An exception to the rule came when I recently made these Smashed Pea & Ricotta Toasts as seen by my favorite Italian cook – that would be the Proud Italian Cook. Springy peas and mint rock this recipe along with ricotta, garlic, and edamame. It’s a truly creative crostini.
I didn’t think ahead to scale back on the recipe, which calls for a whole bag each of frozen peas and shelled edamame. I should have known that would be too much for 6 people. And well, a whole tub of ricotta – that was also too much but I couldn’t have avoided that. The nice thing about this recipe though, was that besides being delicious, it seemed healthy enough that I could weave it into a weeknight dinner. And I did, with the help of some wonton wrappers, toasted walnuts, and an idea for baked ricotta cheese I got from Cate’s Kitchen.
Simply put, this was fantastic. So fantastic that I’d recommend you make the pea and edamame puree for the sole purpose of having leftovers to make the ravioli. And the baked ricotta? To die for. Go ahead and be selfish here: put all the most caramelized crumbles on your plate, because they truly are delicious. A nutty browned butter sauce (which I extended with chicken broth, so as not to make this too fattening) was the perfect background to bring it altogether and the slightly sweet toasted walnuts were the perfect compliment to every bite. This dish was decidely “mmm”-inducing, and let’s not discredit the power of protein and fiber-rich legumes, calcium-containing low-fat dairy, and cholesterol-busting omega 3’s from the walnuts. As far as party leftovers go, this one is pretty good for you too.
1 16oz. package frozen peas
1 12oz. package frozen, shelled edamame
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 to 2 tsp. freshly cracked pepper
freshly ground salt, to taste
1/4 cup snipped fresh mint
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the peas and edamame for about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water. Transfer to a food processor, and puree, adding water if needed to reach a creamy consistency.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small skillet and cook the garlic until lightly browned and tender. Fold into pureed peas along with the lemon, pepper, salt and mint.
Pea & Edamame Ravioli with Baked Ricotta and Toasted Walnuts
Leftover Smashed Peas & Edamame
ricotta cheese, drained for a few hours (I left it in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl in the fridge while I went to work all day)
butter, about 1 tablespoon per serving
chicken broth, about 1/2 cup per serving
walnuts, lightly toasted
thinly sliced fresh mint
Prepare the raviolis by spooning a small amount of the pea and edamame puree onto each wonton wrapper. Wet the edges and press together into a triangle. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place a sheet of foil on a baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the ricotta the baking sheet, spreading it into a disk. Spray with olive oil spray and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned, and set aside. It will firm up a bit as it cools.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil, and heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the ravioli until tender, about 5 minutes. Let the butter become foamy and lightly browned; you’ll know it’s ready when it’s it smells slightly nutty. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes. Remove the ravioli from the water and add to skillet with the browned butter sauce; stir and saute briefly.
Plate the ravioli and crumble the ricotta cheese over it. Top with the toasted walnuts and chopped mint.
Finally, ooh and ahh over how good this looks and tastes – and understand why I couldn’t help using so many pictures.