Shrimp Ravioli with Tarragon Cream Sauce

It feels a little fancy.

I just learned that wonton wrappers make an excellent start to homemade ravioli. They’re thin and a bit slippery after boiling–for some reason this makes them feel decadent. This shrimp filling is really nice, but if seafood’s not your thing, try a chicken or cheese and vegetable filling.

Whatever you do, make this Tarragon Cream Sauce! This is one of the yummiest sauces I’ve had on pasta in quite a while, and it comes together in minutes. The wine makes it sharp, and the tarragon is a lovely complement to the shrimp (and would be equally tasty with chicken).

Ravioli are a bit labor-intensive (not overly so if you start with wonton wraps), but you could create the same flavor effect with some penne or farfalle tossed with cooked shrimp and this cream sauce. It would be lovely served with asparagus or French green beans. I’ll do that soon too.

But create your own ravioli sometime, it’s deliciously satisfying! Oh, and wonton wrappers make giant ravioli–paired with a rich cream sauce, they are quite filling. 2-3 per person is plenty for a coursed meal of small plates (which is how I’ve been serving these lately). For a main dish, I’d probably do 6 per plate with a vegetable on the side.


Shrimp Ravioli with Tarragon Cream Sauce

shrimp filling
makes enough for 18-20 large ravioli

20-25 small shrimp (peeled & deveined), raw**
3-4 tbsp heavy cream
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
a few cracks of black pepper
dash cayenne pepper

wonton wrappers

In a food processor, grind everything until it forms a sort of paste or mousse texture. Chill filling until ready to use. To fill ravioli, use a wet finger to moisten the four edges of one wonton wrap and spoon about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling into the middle. Wet the edges of another wonton, then cover the filling and press the wet edges of the two wontons together, sealing all the edges well with your fingers. Press the tines of the fork along the edges to seal more tightly, then lightly press the back of the fork on the middle of your new ravioli to spread the filling out a bit inside (see photo at top). Be gentle!

Bring a pot of water to a boil, then boil ravioli for 3-4 minutes. I found it best to cook only 4-5 at a time to avoid sticking together. Drain raviolis with a slotted spoon or in a colander, top with cream sauce, and serve immediately.

Tarragon Cream Sauce

¼ cup olive oil or butter, or a mixture
½ a small onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup white wine
1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup Parmesan cheese
½ tsp dried tarragon
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onions in oil and butter until translucent. Add garlic and sauté a few minutes more. Add wine and simmer another 2-3 minutes. Stir in cream and parmesan and bring sauce to a simmer. Add tarragon. Simmer for a few minutes, until sauce is thickened. Stir occasionally to avoid lumps and burning on the bottom of pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over hot cooked ravioli.

**I have made and shared this dish twice, once with raw shrimp for the filling, and once with precooked shrimp. The flavor was great both times, but the texture was nicer when I used the raw shrimp. Because it’s raw, when you boil the ravioli the filling cooks and stays together in one mass in the pasta. For me this gave it a better look when cut open and a nicer mouth feel. The filling made with precooked shrimp was tasty but felt sort of grainy in the mouth.

Chicken Wontons with Apricot-Soy Sauce

Next time you’re at a grocery store, pick up some wonton wrappers. You can stuff the little guys with nearly anything edible, fry them in oil, and you’ve got three bites worth of delicious. A tasty dipping sauce will make them sublime.

I’m on my third-ever wonton kick; tonight the filling was chicken-based and the flavor profile was Asian. Make these, or experiment yourself! And expect more wontons from me soon.

Make dinner a party!

Chicken Wonton Filling
makes enough for about 50 wontons

3 carrots
1/2 an onion
1/2 a red bell pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
2 cups chopped cabbage
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
dash of cayenne pepper
8 oz. softened cream cheese

Pulse carrots, onion, and bell pepper in a food processor or chopper until very fine. Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the carrot/onion/pepper mixture until carrots are a bit soft, 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic, black pepper, and cabbage and sauté until the cabbage softens and slightly wilts, 5-10 more minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl with the shredded cooked chicken. Stir in the soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, vinegar, and cayenne pepper. Cut the cream cheese into chunks and stir and mash until the cheese is incorporated with the chicken and vegetables. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of mixture into each wonton wrapper. Have a bowl of water nearby. For each wonton, wet your finger and spread water around the edges of the wrapper and fold in half into a triangle, mashing the edges together to seal. Fold the two corners of the base of the triangle down toward each other, being careful not to crack the wrapper or break the seal. Fry the wontons in about 1/2 an inch of hot oil, turning once, until golden brown. Serve with this Apricot-Soy Sauce (below) or another favorite Asian-inspired sauce.

Apricot-Soy Dipping (or drizzling) Sauce

2/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sherry
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1 heaping tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Apricot Preserves
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water

Mix all ingredients except cornstarch/water mixture in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil and stir in cornstarch/water mixture. Simmer until thickened to your liking. Mine had a slightly syrupy consistency. Taste as you go and adjust sweet-/saltiness to your liking with more or less sugar or preserves and soy sauce.