Skip to main content

Not Rachel Ray, But Well Worth The Extra Ten Minutes....

This week for Meatless Monday, we decided to see if we could back up Cynthia's words from her recent blog post and make a great meal without a lot of fuss and in a modest amount of time. Working together, without rushing, our plan was to make:

Three Cheese Ravioli with Garlic Scape Pesto and Baby Beets with their Sauteed Greens

Although we didn't quite enter into the Rachel Ray realm of 30 minutes, we did sit down to eat 40 minutes after we started, and it was well worth the extra 10 minutes!

Before you ask, no, we didn't make the ravioli from scratch. There are actually a few brands of packaged frozen ravioli available these days that are quite good. We used Rosetto Cheese Ravioli, available in many supermarkets. We did, however, grow the beets and the garlic scapes used in making the pesto. 

If you're unfamiliar with garlic scapes, they are  the flower stalks of hardneck garlic plants that produce a "bulb" that is both edible and delicious. It has a definite garlic flavor but is typically milder that the actual garlic. Here they are, next to the baby beets and their greens that we used for this recipe.



Here is a quick "timeline" of how it went down.

6:00 - Big pot of water onto boil, toaster oven on 425 F to preheat, shelled 1/3 cup of pistachios, grated 1/3 cup parmigiano cheese.

6:05 - Blender/food processor set up, pistachios into toaster oven

6:10 - Clean beets and greens and prep an ice bath (simply a bowl of water with ice) to receive cooked beets and greens

 6:15 - Beets into boiling water for approx 5 mins (remember, these are baby beets and don't need a long cooking time -- and leaving them with a little crunch adds to the finished dish)

6:20 - Beet greens into boiling water for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, literally, no longer, beets and greens into ice bath to stop the cooking process and hold the colors
6:20 - Grrrrrrrrrr, discard first batch of pistachios (forgot them and they burned), shell 1/3 cup more, back into toaster oven, paying more attention this time.

6:25 - Make pesto by adding scapes, toasted nuts, olive oil and parmigiano cheese to blender. Blend until smooth.
6:25 - Drop ravioli into boiling water used for beets and greens. Cook 5-7 minutes (or per package instructions)

6:32 - Drain pasta water, reserving 1 cup, leaving ravioli in the pot. Add pesto and that cup of pasta water back. Add beet greens. On medium heat, gently stir to combine and heat thoroughly. 

6:40 - Plate ravioli , add grated parmigiano cheese to taste nd garnish with baby beets. Serve while hot!

Just goes to show that you can get a pretty spectacular plate to the table in 40 minutes. Sure, there were two of us, but getting someone else involved is half the fun. Yes the burnt pistachios set us back a few minutes, but don't let those kind of setbacks kill the fun. Just fix it and move on.

A little hint: you can use almost anything to make a pesto, parsley, basil, broccoli, etc. The pistachios can traded out for other nuts. Experiment, don't feel like you can't put your own touch into it. Good proportions to begin your pesto quest are 1/3 cup main ingredient, garlic scapes in this case, 1/3c nuts, 1/3c good parmigiano reggiano (or any good hard grating cheese), 1/3c EVOO.  If using anything but garlic scapes, add a couple of cloves of garlic.  This will yield a fairly thick paste that turns into a beautiful sauce with the addition of a couple scoops of your pasta cooking water. 

P.S. Cynthia still thinks we could have done it in 30 minutes.

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Oven Roasting Fresh Tomatoes for Pasta Sauce

A while back I wrote a post about using the preserved tomato sauce from 2008 that we still had in our pantry. It was the last jar of what was the best tomato crop we have grown -- to date. This weekend we picked and roasted the first batch from this year's garden with high hopes that we could match the richness of flavor from that magical year.

I wanted to share the process, especially since it's so simple, at least up to the canning, which I won't cover here. Those of you that can know it's not really hard, just a little time consuming.

The first step is pretty obvious, get yourself some tomatoes. We like to grow our own, but you can also buy them from a farm or farm market. Here's a little tip if you decide to buy -- offer to buy the "seconds", you know, the less than perfect tomatoes that everyone else has passed on. They can have blemishes, partial spoilage and even the occasionally bug hole. Don't worry, you're going to cut away any bad par…

2008 was a very good year....

...for tomatoes in Newburgh, NY. That's where we lived then and where we grew, roasted and canned tomato sauce. We actually did that every year but there was something magical about the quart mason jars full of that 2008 vintage. Last night, as part of Meatless Monday dinner, we opened the last one.  Nearly 4 year old tomato sauce you say? Isn't that, um, dangerous? Not at all if the jars are initially prepared correctly, the canning process is carried out properly and the seal remains intact. It was both exciting and a little sad to crack open that seal, but the finished meal made it all worth it. Cynthia's original recipe was a perfect use for that special vintage.


Herbed Crepes with Ricotta, Spinach and Chard Filling
Ingredients (crepes) 1 cup AP flour1 cup + 2-4 tbsp liquid of your choice, could be stock, milk, beer, water or any combination thereof - I used 1 cup Better than Bouillon No Chicken and 3 tablespoons of Duck Rabbit Milk Stout beer3 large eggs2 tbsp unsalted q…

Authentic Unbeatable Swedish Meatballs!

Think Ikea, But 100 Times Better
A Guest Post by Anneli from Delicieux
I am delighted to be back here on A Reluctant Foodie doing another guest post for Al. Our last challenge (Stuffed Peppers) was such fun that we decided to do it again and this time I suggested 'Balls"!

'Balls' was a fun choice as it gives such a large scope for experimenting - meatballs, fish balls, rice balls, chocolate balls, ice cream balls...the possibilities are endless. Not to mention the childishness of repeatedly writing 'balls'!! (and yes, I'm 36, not 3!)

In fact, I had no trouble at all deciding which 'balls' I was going to make, it was inevitable. I am half Swedish and I was brought up in a house where certain Swedish foods were regulars at our table. I was aware of Ikea and their meatballs before the rest of the world began their love affair with them.

My Mormor (Grandma) used to make them fresh and serve them with dollops of sweet lingon berry sauce, boiled potatoes …