14 Mar Special of the day: Super Quick, Super Delicious, Supermarket Finds
Strolling through the supermarket recently, I spied some stunning red and yellow striped butternut squash ravioli calling out to me from the top shelf of the refrigerated pasta case at Albertsons. Not typically a frequent packaged food purchaser, I hesitated to buy them at first glance, but honestly could not stop thinking about those beautiful brightly-colored bundles after I left the store, secretly kicking myself for my stupidity. When I returned the following week and took the time to read the label, I was pleasantly surprised to see the ravioli were made from fresh cut vegetables and aged imported cheeses. Get it my grocery cart, you 100% natural, preservative-free pillows of pasta, I thought to myself. Then I went on to compile a collection of super quick, super delicious supermarket finds including the Pasta Prima 100% Natural Butternut Squash Ravioli, Annie’s Natural Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Eat Smart Broccoli and Cauliflower Microwave in Bag package, a bag of sliced almonds, a carton of Talenti Roman Raspberry Sorbetto and some Pepperidge Farm French Vanilla Pirouettes. My menu choices revolved around colorful foods, mostly fruits and vegetables, all with an Italian flare to compliment the ravishing ravioli. So, what would you say if I told you these six supermarket ingredients and 15 minutes of prep would sum up to be a super delicious supper for four comprised of mostly all-natural ingredients? I kid you not. Nothing too fancy, and surely fit to feed the family, this menu would also work for impromptu dinner guests, I think, because the Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter serve to dress everything up on the plate. Sometimes the biggest hurdle to home cooking is having a plan in hand, deciding what to buy at the grocery store, and then knowing what in the world to do with it when you get it home to your kitchen. I intentionally included ingredients that could be prepared in minimal time, and by following the plan I put before you, you can have dinner on the table from start to finish in a snap. Ready, set, go! Now you’re cooking! (But it hardly feels like it, it’s so easy…) This week’s Special of the day: Super Quick, Super Delicious, Supermarket Finds including Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter, Parmesan and Sage, Steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic Olive Oil Drizzle and Roman Raspberry Sorbetto with Toasted Almonds. The Plan:
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Make browned butter:
Heat heavy saucepan over medium heat.
Add ¼ cup butter and melt.
Continue cooking, swirling pan occasionally and watching carefully until butter browns.
Immediately remove from heat. Set aside until ready to plate.
4. Cook pasta:
While butter is browning, fill a medium pot 2/3 full of water, add 1 teaspoon salt and heat over medium high heat until boiling.
Add ravioli to boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.
Set a colander in the sink for cooked pasta.
5. Toast almonds:
While pasta is cooking and butter is browning, spread almonds out on a baking sheet.
Toast in preheated oven for 6-7 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool.
6. Steam broccoli and cauliflower:
Place unopened bag of broccoli and cauliflower in microwave and cook for 4 minutes.
Remove from microwave ant let rest briefly.
Drain cooked ravioli in colander in sink.
Open steamed vegetables, place in medium bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons Roasted Garlic Olive Oil (or more, to taste), tossing to coat. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, if desired.
Arrange ravioli attractively on plate and drizzle with browned butter. Sprinkle with Parmesan and sage mix (it comes in the pasta package).
Distribute the steamed vegetables on plates.
For dessert, scoop Roman Raspberry Sorbetto into stemmed glasses and garnish with toasted almonds and Pirouette cookies.
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.