Appetizers are a big hit, especially at parties, Christmastime and the New Year. My Italian Sausage & Basil Wonton recipe is fun to make and extremely tasty! These tidy little wonton packets will disappear from the plate in no time guaranteed. So make lots of them!
You can use mild or hot Italian sausage or any sausage that is your favorite, experimenting with other herbs too. You may add fresh, finely chopped chilies along with the onions in the method here, instead of red pepper flakes if you wish.
I round up my big and little helpers in the kitchen when I make these, especially folding and sealing the wontons. They get a sense of accomplishment when they make them and they really enjoy it!
1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
4 sweet or hot Italian pork sausages, casings removed
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup packed fresh Basil, chopped finely
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 package of Wonton wrappers
Canola or vegetable oil for frying
1. Heat approximately 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat. Cook the onion stirring occasionally for approximately 2 minutes or until the onions look opaque. Remove and set aside. Next, add the sausage and brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go. Drain and set aside. When the sausage is cool enough to handle, break it up with your fingers to resemble rough breadcrumbs.
2. In a large bowl, combine the sausage, onions, cream cheese, fresh basil, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Mix these ingredients together thoroughly.
3. Take a wonton wrapper and place it in front of you in a diamond shape. In other words, with a corner facing you. Take a small amount of the filling and put it directly into the center of the wrapper. Moisten the edges with a little water (I just use my very clean fingers,) and fold the wonton wrapper away from you to meet the other corner. Flatten down the sides gently pressing any air out and then fold the sides inwards. Alternatively, you can fold them straight edge to straight edge and then fold the edges over. Do whatever works best for you. Please note: Over stuffing the wonton wrapper will cause it to burst. The cream cheese will melt during cooking, so in this case less will save you a mess!
4. In a large skillet, heat approximately 1/2 inch of oil over a medium-high heat. Test a wonton in the oil. If it starts to sizzle as soon as you put it in the pan, then the oil is ready. Working in batches, brown the wontons on both sides until golden, approximately 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately (or in the next 10 minutes while they are warm.) You may also deep fry the wontons at 360 degrees F. if you wish. However, test a couple first for cooking time in your fryer. They will take less time to cook than over the stove. Makes approximately 2 dozen.
Serving suggestions: These are great dipped in a good marinara sauce or, if you want to go with the Asian influence, soy sauce or duck sauce works well too. I like to serve them on a platter with the different dipping sauces, so that everyones taste buds are fulfilled. They are delicious!