Cauliflower & Poppy Seed Ravioli with Roasted Asparagus

The first time I made this, was years ago, thinking the cauliflower would be a good filler for the ricotta cheese. I was trying to save some calories and it was pretty good! But it looked like it needed something and I threw in the poppy seeds and it really made this dish fun. This is great for a hearty vegetarian main course. Serve with crusty bread and fresh butter and a garden salad, and I think everyone will be happy.

  • 1 small head cauliflower, trimmed so you only use the florets, boiled until soft, drained well and mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • 5 roasted garlic cloves (minced), from an olive bar, (only if you have on hand, I was craving olives the other day and threw these guys in the mix and they were left over, ate the good stuff first, lol)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vegeta seasoning
  • 1 big bunch young and tender asparagus drizzled with olive oil and salt, roasted at 450 for 20 minutes
  • some unsalted butter, for sauteing the ravioli
  • 1 jar good Vodka sauce
  • some mint leaves, (optional)

Combine the cauliflower, ricotta cheese, garlic cloves, Vegeta seasoning (if none on hand, that’s okay just use a good all-purpose seasoning that you like) and the poppy seeds. Stir well incorporating everything. Start making your raviolis! Take a won ton wrapper, add a tablespoon of filling in the center, dip your finger in water and draw a line around the edges and top with another won ton wrapper and seal closed.

Set up your ravioli station with a few large plates, one for the just made ravioli, one for the cooked ravioli. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Throw in about 2 at a time into the boiling water. They cook very quickly, they are done when they rise to the top. Scoop them out with a drainer spoon. Make sure they don’t touch each other, because they do stick. On medium heat, melt your butter and saute your raviolis, a few at a time. Top with asparagus, vodka sauce and some chopped mint leaves. I loved it with the mint, a fun little surprise! This serves 6 with about 4 raviolis each. Enjoy & Happy Weekend! :)

Rustic Potato Dumplings Topped with Sauteed Leeks & Cream

Mmm…I love making this. Especially when it’s chilly out, overcast and rainy, like it is today, and I’m craving something comforting. I love cutting into the dumpling, coming across the skin of the potato really gives it that rustic feel. This recipe is a little time consuming, but not as time consuming as making actual dough, because we are using won ton wrappers! It’s a short cut that really works. Here is the list of what you need to make this comforting dish…

  • 4-5 medium size golden potatoes, skin left on, cut into small pieces
  • a package of wonton wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus a little more to saute your leeks in and the dumplings
  • 1 medium size shallot, minced
  • 3 oz. of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream, plus some to top your dumplings with
  • a leek, cut into about 4 inch strips, blanched

Boil your potatoes in salted water until soft. In a separate pan saute your shallot in butter on very low heat, you want them very soft, melting into your potato mixture. To your potato mixture add your sauteed shallot and melted butter, your cream cheese and heavy cream. Season with salt to taste. You want to roughly mash this, while incorporating all the creaminess of the cream cheese and heavy cream. Yummy. lol In a pot, boil water, a nice deep pot is good, because you are going to be throwing in your dumplings, and you don’t want them to stick to the bottom of the pot. I usually have a little set up going, a large platter for the dumplings made, lined with wax paper, another platter for the cooked ones and empty plates to fill with potato dumplings to serve! A lot going on, but I promise it’s worth it! You can start filling your dumplings, lay your won ton wrapper down and fill with about a teaspoon of potato mixture. (Any leftover potato mixture can be used as leftovers.) With your finger tips draw a square along  the edges of the won ton wrappers with water. This is so the edges stick and fold it over diagonally.

Drop one or two at a time into boiling water. They cook quickly, in a matter of minutes. The outside of the dumpling turns translucent and they rise to the top. Scoop them out using a drainer spoon. Keep going, forming them, dropping them in the water and scooping them out onto your platter, waiting to be sauteed in butter…Mmm…

In a separate pan heat up your butter till it’s sizzling and saute your leeks till a little crispy. Put that in a separate bowl and your heavy cream in a creamer, so everyone can top their dumplings as they like. When everyone is ready to eat, just saute your dumplings in butter and serve. This serves about 4 people. Enjoy!