Ravioli with Sautéed Asparagus

Ravioli with Sautéed Asparagus

Ravioli with Sautéed Asparagus

Sometimes you want an easy and quick pasta recipe that tastes incredible. Well, this recipe for ravioli with sautéed asparagus is all of that and more.  It can be whipped up quickly and the addition of  parmesan cheese at the end makes it a culinary masterpiece.  I kid you not!

Fresh store bought ravioli is cooked, then tossed with asparagus that has been sautéed in a simple butter and lemon sauce.  A little bit of grated parmesan, and minced parsley  are added at the end–just give it a toss and you’re done.

I love asparagus, an early sign of spring around here, and I can’t resist buying it when I see it.  With asparagus you want a simple sauce to enhance it’s flavor and this light lemony, buttery sauce is just right.  All it consists of is butter, lemon juice and a dash of black pepper.  Not at all heavy or greasy, it just coats the ravioli and asparagus.

IMG_9318

A couple of notes:  The asparagus should be slightly damp when you sauté it.  This helps with the sauce.  So rinse your asparagus right before you chop it and add to the pan.

Also, you can use whatever fresh ravioli you like for this dish–cheese, mushroom, spinach would all be good choices.  I used a three-cheese ravioli for mine.

This is a dish that goes together very quickly so be sure to have everything prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.  It takes no time to prepare the asparagus, chop the parsley and measure out the other ingredients, so this can be done while you’re waiting for the water to boil for the ravioli.

RAVIOLI WITH SAUTÉED ASPARAGUS 

Yield:  Serves 2

Ingredients:IMG_9309

  • 1 (8-ounce) package fresh ravioli, filling of choice
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends removed, chopped into thirds
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
  • few twists, fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese, plus more to serve at the table

Directions:

1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

2.  Prepare asparagus by snapping off tough ends, then chopping into thirds, or smaller.  Mince parsley, squeeze lemon and measure out butter.

IMG_9313

3.  In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until frothy.  Add chopped asparagus to the pan, stir to coat asparagus with butter and cover with a lid.  (If asparagus is damp, steam created will hasten cooking.)  Cook for 4 – 5 minutes depending on thickness of asparagus.

IMG_9314

4.  Add ravioli to boiling water and cook as per package directions.  Drain when done and place in a bowl.  Keep warm.

IMG_9315

5.  When asparagus is done, add to bowl with ravioli with a slotted spoon.  Leave any browned butter in the pan.

6.  To the butter in the pan, add lemon juice, several twists fresh pepper, and bring to a boil.  Stir for 30 seconds.  Pour the butter-lemon sauce over the ravioli and asparagus.  This will just lightly coat them.

IMG_9317

7.  Add parsley and 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese.  Toss to coat and combine.  Serve with more cheese at the table.

This is so good, I can’t wait to make it again.

 

SOURCE:  Adapted from Green Valley Kitchen

Advertisements

Sauteed Mushrooms with Baked Eggs

Sautéed Mushrooms with Baked Eggs

Sautéed Mushrooms with Baked Eggs

Mushrooms and eggs are a classic combo, and with good reason–they compliment each other so well.  This vegetarian dinner stars beefy, juicy sautéed mushrooms along with baked eggs and toasty croutons.  If you enjoy mushrooms and eggs separately, you will certainly enjoy them when combined like this.IMG_9255

Toasted flatbreads such as pita or naan add some crunch to this dish and help round it into a full meal.  Add a green vegetable or salad, you’re ready to sit down to a meatless, but “meaty” entree.

Toasted flatbread adds crunch.

Toasted flatbread adds crunch. This is whole-wheat flour tortilla.

A variety of mushrooms may be used here.   Almost all mushrooms available at the supermarket are cultivated, not wild, and are available year round.  The most common ones are the white button, cremini, or earthy portobellos.  A combination of mushrooms adds variety and a more complex flavor, so if shiitake or oyster “shrooms” are available they can be added also.

Round out your meal with a salad.

Round out your meal with a salad.

Sauteed Mushrooms with Baked Eggs

Yield:  Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 6-inch whole-wheat flatbread, such as naan, pocketless pita, or whole-wheat tortilla
  • 3 Tbsp. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

    Sliced mushrooms--any kind will do.

    Sliced mushrooms–any kind will do.

  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 small shallot, diced fine (optional)
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • coarse salt
  • red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.  Toast flatbread over the flame of a gas burner or under broiler.  Tear into 2-inch pieces; set aside.

2.  Heat oil and garlic in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat, stirring, until garlic is fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute.

I added a little chopped shallot to mine.

I added a little chopped shallot to mine.

Increase heat to medium-high, add mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Add mushrooms to skillet.

Add mushrooms to skillet.

Season with salt and red-pepper flakes, if using.  Add wine, scraping up browned bits.  Stir in flatbread and thyme;  remove from heat.

Add flatbread and thyme.

Add flatbread and thyme.

3.  Make 4 shallow depressions in mushroom mixture and crack 1 egg into each depression.

I used only 3 eggs.

I used only 3 eggs.

Transfer to oven and cook until egg whites have just set, about 4 minutes.  Season eggs with salt and pepper.

IMG_9257

Note:  Try to keep the egg yolks runny.  When broken, they become an instant sauce that coats the crisp-edged flatbread and mushrooms.

IMG_9254

I served it with a salad consisting of romaine, avocado, and orange sections with  a ginger-sesame dressing.

IMG_9259

 

SOURCE:   Martha Stewart Living

 

 

Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

If you are looking to make a quick baked dish that is lasagna-like in its layering of ingredients this could very well be it. This is not lasagna in its truest form. This dish uses convenience items like ready-made pesto, jarred Alfredo sauce and frozen cheese-filled ravioli along with a bag of fresh baby spinach.  This makes a very nice meatless meal that is filling and great tasting.

IMG_6836

For added flavor, or to incorporate some meat you could add pieces of cooked chicken, sausage or ground beef.  I thought this was a a great put-together meal for times when you want to have a meatless meal.  We really liked it. and for me, it was another way that I could eat spinach, and not be too aware of what I was eating.  (I am always looking for ways to overcome my aversion to spinach.)  The pesto adds a lot of flavor to this dish.  I used my homemade pesto, but any commercial variety will do nicely.

As I frequently do, I made only half of this recipe for two of us.

SPINACH RAVIOLI LASAGNA

Yield:  Makes 6 – 8 servings

Ingredients:IMG_6827

  • 1 (6-oz) bag fresh baby spinach, thoroughly washed
  • 1/3 cup refrigerated pesto sauce ( I used my homemade pesto)
  • 1 (15–0z.) jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 (25-oz.) package frozen cheese-filled ravioli (do not thaw)
  • 1 cup (4-oz.) shredded Italian six-cheese blend
  • Garnishes:  chopped fresh basil, paprika

Preparation:

1.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  Chop spinach, and toss with pesto in a medium bowl.

Chopping spinach.

Chopping spinach.

Mixing spinach with pesto.

Mixing spinach with pesto.

2.  Combine Alfredo sauce and vegetable broth.

Mixing Alfredo sauce with broth.

Mixing Alfredo sauce with broth.

Spoon one-third of alfredo sauce mixture (about 1/2 cup) in a lightly greased 2 qt. or 11 x 7-inch baking dish.  Top with half of spinach mixture.

Layering the spinach on top of sauce.

Layering the spinach on top of sauce.

Arrange half of ravioli in a single layer over spinach mixture.

Cover with half the ravioli.

Cover with half the ravioli.

Repeat layers once more.  Top with remaining Alfredo sauce.

IMG_6833

3.  Bake at 375*F for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven, and sprinkle with shredded cheese.  Bake 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Garnish, if desired.

Super easy to make and so very good.

Super easy to make and so very good.

SOURCE:  Southern Living, 2008

Tomato Curry Soup

Fresh Tomato Curry Soup

Fresh Tomato Curry Soup

Here we are again, Theme Thursday, and the theme is still tomatoes.  Today I have a recipe for Tomato Soup with the added flavor of curry to give it a little zing.

The inspiration for this soup came in a brown paper bag,  a plain brown wrapper you might say, but there was nothing naughty inside.  No, I’m happy to tell you the bag was full of ripe tomatoes.  A friend, going away for a few days, picked all the ripe tomatoes from her garden, and brought them to me, knowing that I would make good use of them.  Such a good friend!  My creative juices started flowing and looking for recipes for tomatoes I found several for soup.  I liked something about this one, and something about that one, but not everything about any one of them.  So how did I choose which one to make?  I didn’t.  I made a merger, taking a little from here and a little from there,  and came up with this idea for a tomato soup.

Using a large onion chopped, I sautéed it in butter then added the curry powder, stirred it around for a minute or so to blend flavors, added the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth and let it simmer a while.  So simple, and yet so good.

I used 2 1/2  pounds of fresh tomatoes with skins removed, and seeds squeezed out, but the really nice thing is that you can use  canned crushed tomatoes ( 28 oz. can), and have this soup anytime you want it.  You don’t need to wait for tomato season to roll around.  I also used chicken broth, but, here too, you can make a substitution and use vegetable broth instead for a vegetarian/vegan soup.  Since I associate curry with Indian cookery, and sour cream is also widely used in Indian cookery, at serving time I swirled a little sour cream into each bowl of soup and sprinkled on chopped chives for garnish.

We enjoyed this soup totally, and along with it I made a pretty spectacular grilled cheese sandwich, using kale, caramelized onions and cheese.  Wow!!  Stop back next week when I’ll have that recipe ready for you.  For now, here’s the soup.

Rich, deep tomato flavor.  The curry is mild, but you can add more if you like.

Rich, deep tomato flavor. The curry is mild, but you can add more if you like.

TOMATO CURRY SOUP

Yield:   serves 6

Ingredients:

2 pounds tomatoes, onion, butter, chicken broth and curry seasoning.

2-3 pounds tomatoes, onion, butter, chicken broth and curry seasoning.

  • 1/2 cup  ( 1 medium) onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter ( 1/2 stick)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder ( more if you like)
  • 2 – 3  pounds fresh tomatoes, skinned and seeds squeezed out, ( or use 1  28 -oz. can crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 32-oz. container chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • chopped chives for garnish

1.  Melt butter in a large sauce pan.  Sauté onion in butter until transparent.  Add in curry powder, stirring over low heat for  1 – 2 minutes to blend flavors.

2.  Add tomatoes and chicken stock. Break up tomatoes with a wooden spoon as much as possible.   Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 15 – 20 minutes.  You can smooth out the soup by pureeing in a blender or use an immersion blender.  Otherwise serve as is; it will be a little chunky.

3.  Ladle into serving bowls, swirl in 1 – 2 teaspoons sour cream.  Garnish with chopped chives.

If you like tomato soup, you will like this.

If you like tomato soup, you will like this.

Source:   a Carolyn Original

Ravioli and Vegetable Soup

Ravioli and vegetable soup.

Ravioli and vegetable soup.

My recipe today is targeted at week night cooking when you are short on time.  Perfect for those evenings when you want to go meatless, or prepare a meal that’s vegetarian.  It’s a hearty, nutritious and delicious soup and you can include greens and vegetables to your liking.  The broth can be beef or vegetable, so it offers a lot of leeway to tailor it to your dietary needs.

IMG_4437

The basis of the soup is a package of small cheese ravioli; either frozen or fresh.   You begin by sautéing the usual trio of veggies:  onions, carrots and celery.  Add the broth, bring to a boil.  Add the ravioli and cook till tender; then add the greens to wilt them.  That’s it!   Sprinkle on some parmesan cheese at the table and serve with a whole-grain bread.  This whole meal took me no more than 30 minutes to prepare.  The recipe can be easily doubled for more servings or just to have some for another meal.

RAVIOLI AND VEGETABLE SOUP

Getting all the ingredients ready.

Getting all the ingredients ready.

Servings:    About 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp. dried
  • 2 cups fat-free low-sodium beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 9 ounce pkg. small cheese ravioli
  • 1 small bunch escarole, kale, or 5 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • 8 slices whole wheat baguette

1.  Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally , until the vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.  Add the broth and 3 cups water and increase the heat to high.  Cover and bring to a boil, then add the ravioli.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the ravioli are tender ( according to package directions for cooking).

Letting it simmer till tender.

Letting it simmer till tender.

2.  Add the escarole to the soup and cook, stirring, until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper.  Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with the cheese.  Serve with the bread.

Ravioli and vegetable soup. Serve with grated cheese.

Ravioli and vegetable soup. Serve with grated cheese.

Nutritional Profile:    Calories:  262;  Fat,  9 g.;  Carbohydrate  34 g.;  Protein 12 g.

SOURCE:   Food Network Magazine

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart

As I was looking through the November issue of Cooking Light Magazine, this recipe for Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart caught my eye because the picture of it was so appetizing.  I wanted to make and eat it right then and there, but I earmarked the page for a more opportune time.  Well, the time came this past week.  After the cooking and baking frenzy that was Christmas I was ready to prepare a simple meal, and enjoy the process of doing it.

Boy, am I ever glad I finally got around to making this tart.  From the crust on the bottom to the cheese on top, it is one layer after another of delicious flavors that compliment each other perfectly.

Layers that taste delicious and hold together perfectly

Layers that taste delicious and hold together perfectly

Let me start with the crust:  the ingredients are mixed in the food processor and once mixed, go straight into the pie plate where you form the crust with your fingers by pressing it against the bottom and sides of the pan.  Then it goes right into the preheating oven to begin baking.

The recipe as printed in the  magazine relies on prepared ingredients, i.e. pre cubed squash, chopped onions, pre chopped pancetta, and pre sliced mushrooms as time savers.  However as a cost saving measure I don’t usually purchase my vegetables this way, preferring to prep them myself, so that added some time to the preparation of this dish.

Preparation of the tart filling involved peeling and cubing the butternut squash,

Cubed squash

Cubed squash

chopping the onion, grating the cheese  ( I used an Edam cheese that has good flavor and nice melting properties.)

Grated Edam Chese

Grated Edam Chese

The shiitake mushrooms I purchased were whole caps that I sliced, and the pancetta was in slices that I cut into small pieces.

Sliced shiitake mushroom caps

Sliced shiitake mushroom caps

This all added about 15 minutes to the preparation time.

Because I knew the prep work would take a little time, I did all of it before making the crust, so once the crust went into the oven I was ready to continue using the processor to make the filling.  Cutting the squash into fine pieces cuts down on the cooking time, and changed the texture somewhat and when the onions get mixed with it the flavor and “mouth-feel” was very pleasant.  Eggs, cheese and seasonings get mixed with the squash and onions, then poured into the partially baked crust and baked.

While that is happening, you sauté the pancetta till brown and then add and sauté the mushrooms.  The final step is to arrange the mushrooms and pancetta on the tart surface followed by the remaining cheese and bake until the cheese melts.

Hot and melty from the oven.

Hot and melty from the oven.

My final product was as pretty as the picture in the magazine.  The crust was flaky and tender, it remained dry and flaky in spite of the wetness of the filling baked in it.  This tart also cut perfectly; each wedge holding its shape as it was removed from the baking dish.  I will definitely use this recipe and method for making a crust for tarts and quiches that I make from now on.  I might also add that I felt that the time spent making this dish was well worth the effort, because the finished dish was so perfect in every way.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND MUSHROOM TART

SERVINGS:   6

CRUST:

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons ice water
  • cooking spray

FILLING:

  • 3 cups peeled, precubed butternut squash
  • 2 Tablespoons EVOO, divided
  • 3/4 cup prechopped onion
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheese, divided.  Gruyere, Gouda, Edam are all good choices.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 ounces prechopped pancetta, or 3 slices cut into small pieces
  • 5 ounces presliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.

2.  To prepare crust, spoon all the flour plus the salt, pepper and baking powder into the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2 times to mix.  Combine 1/4 cup oil with the 3 Tablespoons ice water in a measuring cup.  With the processor running, slowly add oil mixture through food chute, and process until dough is crumbly. Pour dough into the pie plate.

Pour crust crumbles into pie plate.

Pour crust crumbles into pie plate.

Working quickly, press dough into an even layer in bottom and up sides of pie plate.

Press crust into pan with your fingers.

Press crust into pan with your fingers.

Place crust into preheating oven, and bake for 10 minutes.

3.  To prepare the filling, place squash into food processor (do not clean from dough), and process for 1 minute or until squash is finely chopped.

Finely chopped squash.

Finely chopped squash.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 Tablespoon oil to pan and swirl to coat.  Add squash and onion to pan; sauté for 9 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.  While squash cooks, combine half the cheese ( 1/3 cup), eggs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.  Stir into the squash and onion mixture.

5.  At the end of 10 minute baking time, remove the crust from the oven, spoon squash mixture into the crust and spread evenly.  Return to the oven and continue baking for 9 minutes.

6.  Return skillet to medium-high heat.  Add remaining 1 Tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add pancetta; cook 1 minute or until beginning to brown.  Add mushrooms and cook for 7 minutes or until browned.

Browning the pancetta and mushrooms.

Browning the pancetta and mushrooms.

Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 cup white wine.  Cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates.

7.  Remove tart from oven.  Arrange the mushroom mixture evenly over the top of the tart;  sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup cheese.  Return tart to 425 degrees oven and bake for 3 – 5 minutes until cheese melts.

Hot and melty from the oven.

Hot and melty from the oven.

A fantastic dish on all levels!

A fantastic dish on all levels!

Serve this delicious entree with a mixed green salad for a complete, low calorie, almost meatless meal.  To make it vegetarian just omit the pancetta.

Calories  368,   Fat 21.8 g.,  Carb  31.6 g.

SOURCE:   slightly adapted from Cooking Light Magazine,  November, 2012