Pasta dumpling shapes for turkey dumplings?
I'm taking leftover turkey and making some ravioli/dumpling sort of thing, with minced turkey, celery, onion, garlic and sage...maybe a bit of thyme, some salt and pepper. Filling will be very slightly on the chunky side, so it has good texture. I'll probably add just a touch of ricotta or cream cheese to make it stick together a little - makes it easier to stuff into dumplings - and freeze 'em, and boil them up later to toss with some turkey-mushroom gravy or something.
This is the kind of filling that if I put it in my standard ravioli size, my husband will gripe, 'cause he wants a good bite of filling, and the pasta is secondary. (Me, being pasta obsessed, thinks he is mean, cruel, evil and lacks taste, but what do I know? Kidding, kidding...)
I'm going to do a small experimental batch tonight. I'll do a couple of large ravioli; a couple using a potsticker pleated fold, only smaller; a couple almost potsticker-sized; two sizes of stars (that's where you take a square of pasta, pull up the corners and seal or pleat the edges). I might do something sort of won-ton like.
Any other recommendations for what I might try, fold-wise?
I must admit that as much as I like pasta, it'll be a lot quicker if the dumplings are heavy on the filling. :D
So I tried this with several different shapes. The filling was great - about one part onion, one part celery, one part turkey, all finely diced plus some garlic, sage and s&p. Lightly sauteed the veggies, and then mixed the batch (about a cup and a half of filling) with a couple of tablespoons of cream cheese, just to make it easier to handle for stuffing. (The cream cheese was fine, but I think I'd use ricotta next time, as it's more...I dunno...neutral?)
I don't personally normally use sage *inside* pasta, so I was just a little too careful, I think. I did add quite a lot of sage to the filling, just prior to the point of getting bitter. Unfortunately, like a lot of fillings for stuffed pasta, if you're not shooting for subtle in the sauce/broth for them, the flavor needs to be strong, 'cause it gets sort of diluted by the pasta. By the time the turkey gravy hit it, I could taste it, but not as strongly as I would have liked. Next time, I'll add more sage, and probably a few dried mushrooms.
For pasta shapes, I tried several, from those that take tons of filling - a 4 inch square ravioli, that took about 4 tsp - all the way down to those that take just a bit more filling that a "big" ravioli - about 1.5 tbsp.
Shapes I did were (filling amount in parens):
4 inch square ravioli (~4 tsp.)
2.75 inch pleated potsticker-like (~1.5 tsp)
3 inch pansotti-like (folded triangle, ~2 tsp)
2.75 inch circle folded in half (like agnolotti) but with the ends pulled together to form a round shape; I think this is an Asian fold, I'm not sure. (~1.75-2 tsp)
Stars, made from a 3 inch square (corners brought up to a point, edges sealed, base ends up being around inch and a quarter to inch and a half, ~2 tsp filling)
I started this with two assumptions: 1. My husband would like the giant ravioli best, because it had the most filling, and 2. I'd like the pasta stars best, because it's one of my favorite shapes for holding a good-sized bite of filling.
I simmered the pasta in broth (in different batches, due to varying sizes and thicknesses), put a touch of butter on 'em, and covered them with basic turkey gravy. Amazingly, not one broke.
The two that I thought we'd like the most - the large ravioli and the star pasta - were the two we liked the least.
The big ravioli...I might as well have just made a semi chunky sauce out of the filling ingredients and mixed it with the gravy. You really couldn't tell where the filling started and the pasta ended.
The star shape, which I LOVE for a shrimp/ricotta pasta that I make, wasn't the proper shape for a chunky, non-cohesive filling. We'd take a bite of pasta/filling which was good, then all the rest of the filling fell out, so you were left with a pile of filling and a bite of pasta.
The pansotti style triangles were pretty good - ample filling, slightly chewy pasta edges. I could see building these and baking the result, as they feel like they would hold up well. My husband didn't love the pasta-to-filling-ratio, though he might like them baked.
We both agreed that the little potsticker shaped ones were great. They held the filling well, and it was a nice bite or two of filling. The pleated edges were just slightly chewy. And if I were just going to stick to my original plan (freeze some pasta to later be covered with gravy and a few vegetables) this is probably what I'd make.
But the real winner was the pasta shape that I don't know the name of! lol. I use this shape in soups sometimes. It's not won ton or tortellini shaped, it's just a folded circle of dough, with the ends brought around into a round shape. It had the perfect amount of filling to pasta ratio - a bit more than the potsticker-like one - and would work in soup, covered with sauce or baked. The sealed edges were slightly chewy, but the bulk of the pasta was very tender. They were exactly what I was looking for. (I have to laugh, because they were sort of an afterthought.) Another plus is that they're a little quicker to make than our next most favorite, the potsticker-type.
So tomorrow I'm making a whole bunch of pasta-shape-I-don't-know-the-name-of, for freezing.
I just thought the sizes vs. filling ratios might be handy for someone else, later.