichoke mixture in the middle of each wonton skin. Fold the skin over to form a triangle and seal by brushing the corners with a little water, ensuring there are no air bubbles. If desired, use a decorative cutter to trim the raviolis and create scalloped edges.
3. Place each ravioli on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and dusted with flour and refrigerate until required.
4. Cook the ravioli in a large pot of salted boiling water for about 1 minute (they cook FAST, so keep an eye on them!). Remove with slotted spoon, drizzle with basil butter sauce (recipe below), and serve!
Basil Butter Sauce
Blissful Basil Recipe
¼ cup unsalted butter (½ stick)
⅛ cup finely chopped basil leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Melt butter over medium-low heat. Add basil leaves and continue cooking over heat until fragrant. Remove from heat and add sea salt and black pepper, to taste.