Beef and Herb Love Letters with Mixed Herb and Pea Pesto

By • January 28, 2014 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This is a recipe I concocted at home when I was craving a meal I had while on a girls' weekend in Las Vegas with my sister at B&B, a Mario Batali Restaurant in the Venetian. At home, I have a little concrete back stoop that gets wonderful sun in the summer, so I used herbs and lettuces from my potted garden for this version!Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus

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Serves 4

Ravioli

  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 pound ground beef (I use lean 80-20)
  • 1/2 cup arugula or baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup mixed herbs - I used parsley, chives, and dill
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 25 wonton wrappers (the round ones sometimes marked "potsticker wrappers" or "gyoza wrappers" are the ones I used)
  1. In a medium skillet over medium high heat, cook the onion in 1 Tbs butter with salt and pepper until just translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the beef and cook until browned thoroughly and no pink remains.
  2. Add the beef mixture to a food processor with herbs, horseradish, parmesan, and the additional 1 Tbs butter and process briefly to combine and break up the ground beef. Because the beef is cooked, you can taste here for seasoning and add salt/pepper to taste.
  3. To assemble the ravioli, place wontons in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush the edge of each wonton with water, either using a pastry brush or your fingertip. Place a teaspoon of the beef mixture in the center of each wonton and fold in half, pushing out any air from the center to the edges before sealing. I then fold the corners towards one another to make a hat-shaped raviolo, but the shape is up to you!
  4. Cook the ravioli in a pot of salted boiling water for about 4 minutes. Gently remove from water with a slotted spoon to your plate. Keep the water at a boil for the peas in the next step.

Mixed Herb Pesto

  • 1/2 cup arugula or baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup mixed herbs - same as those used in ravioli
  • 1/2 cup walnuts - this is a rare application where they are best NOT toasted, so as not to overpower the delicate herb flavors
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or any light vinegar you have on hand (white wine, champagne, tarragon would be good if you choose to use that herb in your mixture)
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas (if you have fresh, even better!)
  1. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine. With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil until you have reached smooth consistency (not liquid - you may add pasta water later to thin if necessary.) Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Cook the peas in the boiling water after the ravioli have been removed, just to heat through, about 2 minutes. Drain (reserving 1/2 cup of pasta/pea water in case you would like to thin the consistency of your pesto) and add to the pesto sauce. Spoon pesto over the ravioli and enjoy!

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