Pea & Edamame Ravioli with Baked Ricotta and Toasted Walnuts

There are so many things I love about entertaining, whether it’s for a big family holiday, a summer barbecue, or a  more intimate dinner party with friends. I get to be surrounded by people I love and it fills my house with warmth. I can use my fancy china if my heart desires. And I get to make really good food and hear people gush about how much they love it. 
Alright, so I’m a little vain. But don’t you have something you like being good at?
Now here’s what I don’t like about entertaining: leftovers. 
“Good thing you made a lot of this, it’s so good, and now you don’t have to worry about dinner for a few nights!” At this point I often start begging people (like college-aged brothers and friends who don’t like to cook) to take the leftovers home. I know they’ll  make much better use of them. The truth is, most leftovers from holidays and dinner parties end up sitting in our refrigerator until they are far too old to eat, and end up getting tossed. And it’s not because I  have some weird thing about eating leftover food – not at all. It’s because I cook such healthful, calorie-controlled meals during the week, and I’m a lot more lenient with special occasions. So once the party has passed, I’m back to my regularly scheduled eating and want nothing to do with the potentially buttery, carb-y, or red-meat-laden leftovers.

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.

I’m going to break some more of my typical rules. Instead of giving you a full detailed recipe, I’ll just talk to you about how to throw this together with your leftovers as I did. Although, you will probably want the recipe for the stuff you want to make leftovers of, so we’ll start with that. 
Smashed Peas & Edamame, as seen on Proud Italian Cook
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens, February 2010

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

You’ll Need:

Leftover Smashed Peas & Edamame
wonton wrappers
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.

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22 Responses to “Pea & Edamame Ravioli with Baked Ricotta and Toasted Walnuts”

  1. 1

    Dawn — May 13, 2010 @ 1:20 pm Reply

    Cara…you have outdone yourself on this one. What a great mix of flavors. I love all your original ideas!

  2. 2

    Jennifer — May 13, 2010 @ 2:41 pm Reply

    Really really loving the flavour combo in this!! beautiful!

  3. 3

    Pam — May 13, 2010 @ 2:43 pm Reply

    I will definitely be trying this! Love the walnut addition! Thanks!

  4. 4

    TJ — May 13, 2010 @ 2:48 pm Reply

    wow this looks delicious! :)

  5. 5

    Kelly — May 13, 2010 @ 3:15 pm Reply

    Very fun. I made pea tortelini a year or so ago and they were delicious. Your version looks marvelous as well.

  6. 6

    marla {Family Fresh Cooking} — May 13, 2010 @ 3:55 pm Reply

    Cara, what a wonderful recipe. I love that you can use the different parts in so many ways. The puree sounds fantastic. I keep thinking I need to make homemade ravioli, wontons etc. Great inspiration! I always love my nuts toasted! xo

  7. 7

    Shanon — May 13, 2010 @ 4:19 pm Reply

    I cannot wait to make this, Cara! Seriously, amazing!

  8. 8

    Elina — May 13, 2010 @ 5:45 pm Reply

    Sounds incredible. I may have to do what you did – crostini for a party + leftovers for moi the next day :)

  9. 9

    Raina — May 13, 2010 @ 10:08 pm Reply

    This sounds delicious. Very different from anything I have seen before.

  10. 10

    Proud Italian Cook — May 13, 2010 @ 10:45 pm Reply

    Cara, You're so creative and resourceful! I know what you mean about having leftovers, it does make alot. I ended up using my extra puree and made a spring pea soup, I love your idea though much better! You're a doll, thanks for the sweet words.Hugs,Marie

  11. 11

    Cate — May 14, 2010 @ 1:22 am Reply

    This is genius! I love love LOVE edamame but I almost always end up eating it on its own before I have a chance to cook with it. I'm so excited about all the flavors and textures going on here (not to mention the pretty green)!

  12. 12

    Barbara — May 14, 2010 @ 12:53 pm Reply

    Lovely! Edamame is a favorite and I do have a roasted edamame salad I adore but never would have thought to use it in a pasta dish.

  13. 13

    Angie — May 14, 2010 @ 4:42 pm Reply

    Looks great I love edamame! You also have a very cute blog!

  14. 14

    Daisy — May 14, 2010 @ 5:20 pm Reply

    two of my favorite things edamame and ricotta. those look scrumptious.

  15. 15

    yumventures — May 15, 2010 @ 12:42 am Reply

    This looks like the absolute best thing ever! I have to run to the store STAT to find some rice wrappers so I can make them! I love meals like this, so fresh and simple. As usual, wonderful job love!

  16. 16

    roxan — May 15, 2010 @ 2:51 am Reply

    Hi Cara! Just wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for an award on my blog. I love your blog! Have a great weekend :)

  17. 17

    Kerstin — May 16, 2010 @ 12:46 am Reply

    I'll help out by taking your leftovers any day :) These ravioli sound so unique and fabulous, and the picture is making my mouth water!

  18. 18

    preventionrd.com — May 16, 2010 @ 1:23 am Reply

    You're not vain, that's the best part of entertaining! My husband always thanks me for going over and beyond, but that's what I live for! It looks wonderful, Cara! Totally unique and delicious!

  19. 19

    Shannon — May 16, 2010 @ 2:21 pm Reply

    ooh, what a fabulous combo! i've done a pea puree before that was delicious, adding edamame sounds perfect :)

  20. 20

    grace — May 18, 2010 @ 8:39 pm Reply

    what an elegant and sophisticated meal! the walnuts are a somewhat surprising temptation here! and of course, that gorgeous green puree is amazing. this is perhaps the best overhaul of leftovers ever.

  21. 21

    ChubbyNewlywed — May 20, 2010 @ 3:33 pm Reply

    I've been thinking about these pea/edamame toasts all week and I'm going to make them for my book club on Saturday! Confession: I am doing this for the sole purpose of having leftovers to try my hand at homemade raviolis. Droooooooool.

  22. 22

    Shanon — September 23, 2010 @ 4:49 pm Reply

    hey cara! i think this is the recipe you just mentioned. i been wanting to make it forever. about the mint…i have used it several times in different dishes and about half the time i wish it wasn't there. i don't know what it is! maybe i am using the wrong kind of mint? i seem to like it more in meats and with citrus. sometimes its just too overpowering. maybe i use too much. anyways, i have been waiting for party so i can make the crostini first and use the leftovers for ravioli!

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