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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Spring Ravioli with Pesto Cream

This recipe comes from the days of being a vegetarian. Which means this recipe is pretty old. It originally calls for green beans instead of peas, but knowing my family, I thought peas was the wiser choice. I'm sure that you can substitute any vegetable you want.

Weirdly, as I made it, I couldn't remember anything about it. Each step I'd say to myself, "I don't remember this ingredient" or "I don't remember doing this part."

Originally, we were going to have this for Meatless Monday and calzones last night, but I didn't thaw my bread dough in time. So two vegetarian recipes in a row, you lucky ducks. Aren't you glad it's not another stew?

Spring Ravioli with Pesto Cream

2 tsp olive or vegetable oil
3/4 cup frozen petite green peas, thawed
1/2 medium yellow pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 tsp salt
16 oz frozen cheese-filled ravioli
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tbsp basil pesto
2 tsp grated lemon peel

1. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pepper about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender. Stir in tomatoes and salt. Cook 3 minutes.

2. While vegetables are cooking, prepare ravioli as directed on package. In the last minute of cooking, add peas to thaw. Mix sour cream, pesto and grated lemon peel in a small bowl.

3. Toss hot cooked ravioli with vegetable mixture and sour cream. If desired, garnish with fresh basil leaves and lemon peel.

The Verdict: Pretty yummy...and ridiculously easy!

When I asked Noyan what he thought, he asked if I made the ravioli. (Did you see me sweating and swearing all afternoon in the kitchen? Well then, no, I didn't.) For some reason, the idea that it was "found" ingredients put together made it feel less homemade to him. While I suppose that's true, I didn't make the pasta nor the pesto, I think it's a little bit like shopping at Pottery Barn. You can get a bunch of stuff and put it in a room, but if it doesn't compliment everything else, it's going to look terrible. But with a good eye, you're going to put together a room that makes everyone say "Wow!"

The sour cream takes on the pesto taste, muting just enough to give you a nice hint of basil. Then the basil tastes great with the yellow pepper. The sauce itself is just enough to make the ravioli creamy instead of pasty.

Pesto tends to be on the pricier side of groceries, but since you only use 3 tablespoons, you get a lot of bang for your buck. You can even freeze the leftover pesto, though apparently the nation of Italy would keel over at the idea of freezing olive oil. But I won't tell if you won't.

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