Asparagus Ravioli

makes about 24 ravioli

you will need a 3" biscuit cutter

12 ounces fresh asparagus, divided
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
8 green onions, chopped, white and light green parts only
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoons ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon red hot chili pepper
2 tablespoons chopped chives, divided
1½ ounces pecorino cheese (or any other hard cheese you like)
4 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 package won ton wrappers, about 50 wrappers (I use Nasoya)
2 tablespoons butter

Take 6 ounces of the asparagus and chop into thirds. In a large fry pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the green onions and cook over medium low heat for about two minutes.  Add the 6 ounces of asparagus, sea salt, and peppers and stir. Add about 1/4 cup of water to the vegetables, cover with a lid and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the asparagus is completely tender. (If your heat is too high, the water may completely cook off so check it - add a little water if needed so the asparagus doesn't burn.) Once the asparagus is soft, remove the lid and cook for a minute or so just until the liquid has completely evaporated. Add 1 tablespoon of the chopped chives. Transfer to a bowl to completely cool. Don't bother washing the fry pan - you can use it again for the sauce for serving if you want.

Place the pecorino cheese in a food processor and process until finely ground.  Add the ricotta cheese, the egg and the cooled asparagus mixture and process until smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula.  

Place a wonton wrapper on the counter (I like to work with four at a time).  Add a rounded teaspoon of the asparagus puree to the middle of the wrapper.  With a little pastry brush, or even your finger, brush water all around the wonton wrapper.  Lay another wrapper on top and, making sure all the air is pushed out, press down to seal all around the filling.  Press the biscuit cutter on top and push down.  Place the finished ravioli on a flour lined baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers and filling.  Lightly cover the ravioli with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. (If you're going to refrigerate for a long time, like all day, make sure there is plenty of flour on the bottom of the baking sheet.  The filling will eventually make the bottom of the ravioli a little wet and they will stick if you aren't careful).  

To serve:  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Take the remaining 6 ounces of asparagus and, starting from the bottom of the spears, cut into coins, leaving the tips intact.  Heat the remaining olive oil and the butter in the large saute pan.  Add the asparagus and 1/4 cup of water and cover, cooking gently until the asparagus is tender. Turn heat down to low.

Add the ravioli with a long handled strainer or spider, a few at a time, into the boiling water.  Allow to simmer but not boil, for about 3 minutes.  (If you boil vigorously, the ravioli can burst). Remove with the strainer and add to the asparagus in the saute pan.  Gently stir, coating the ravioli in the oil and butter. Repeat with remaining ravioli. 

Turn ravioli out on a serving dish and garnish with the remaining chopped chives.

The Italian Dish