We’ll talk about making fresh ravioli some other day, today, it’s store bought. My wife and I have pasta once or twice a week and although I love to make pasta from scratch it’s generally more than I want to take on after getting home from work. For this recipe, I just grabbed my favorite store bought package and make a quick sauce with some vegetables. It’s really easy to do and makes a light and refreshing meal.
Ingredients For Cheese Ravioli & Sundried Tomatoes
- One package of cheese ravioli (about 10 ounces)
- Red bell pepper
- Sundried tomatoes out of a jar
- Fresh basil leaves
- 2 Garlic cloves
- One lemon & zest
- Olive oil
- Parmesan cheese
Recipe Overview & Keys to Success
I heard a chef say once that “pasta doesn’t like to wait for the sauce”, and I think that’s a pretty solid rule to go by. There are techniques to pre-cook it, if you’re in a pinch, but in generally I like to make sure I’m ready to go with the sauce by the time the pasta is cooked – rather than letting it sit around for 10 minutes. While I finish up the sauce.
Fresh pasta also only takes a few minutes to cook, and I find the packages generally over-estimate the time required on the stove. So, I’d suggest watching it closely and even pull the ravioli out of the water 1 – 2 minutes before the instructions say.
For this sauce, we’re just going to slightly cook the vegetables, which keeps everything light – it’s not a deep dark Italian “gravy”, and dress the pasta with a bit of olive oil.
While I’m calling this a sauce it’s really more of a sauté. It’s pretty easy to prep.
Prep: First slice the red bell pepper into strips that are between 1/8 and ¼ inch long and about 2 inches long. You’ll want to get about 1/8 of a cup. Then remove 5 – 6 of the sundired tomatoes and slice them in the same shape and quantity as the red bell pepper. Mince or finely chop the garlic, and chop the basil leaves. Zest the lemon and then cut it in half, ready to be squeezed later.
Put a pot of water on the stove to boil.
Cook: Get a non-stick pan on the heat and let it get hot. Add some olive oil and add in the red pepper strips and let them sauté until they are just starting to turn tender – about 2 minutes. Add in the tomatoes and let them sauté together for a few minutes, season with salt and pepper, add in the garlic, mix together and turn off the heat while we cook the pasta.
Once the water is boiling add a few tablespoons of salt to the water and add the ravioli. You can follow the instructions on the box, but I like to cook the ravioli one minute less than the directions; as I finish the pasta directly in the sauce.
About a minute before the ravioli are ready to come off, take the tomato/red pepper mix out of the pan you cooked them in, and set them aside on a plate. Put that pan back on the heat to get hot.
Once done, drain the ravioli and shake off any excess water. Add 2 – 3 tablespoons of oil to the pan that’s heating on the stove, and add to that, the ravioli. Toss around in the oil, add in the tomato/red pepper and toss again for a couple minutes. Add in the basil, the juice of ½ a lemon, the lemon zest, and two tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Turn off the heat and toss to mix the ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper. If the dish looks dry, add some more olive oil, and serve.