Becky Luigart-Stayner
6 servings (serving size: 4 ravioli, about 1/3 cup asparagus mixture, and about 1 tablespoon ricotta salata)

The contrast between the emerald asparagus and the black poppy seeds is striking atop the ravioli. If you can't find round gyoza skins, cut square wonton wrappers into circles with a 3-inch round cutter. Ricotta salata is a firm aged cheese with a sharp, slightly sweet flavor; substitute Parmesan if your supermarket doesn't carry it.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare ravioli, combine Homemade Ricotta Cheese, pecorino Romano, parsley, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and egg whites; mix with a fork until blended. Working with 1 gyoza skin at a time (cover remaining skins to prevent drying), spoon about 2 teaspoons ricotta mixture into center of skin. Moisten edges of skin with water; place 1 skin over filling, stretching slightly to meet edges of bottom skin. Press edges together with a fork to seal; place on a lightly floured baking sheet (cover with a damp towel to prevent drying). Repeat procedure with remaining skins and ricotta mixture to form 24 ravioli.

Step 2

Bring 6 quarts water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 4 ravioli; cook 5 minutes, turning ravioli carefully after 2 1/2 minutes. Remove ravioli from water with a slotted spoon; place on a platter. Repeat procedure with remaining ravioli; cover and keep warm. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water.

Step 3

To prepare topping, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally. Add 1/4 cup reserved cooking water, asparagus, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 3 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender and water evaporates. Stir in poppy seeds; cook 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup reserved cooking water; cook over medium-high heat 1 minute or until liquid is reduced by about half. Add ravioli to skillet; toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with ricotta salata; serve immediately.

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