Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Who doesn't love pasta?! I honestly cannot think of one single person I know that doesn't enjoy a good, hearty pasta dish. Can you? I mean, really, I can't. I can tell you people who don't like all sorts of things that are loved by many (and I think they're crazy) but I don't know of anyone who will turn down pasta every now and then!
There is something so warm, inviting and reminiscent about eating it. It's comfort food (especially mac 'n' cheese)! But most pasta is certainly not inviting to our bellies (the shape of it, that is) and in my case, the hips. But I will be the first to tell you that I will never officially "diet" because that would mean cutting out pasta and that just aint gonna happen. Period.
So when I came across a "lighter" version of a pasta dish on Noble Pig's blog, I was immediately drawn to it and knew I needed to make something similar. She made a ravioli dish with peas and shallots in a warm buttery sauce. It sounded good, it looked good and I was 99% sure it would be good. I was right. It was amazingly good. Even though it sat in a butter sauce on my plate, it wasn't drenched and there wasn't a ton of it, so it really was a rather lighter dish (unlike the heavier cream and marinara sauces you normally get).
The flavors exploded with my first bite and the warm butter with the sweetness of peas and shallots married with hints of lemon was like sunshine in my mouth! The only modification I made to this dish was making homemade ravioli using up leftover chicken from this meal. In my opinion, there is nothing better than homemade pasta (especially in chicken noodle soup) and the combination of the ricotta cheese, grilled chicken and basil paired so well with the sauce. It was a perfect ending to my day!
Ravioli with Peas, Shallots & Warm Butter Sauce
Ingredients - Ravioli
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 cup Hot Water
3/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Chicken, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 Tbsp. Fresh Basil, finely chopped
1/2 cup reserved Pasta Water
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Tsp. Pepper
Ingredients - Sauce
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Shallots, sliced
1 - 10oz. bag Frozen Peas
1 Tsp. Lemon Zest
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
Directions - Ravioli
In a large bowl, combine the flour and water. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine into a large ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, chicken, Parmesan, basil, salt and pepper. Mix together well.
- Rotisserie chicken or other forms of meat can be substituted as well as no meat at all.
To form the ravioli, cut the dough into 4 evenly sized pieces. Note: the dough should be slightly sticky. Add extra flour as necessary for rolling, but use only a little as necessary. Roll each piece into approximately a 4"x19" rectangle. Place 9 rounded teaspoons of filling about 1" apart down the center of the dough. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing down around the edges of each section of filling. Cut the ravioli into small squares and seal the edges by pressing around the filling with your fingertips. Place the finished ravioli on a baking sheet and continue forming ravioli with the remaining dough.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add half of the ravioli and cook until they begin to float (approximately 4 minutes). Drain into a bowl and cook the remaining ravioli.
Directions - Sauce
In a large pan, melt the butter over med-high heat. Add shallots and cook until they become tender and slightly translucent (approximately 3 minutes). Stir in the peas, lemon zest, Parmesan, water, basil salt and pepper to taste. Cook until peas are heated through (approximately 2-3 minutes).
Serve immediately over ravioli. - Store bought ravioli may be substituted for homemade.
Yield: 4 Servings
Source: Recipe adapted from Giada at Home & Noble Pig