Thursday, January 6, 2011

Summer Squash Ravioli and Broccolini

I finally used the ravioli I bought this fall at the local farmers' market. A representative from Fior D'Italia sells delicious pastas that are made in Manchester, Vermont. Tonight's ravioli contained zucchini, yellow squash, ricotta, tomatoes, romano, basil, salt and pepper. With all those wonderful ingredients, I really didn't need to do much other than boil it, drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil and serve it.

But, I needed to use up a bulb of garlic that was getting old so I decided to roast the garlic to bring out its sweetness, which tastes delicious and makes it more tolerable for the kids to eat.

How I prepared this meal:
I sliced off the top of the entire garlic bulb, placed over foil, drizzled each clove with olive oil, wrapped and roasted the bulb at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until soft when squeezed. I stopped at 30 minutes because we were hungry but I think it should have cooked for about 40-45 minutes.

While the garlic was roasting, I boiled the ravioli and when they started to float I removed them with a slotted spoon and placed in a platter. I poured a little of the starchy water the ravioli cooked in over them so they wouldn't stick.

When garlic was done, I squeezed the soft cloves out of their skins and into a pan with 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup of butter (I used organic Earth Balance to reduce the amount of lactose in the meal). It sounds like a lot of butter but we had a lot of ravioli.

Then I heated the garlic through for about 3-5 minutes, added a little more pasta water, poured the sauce over the pasta through a strainer (so the garlic wouldn't overwhelm the dish and turn my kids away), letting just a few bits of sweet roasted garlic fall onto the ravioli.  This is where my son helped and did a great job!

For simplicity and speed, I steamed a bunch of broccolini in the microwave instead of boiling or sautéing (in hindsight, I should have boiled the broccolini first and then the ravioli in the same water and pot). To prepare, I trimmed off the bottom thicker part of the stems and rinsed in a strainer. The stems are tender and really don't need to be trimmed like broccoli but I know my kids won't eat that part (they can be used for something else like soup). Leaving water residue on them, I placed them in a small glass casserole dish, loosely covered, and heated them for 3 minutes.

For a beautiful finish, garnish the platter with the broccolini like in the first picture above.

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