Diary of a Foodie

Banana Ravioli

Diary of a Foodie: Season One: Brazil: When Foods Collide

  • Active Time:1 hr
  • Start to Finish:1 1/2 hr
January 2007
Chef Alex Atala calls these banana-stuffed spring roll wrappers "ravioli," but here they are shaped more like what we refer to as tortellini.
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pound very ripe bananas (2 to 3), peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 frozen spring roll wrappers (see Cooks' note, below), thawed
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons clarified butter
  • Passion fruit sauce
  • Balsamic Reduction
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 500°F.
  • Cook sugar in a dry 1 1/2- to 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring slowly with a fork, until it begins to melt and turns pale golden. Continue to cook, swirling pan, until sugar melts into a deep golden caramel. Carefully add bananas, cinnamon, and salt (mixture will bubble and steam vigorously). Simmer, stirring, until caramel is dissolved and bananas are broken down into a loose purée. Remove from heat and cool filling to warm (filling will thicken as it cools).
  • If necessary, trim each spring roll wrapper into a 7-inch square, then cut into 4 (3 1/2-inch) squares.
  • Place 1 square on a work surface, keeping remaining squares covered with a clean kitchen towel (to keep them from drying out). Put 2 teaspoons banana filling in center of square, then brush edges of square with egg white. Fold wrapper in half to enclose filling and form a triangle, forcing out excess air. Holding long side of triangle against the nail of your little finger, wrap triangle around your fingertip and seal the 2 corners that meet by brushing (inside of corner) with egg white and pressing to help seal (the third corner will stand up like top of a pointy hat). Transfer to a large baking pan, tamping base of tortellini to help it stand up. Make more tortellini in same manner with remaining squares and remaining filling, transferring to baking pan.
  • Dip tortellini, a few at a time, in clarified butter to coat, letting excess drip off, then return to baking pan, arranging them about 1 inch apart.
  • Bake coated tortellini 5 minutes, then remove from oven. Turn tortellini (ones that have toppled will need other side browned; ones still standing should be laid on their sides), then continue to bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Cool slightly in pan on a rack.
  • Serve ravioli drizzled with passion-fruit sauce and with a few drops of balsamic reduction on the side or drizzled on plates.
Cooks' note: Spring roll wrappers are available at Asian markets and Uwajimaya (800-889-1928).
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