Chestnut Ravioli with Browned Butter and Thyme

Our Chopped Dinner Challenge this week was canned chestnuts. We wanted to mimic the richness of butternut squash ravioli without the usual[ sweetness. We processed the chestnuts with ricotta to mimic the smooth consistency of the squash. Chopped Basket Ingredient: canned chestnuts]

Total Time:
40 min
Prep:
25 min
Cook:
15 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 cup canned chestnuts (about 5 ounces), plus a few for garnish
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, finely grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 40 wonton wrappers
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
  • 2 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling, optional
Directions
  • Place the chestnuts and 1/2 cup water in a small heatproof bowl. Microwave until the water is hot and the chestnuts have softened, about 3 minutes. Drain the chestnuts (reserving the liquid) and place in the bowl of a food processor. Blend with 1 tablespoon of the reserved liquid until finely ground. Add the 1 1/2 cups of the Parmesan, the ricotta and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until completely smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust with additional salt and pepper if needed. Add 1 egg and blend until well combined. Transfer to a mixing bowl and reserve.

  • Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil (it should taste like sea water).

  • While the water is coming to a boil, form the raviolis. Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon water. Place 5 wonton skins on a lightly floured work surface. Brush the wonton skins with the egg wash. Place a leveled tablespoon of the chestnut filling in the center of each wonton skin. Place 5 more wonton skins directly on top. Use your fingers to gently press the skins together. Use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter lightly dipped in flour to cut around the filling. Transfer the filled raviolis to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with a slightly damp paper towel. Make 15 additional raviolis with the remaining wonton skins and filling.

  • Once all of the raviolis are made, make the brown butter sauce. Place the butter, garlic and thyme in a large, straight-sided saute pan. Heat over medium heat until the butter starts to bubble and foam, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until the foam subsides and brown specks start to appear, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid to keep warm while you cook the raviolis.

  • In batches, add the raviolis one at a time to the boiling water, stirring after every addition. Cook until the raviolis float to the top, about 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the water and add to the browned butter; it is okay if some pasta water gets in the sauce. Toss the raviolis in the sauce. Continue with the remaining raviolis.

  • To serve, remove the thyme sprigs and garlic from the sauce, reserving the thyme. Divide the raviolis and sauce among 4 plates. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and crispy thyme leaves. If desired, lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Use a peeler to thinly shave whole chestnuts over the entire dish.


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