Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pear and Goat Cheese Ravioli

This dish was created to show one method of using pears in more savory dishes. Pears are sauteed with onions briefly to add a little bit of color, take away some of the raw taste and soften the texture. These are then stuffed into ravioli's with some goat cheese to add a little saltiness and richer mouth feel. Then the ravioli are tossed with spinach to bring up the savory component, walnuts to add some crunch, butter to bring the whole thing together and a splash of a champagne vinegar to brighten all the flavors. The more explicit written recipe follows the pictures. The written directions look long but it is not a difficult dish to make.

The pears are cut into a dice following the standard preparation

Diced onions are sweat for 5 minutes over medium low heat until translucent

The diced pears are added to the onions and allowed to lightly caramelize for another 10 minutes

Store Bought Wonton wrappers are laid out on parchment paper in pairs. Egg wash, a pastry brush, the pear/ onion mixture, and goat cheese crumbles are placed conveniently nearby.

The Wonton Wrappers are brushed with egg wash, then a spoonful of pear/onion mixture is added to the center along with a couple goat cheese crumbles. The corresponding wrapper is then placed on the filling and pressed down to the other wrapper. Care is taken to keep as much air as possible out of the "pocket"

The brushed, filled, and sealed raviolis ready for the boiling water.

Half of the raviolis right after being added to the salted boiling water.

The raviolis are then added to a 10" fry pan which has been wilting the spinach while toasting the walnuts and browning the butter. A light splash of Champagne vinegar is added and the raviolis are then tossed lightly with the "condiment." The finished dish looks like this.

Servings 4 as a side, 2 as a main entree
1 hour total time or less, depends on ravioli pressing skills.
As a general rule of thumb, use the best things you can get your hands on. So if the Starkrimsons look awful or nonexistent get whatever looks good.

1/2 package Wonton Wrappers purchased from grocery store near chilled Asian ingredients.
2 Starkrimson pears (peeled, cored and diced)
1/2 Large Vidalia Onion (diced)
1/2 container Goat Cheese Crumbles
8 oz Fresh Baby Spinach
1/4 cup Walnut pieces
2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 tsp Champagne Vinegar
1 Large Egg
Olive Oil as needed
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

Written Instructions
  • Fill a large pot of water and set on the stove to boil, do not add salt until it is boiling.
  • Place a 10" - 12" Fry Pan or Saute Pan on the stove and begin heating over Medium-Low heat
  • Halve the Onion, remove the papery outer skin, and dice
  • Add a couple tbsp or Olive Oil to the fry/saute pan, wait about a minute to heat and add the diced Onions. Promptly sprinkle on a little Kosher Salt and stir briefly to coat the Onions with Oil and Salt.
  • While the Onions are cooking, peel, core and dice the two Pears.
  • Add the diced Pears to the Onions when the onions have turned translucent.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until the pears have softened and have browned slightly.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, remove the mixture into a small bowl and set aside to cool.
  • Wipe out the pan and set aside to be used again after the raviolis have been put together.
  • Enjoy a few drinks of a Delicious beverage.
  • Taste a small amount of the cooling filling with a goat cheese crumble and check the seasoning. Add salt and/ or pepper if needed.
  • Break the egg and beat it lightly in a bowl to make the egg wash.
  • Lay out a 2 or 3 foot sheet of parchment paper across your counter, tin foil can also be used.
  • Arrange the Wonton Wrappers in pairs (2 rows) down the length of the parchment/ tin foil.
  • Brush the first 4 Wrappers in one row with egg wash taking care to get the edges.
  • Spoon some filling into each Wrapper, such that there is a generous border of Wrapper around the filling. Maybe 1 inch all the way around or so.
  • Sprinkle a few crumbles of Goat Cheese onto the filling.
  • Cover with the corresponding Wrapper and carefully seal. Be sure to get as much air as possible out of the Ravioli.
  • Continue on until all the raviolis are filled and sealed.
  • The water should be boiling, if not bring it to a boil and continue to the next step.
  • Put the wiped down fry/saute pan back onto the burner over Medium heat.
  • Add the Butter and melt.
  • Add the Walnut Pieces to the melted butter and toast.
  • Add half the Raviolis to the boiling pot of water and stir gently to try and prevent sticking.
  • While the raviolis are cooking add the spinach to the fry/saute pan and remove the pan from the heat without turning off the heat. Stir the spinach off the heat, it will wilt rather quickly. It is done off the heat to prevent over cooking.
  • Check the first batch of Raviolis. Break off a small portion of one ravioli and taste. It should taste soft and not floury.
  • When the first batch is done carefully remove the Raviolis from the boiling water with tongs (be very careful so you do not break them) or a slotted spoon or strainer and add them to the fry/saute pan.
  • Cook the second batch of raviolis and then add to the fry/saute pan as well.
  • Put the fry/saute pan back on the heat and quickly stir to mix the butter, walnuts, raviolis and spinach.
  • Taste a small amount of one of the raviolis and if needed add the splash of Vinegar.
  • Remove from heat, put on a plate and get down.


  1. It sounds hard, but hopefully I can convince Carl to help me give it a try. I bet it tastes delicious!

  2. It looks difficult but i assure it is not very difficult to make. Two people making it would cut the time down considerably as well. The only tricky part is filling the raviolis and you get the hang of it after the first couple. Also that whole thing can be made for less than $10.

  3. It is very yummy! It takes a little work, but it makes a complete meal with the spinach and nuts and all.

  4. I made this last March, after craving the pear and cheese ravioli I had in Italy over the previous summer by the lakes. Unfortunately my pasta was really dishusting, but the filling was delicious!