Whenever I come across a really, really good combination of flavors from another culture, I want to Italian-American-ize it. It’s like a compulsion. Can I turn this into a pizza, a pasta, a piadina? And so, we come to Lemongrass Sausage Ravioli.
There’s this recipe for Banh Mi Bowls over on the Pinch of Yum blog that I make every time one of my friends is moving. I make and wrap up all the different ingredients in separate storage containers and then drop them off to provide my exhausted friend(s) with a quick and delicious dinner. It’s a hit every time.
I have ambitions to try my hand at a Banh Mi Pizza someday, but my more urgent obsession proved to be re-conceptualizing the lemongrass meatballs in this bowl. There clearly needed to be a ravioli version. I could picture it. I could taste it. I HAD TO MAKE IT.
Lemongrass is an herb found in a variety of Asian cuisines. It’s lemony, but the flavor is deeper and more pungent than actual lemons. It pairs perfectly with meats.
I tried a couple of different versions until I found the right combination for the filling. Starting with a mild Italian pork sausage simplifies the seasonings. A couple of teaspoons of lemongrass paste and a bit of palm sugar capture the essence while keeping the texture manageable. Some panko bread crumbs and a beaten egg give the filling just enough body to hold everything together.
Using gyoza wrappers for the pasta adds another bit of Asian-Italian fusion to the mix. While you certainly can boil the finished ravioli, the flavor intensifies if you brown them gently in toasted sesame oil before adding enough water to the skillet to simmer them to tenderness.
I tried pickled veggies as a topping, but found they overwhelmed the delicate flavors of the ravioli. Serving them over fresh greens with a light dressing of sriracha mayo proved the perfect balance.
I love ravioli over greens. Every bite has substance, flavor, textural variety. At the same time, you’re much less likely to overeat. It’s a win all around!
Give these a shot and let me know what you think. I’ll be making them for myself again SOON!